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 by Jo Knowles X
See You at Harry's by Jo Knowles
  • 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

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    by Atia Abawi

    When you're a refugee, everyone has lost, at least for the time being... And the journey ...

  • Book Jacket: Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano
    Munich matron and self-described worldly sophisticate, Isolde Oberreiter, has decided to retire to a...
  • Book Jacket: Eat the Apple
    Eat the Apple
    by Matt Young
    Truth is stranger than fiction. Matt Young's memoir tackles the space in between truth and ...
  • Book Jacket: Educated
    by Tara Westover
    Tara Westover had the kind of upbringing most of us can only imagine. She was the youngest of seven ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The House of Broken Angels
    by Luis Alberto Urrea

    The definitive Mexican-American immigrant story from an acclaimed storyteller.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano

    A charming, bighearted novel starring Auntie Poldi, Sicily's newest amateur sleuth.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Balcony

The Balcony
by Jane Delury

A century-spanning novel-in-stories of a French village brimming with compassion, natural beauty, and unmistakable humanity.


Word Play

Sorry, we do not currently have an active wordplay!

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.