When You Were Here (Paperback)
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316209755, 272pp.
Publication Date: June 24, 2014
Other Editions of This Title:
Danny's mother lost her five-year battle with cancer three weeks before his graduation-the one day that she was hanging on to see.
Now Danny is left alone, with only his memories, his dog, and his heart-breaking ex-girlfriend for company. He doesn't know how to figure out what to do with her estate, what to say for his Valedictorian speech, let alone how to live or be happy anymore.
When he gets a letter from his mom's property manager in Tokyo, where she had been going for treatment, it shows a side of a side of his mother he never knew. So, with no other sense of direction, Danny travels to Tokyo to connect with his mother's memory and make sense of her final months, which seemed filled with more joy than Danny ever knew. There, among the cherry blossoms, temples, and crowds, and with the help of an almost-but-definitely-not Harajuku girl, he begins to see how it may not have been ancient magic or mystical treatment that kept his mother going. Perhaps, the secret of how to live lies in how she died.
About the Author
Praise For When You Were Here…
"The book enticingly combines violin-worthy levels of loss with Danny's vigor and solid testosterone levels..."—BCCB
* "First-time author Whitney boldly addresses date rape, vigilantism, and
academic politics in an intense and timely novel... Besides showing
skill in executing suspense and drama, Whitney masterfully evokes the
complexity of her protagonist's emotions, particularly her intense
longing to feel 'normal' again."— Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"[Whitney] writes with smooth assurance and a propulsive rhythm as she
follows Alex through the Mockingbird's trial process and its
accompanying emotional storm of confusion, shame, fear, and finally,
empowerment. Authentic and illuminating, this strong debut explores
vital teen topics of sex and violence; crime and punishment; ineffectual
authority; and the immeasurable, healing influence of friendship and