Teen Review– When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney


When Danny’s mother dies two months before his graduation his whole life goes down in flames. His mother was the only thing that was left of what used to be a golden family, and to make it worse, he still has feelings for Holland, his ex-girlfriend who is the only person whom he has for comfort. When he is finally about to break, he gets a letter from his mother’s friend, telling him to come to Tokyo to get his mother’s medicine. When he gets to Tokyo, he is greeted by many things that remind him of his mother, including her favorite breakfast stand and a temple and tea place, where his mother spent her last months in pure bliss. He meets Kana, a girl whom he grows close to and helps him put his life together. This book is full of twists and turns; it will keep you on the edge of your seat until the end.

I enjoyed many things about this book, from the characters, to the situations, to the writing style. You could relate to the characters; they were full of emotion and feeling. The writing style should be like a 18 year-old boy’s style of writing and Daisy Whitney did an excellent job of that. The situations seemed mostly realistic because there were sometimes where you could doubt if that exactly happened. The humor of this book was planned out perfectly; it was there during the times when you needed comic relief to get away from the tension or just where it seemed appropriate. 

One thing that was memorable about this book was Danny’s valedictorian speech. I found that part of the book an extreme comic relief from all the tension before it.


Review by Samhita, grade 8, Twin Hickory Area Library

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