Excerpt from See You at Harry's by Jo Knowles, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

See You at Harry's

by Jo Knowles

See You at Harry's
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2012, 0 pages
    Aug 2013, 320 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Smith

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

“Sure, sure, sure,” my dad says. “ Right this way.” We all follow him into the restaurant, which is half empty. Right away I can tell my dad has planted “customers”— our regular employees and their kids or little sisters and brothers. They all say hi to my dad like he’s a local hero, though I notice none of them call him by his real name.

My dad never corrects people when they call him Harry. He says it’s good for business because people like to think they’re talking to the guy the restaurant is named after (who was actually my grandfather). I’m pretty sure this drives my mom a little nuts, but she doesn’t say anything. My mom almost never yells or gets upset. Whenever she looks like she might start to lose it, she heads up to my dad’s stuffy office and shuts the door so she can meditate. There’s a sign on the door that she flips around before she closes and locks it. On one side, it says, Please knock. On the other, it says, Mom is finding her inner peace. Come back later. I’m not really sure what would happen if we interrupted her during meditation, and I don’t really want to find out.

Charlie follows Eric around for the next hour while he films people eating burgers and licking ice- cream cones. Sara, Holden, and I sit at one of the booths. “I can’t believe this,” Sara says for like the hundredth time as we watch the film crew. “Thank God I’m out of high school. I would never live this one down.”

“Oh, thanks a lot,” Holden says. “I’m just starting!

I have enough stacked against me already. Now this?” “What do you mean?” I ask.

“Just forget it.”

But I think I know.

I lean back in the booth and sigh. “We’re doomed,” I say.

Sara shakes her head. She doesn’t even bother to try to cheer us up because she knows we’re right.

The bell on the front door tinkles, and Random Smith walks in. He’s wearing a T- shirt that says glow on it, and I wonder what it’s supposed to mean. Ran is always wearing T- shirts with sayings on them that don’t quite make sense to me. Last year, he gave me one for my birthday that said real. I think he was upset that I never wore it. I smile at him as he comes up to the table and waves the way he always does — elbow at his waist, hand swishing back and forth like a windshield wiper. Like a robot.

“Hey, Fern,” he says.

“Hey, Ran.” When I slide over, the back of my thighs stick to the red vinyl seat and make a disgusting sound. Honestly, could my life get any more embarrassing?

A few things about Ran have changed since our days of swapping germs:

1. His mom, who was really sick from cancer back then, won her battle, and she and Ran’s dad started an online T- shirt company that makes a ton of money.

2. Ran shaved his head when his mom lost all her hair from chemotherapy, and he just decided he liked being bald. So now his head is shaved really close. I don’t think most people could pull this off, but Ran is a very no- nonsense kind of person, and he doesn’t really care what other people think. Also, it actually looks pretty good.

3. Despite his weirdness, Ran became my best friend. With his mom all better, he also stopped being so messy and sick all the time, which is a good thing, because being his best friend meant I was sick almost just as much.

Sara winks at me and I blush.

“What’s going on?” Ran asks, taking in the scene. “My dad is ending our lives as we know it,” I say. “TV commercial,” Holden explains.

Ran cringes just as Charlie comes racing across the room and hugs him.

Excerpted from See You at Harry's by Jo Knowles. Copyright © 2012 by Jo Knowles. Excerpted by permission of Candlewick Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  The Real Harry's

Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Marriage of Opposites
    by Alice Hoffman
    Alice Hoffman's latest work, The Marriage of Opposites, is a historical fiction novel focusing on ...
  • Book Jacket: Miss Jane
    Miss Jane
    by Brad Watson
    National Book Award Finalist Brad Watson returns with an intimate novel about one woman's journey to...
  • Book Jacket: Dinner with Edward
    Dinner with Edward
    by Isabel Vincent
    In late 2009 Isabel Vincent and her family were still newcomers to New York City. She and her ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Since She Went Away
    by David Bell

    A chilling novel of guilt, regret, and a past which refuses to die...

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Secret Language of Stones
    by M. J. Rose

    "A fantastic historical tale of war, love, loss and intrigue."
    – Melanie Benjamin

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Sweet Caress
by William Boyd

William Boyd's Sweet Caress captures an entire lifetime unforgettably within its pages. It captivates.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Summer Stunner
Summer Giveaway

Win 5 books, each week in July!


Word Play

Solve this clue:

W M T N, W C F All

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


BookBrowse Summer Giveaway

We're giving away
5 books every
week in July!