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Sweet Summertime Reads: When You Were Here Gift Pack

Sweet Summertime Reads - Summer Beach Reads Feature with Fiction Folio and GReads!

Can you believe there’s only two weeks left of our Sweet Summertime Reads series with Ginger and Tara? It’s been such a fun summer of new ideas, summer loving, and it’s crazy that it’s about to come to a close. I’m going solo today with this post but it is totally inspired by Magan’s affection for When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney.

I’ve been trying to do a better job of balancing books for review, books I own, and most importantly, getting to books that Magan reviews and loves. Well, after buying When You Were Here on its release day, I finally read it last week and absolutely loved it. It was  so touching, so well written, and I loved the switch in setting from California to Tokyo.

After reading, I felt inspired to do our first themed gift pack post in a long time. There were so many fun details in Whitney’s book and I hope seeing them in a collection will inspire you to pick up this novel sooner rather than later. I’ve been on a reading roll lately, and When You Were Here was one of the standouts of the bunch.


When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney Themed Gift Pack: a few little things that make up the fun details of this YA novel from June 2013, part of Sweet Summertime reads.

Maki My Day Earrings: Traveling to Tokyo means eating a lot of raw fish. I think it’s pretty self-explanatory but Danny’s mom’s best friend (Kate, who is also his unofficial guardian) loves to collect plastic pieces of sushi. I think these earrings are just hilarious and so quirky.

Buddha Statue: There’s a certain level of spirituality to this story. As Danny discovers more about his mother’s way of dealing with her disease, he must seek his own peace and also finds out about more and more about hers. (It also made me think of TinyBuddha.com; do you follow this website? It’s super motivating and calming!)

Colorful socks: I love the supporting characters in When You Were Here especially Kana (the daughter of the landlord in  Tokyo). She becomes Danny’s friend and tour guide, and is such a vibrant character. I loved her outgoing personality (all of her clothes), how important Danny’s mom was to her, and how she was determined to make her own plans when high school was over. Their partnership was great to watch unfold. (ha! That’s a punny joke about socks… almost.)

Green tea:  The Japanese teahouse is one of Danny’s main destinations when he gets to Tokyo. He knows his mom spent a lot of time there, and he wants to know why. Did she think that the tea would cure her? Jasmine green tea is one of my favorites. It’s super relaxing and tastes nice on a cold morning.

Lilacs: When I was young, our neighbor used to have a lilac bush and I was obsessed with the smell. It’s still one of my favorites, and I’m not even a fan of flowers much. Danny’s mom LOVED lilacs. The smell, the look, everything and he is constantly reminded of her when he comes in contact with them.

Stationary: When I visited Magan in Texas, we talked a lot about how nice it is to receive a handwritten card from friends every now and then. It’s so true. Notes are very sentimental to Danny’s mom, and also help him to piece together what Danny wants to find out about his mom when he’s visiting Tokyo. (I also love PaperSource. This website is full of the cutest things.)

Dog Magnets: Talk about man’s best friend. Danny’s dog, Sandy Koulfax, is one of the best animal characters in a book I’ve ever read. It’s true. The connection between them was depicted so realistically, and I could just tell how much they loved each other. I could not put together this gift pack without mention good old Sandy K. (Who was a big help in finding ladies for Danny’s friends too.)

Be sure to add When You Were Here to your Goodreads account, check out Magan’s review, or go and buy it already. This book is perfect to read during the summer because it’s about those months after graduation and before Danny jumps into college — such an important time of self-discovery, especially as he mourns the loss of his mom. Whitney has written such a touching, genuine, and surprisingly fast-paced story with brilliant supporting characters and a lot of heart. (I read it in a day if that tells you anything.)

Thanks for following today + be sure to check out what Ginger and Tara are up to for Sweet Summertime Reads!

July 25, 2014 - 4:08 am

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August 28, 2013 - 11:48 am

Alexa Y. - This gift pack is the perfect mix of eclectic and awesome! I really like it a lot. It also makes me want to read When You Were Here even more than I already do. GAH. Why do I not have a copy here with me right now? So glad you enjoyed it!

August 20, 2013 - 10:16 pm

ShootingStarsMag - Love this post! I haven’t read the book, but I’m glad you enjoyed it. I randomly try and find gift items that I feel fit a novel I’ve read so people can put them together for an awesome gift. It’s fun to see that others are doing the same and it makes me want to read certain books even more!

August 20, 2013 - 8:15 pm

Bookworm1858 - This book is on my list-love a good male protagonist and seeing which items you selected and why.

August 20, 2013 - 5:57 pm

elena - love this!!! as soon as i saw this post, i was like I AM GOING TO READ IT but then i took a nap instead. perhaps i’ll read it after commenting now!! love your story about lilacs. 🙂

August 20, 2013 - 4:04 pm

Ginger @ GReads! - This book was on my “summer reading list” & I have yet to read it! And the summer is almost over! I should rectify this sooner, rather than later. I have a feeling it will be something I enjoy.

Super cute post Estelle!

August 20, 2013 - 2:38 pm

Bonnie - hahaha! I LOVE those earrings, they are extremely quirky.

August 20, 2013 - 2:17 pm

Annie - I’m happy you liked this book Estelle! I love the fact that it’s set in Tokyo. I’m always a big fan of foreign settings and Tokyo (or really anywhere in Asia) isn’t common in books.

I also love that the main character is a male! I don’t remember the last time a book I read had a guy as the MC so that is really great!

Super happy to see a themed gift pack! I’ve missed these! 🙂 And that the sushi earrings are lovely!

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