WHEN YOU WERE HERE
Author: Daisy Whitney
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Number of Pages: 257
Source of Book: ARC from publisher at NCTE
When You Were Here, Lost in Translation meets Where She Went, is about an American teenager who travels from California to Tokyo to uncover the secrets surrounding the death of his mother, all while trying to both hold onto and let go of the girl he’s been in love with his whole life.
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.
You can read my full (gushing) thoughts in my original post with my highest recommendation here.