Thursday, November 20, 2014

Review: When by Victoria Laurie


Maddie Fynn is a shy high school junior, cursed with an eerie intuitive ability: she sees a series of unique digits hovering above the foreheads of each person she encounters. Her earliest memories are marked by these numbers, but it takes her father’s premature death for Maddie and her family to realize that these mysterious digits are actually death dates, and just like birthdays, everyone has one.

Forced by her alcoholic mother to use her ability to make extra money, Maddie identifies the quickly approaching death date of one client's young son, but because her ability only allows her to see the when and not the how, she’s unable to offer any more insight. When the boy goes missing on that exact date, law enforcement turns to Maddie.

Soon, Maddie is entangled in a homicide investigation, and more young people disappear and are later found murdered. A suspect for the investigation, a target for the murderer, and attracting the attentions of a mysterious young admirer who may be connected to it all, Maddie's whole existence is about to be turned upside down. Can she right things before it's too late?

Publication Date: January 15, 2015

When was a good book with an interesting premise: Maddie has visions of a person’s death date. She doesn’t know the how or why, just that the date could be weeks in the future or years. With her family struggling, she begins using her gift for profit and finds herself embroiled in a murder investigation.

There were several interesting concepts raised by the book. Maddie had to face the dilemma over whether or not she should tell a person his or her death date. It was also interesting to see the ways a person handled the news of when his or her death would take place.

I liked the characters, but they felt very young at times. I don’t usually find this is an issue in most YA books I read, but I think this novel would appeal more to younger teens. There is a hint of romance, but the love interest doesn’t become central in the plot. I though Maddie had a sweet friendship with her best friend Stubby, but I had a hard time getting pass his name (I had a cat named Stubby growing up).

Although the characters seemed youngish, the plot wasn’t exactly childish. The murders were pretty gruesome and I thought the suspense was well done in the novel. I could also feel Maddie’s anxiety over her abilities making her the subject of a FBI investigation.

Fans of YA contemporaries with a paranormal twist will enjoy When.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel for review!


  1. Ooh nice review! I am so excited to read this myself! I have it waiting on my kindle! I love Victoria's adult mystery series, so I am eager to see her take on the YA genre! Great review!

  2. I am intrigued by the death date idea. I think it would be worse to know your death date, but then again maybe you would really live your life to the fullest if you knew your death date. I can't decide. Thanks for the review. :)

  3. Awesome review. Sounds like a crazy read :) Thanks for sharing, and I'm glad you ended up with something you enjoyed! WRITE ON!