You might remember how much I loved When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney -- you can read my review here. So I was thrilled to be asked to be part of a blog tour for the book.
Here's what the book's about:
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 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.
My assignment for the tour? To give you more insight into one of the book's characters, Kate. She was the best friend of Danny's mom and is also the mother of Holland, the girl who dumped Danny with no explanation.
Here's how Danny describes Kate:
"Kate is a tiny person. She's maybe five feet tall, but she's a pit bull, and the muscles on her arms are sick. She works out every day, which is not unusual in Los Angeles, granted, but it's where she works out that's telling. She works out at Animal House, which is this very macho, very old, very broken-down gym without air conditioning. The clientele is mostly Arnold Wannabes and guys just out of jail."
Hi, Daisy. Okay, here's my first question: why does Kate work at the Animal House instead of at a health club? I mean… no air conditioning?
Because Kate is intense! She wants the best trainers at the best gym to get the best workout! She is all about maximizing every moment. Even her gym time!
Kate must miss Elizabeth a lot. What's her favorite memory of her best friend?
When they were in college together they pranked the boys one dorm over by moving all their furniture from their common room down to the basement and replicating their set-up in the basement, complete with posters of bosomy babes and bands. They kicked back on the couch and turned on the TV to watch Splash when the boys walked in and discovered what they’d done. Everyone laughed and Elizabeth and Kate won the pranking contest.
Danny ran off after making a scene at his high school graduation and said Kate probably wanted to wallop him. How did Kate actually react?
She did want to wallop him. Danny was correct in that assessment. The voicemails she left for him were full of piss and vinegar. He deleted them though.
How did a person as take-charge as Kate keep herself from intervening when things got all weird and awkward between Holland and Danny?
As much as Kate feels a responsibility to look after Danny, she is Holland’s mom, and her daughter’s wishes came first. She’d go to the ends of the earth for both Danny and Holland, but she’d travel a bit further for Holland.
Was Kate able to get permission for Danny to bring Sandy Koufax with him to college? Because if not, I will volunteer to dog sit.
She was indeed able to secure permission! But Sandy Koufax likes long walks on the beach and is available during the days on Monday through Friday. Let me know if you’d like to take her! It can be arranged.
My dog and I live on the east coast, but if we're ever in California, we'll give Sandy a call. Or a bark...
Now, as a special treat, here's a video of Daisy in Japan, showing you things you can buy in vending machines…. who knew?
Enter below to win your very own copy of the book, courtesy of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. They can mail to US street addresses only - no international addresses or PO boxes. a Rafflecopter giveaway