"My mom dies two months ago, my dad was killed in an accident six years ago, and my sister, Laini is in China trying to rediscover her roots..."
Japan has been Danny and his family's home every summer since he's a little boy. Now, after his mother died of cancer he would spend another summer there but with a different agenda - instead of having fun and leisurely taking a walk through the busy streets of Tokyo, he would spend his time figuring out the answers to the questions that his mother left and also figuring out how would want to live his own life.---
Japan – The Land of Cherry Blossoms! Though Japan is located at the same continent that I’m in I still haven’t had the opportunity to visit it but I hope someday. Anyhow, When You Were Here was set in Japan which really catches my attention. The thought of having a six foot tall white American in an Asian country excites me. Luckily, Danny’s journey on the busy streets of Tokyo has been the highlight of the whole story for me.
Danny is a character that started as a weakling for me. He let sorrow and aloneness eat him up. After his mom died, it seems like Danny also died. I couldn’t blame him, he's alone now. But as the story grows and as he learns more things through his journey I see his growth as a character. He learns more not only about his mother but also about his inner self.
I love Kana! I love her crazy outfits and crazy thoughts! I also love the fact that she did establish a great camaraderie with Danny. Though he's the six foot tall white American and she's the not so typical Asian girl they get along pretty well. Their friendship was very delightful to see. There are no sexual tension or whatsoever (though there is this little thought in me that them being together would not be that bad)
, the friendship that they have is just real. It’s all so very young-adult-ish!
As for Holland, I don't really know how to feel about her. She has a whole other story going on with her and Danny and I will definitely not spoil that for you. She has a reason for not saying things to Danny but whatever I just didn’t connect to her to great extent.
The author’s ability to concisely describe the setting and the things around the characters are great. The set of characters presented all seemed so real – flawed but very much real.
When You Were here is an excellent well-written and a very meaningful book. The story started with all the drama and heavy things that a young guy carries but as it ends it would make you feel very optimistic, real and hopeful about life.*Advanced copy kindly provided for review*
*Blog Tour deets posted at Reads and Thoughts.