Early Book Review: When by Victoria Laurie

When by Victoria Laurie is a young adult novel that is currently schedule for release on January 13th 2015. Maddie Fynn is a shy high school junior, cursed the intuitive ability to see the death date of every person she sees in person or in a photo. 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?

When is a book that I wanted to love, because Laurie’s adult romantic mysteries are great fun. I was not disappointed, in the major characters, plot, and feel of the book. I was a little surprised at the amount of moments that had me holding my breath in dread. Maddie is a character that makes you care about her. She has been through so much, and struggles to be self sufficient and independent at all times. Her best friend is on the fringes as well, and they share a bond that is unbreakable even under the worst conditions. There were just so many subtle set ups for the big twists in the story that I was honestly taken by surprise with a couple. That is always a nice surprise, especially when you are already familiar with the writer’s style and quirks.  I think mature middle grade readers, young adults, and adult readers can all lose themselves in the story. I will admit that I found the end to be a little too well wrapped up, a little too perfect, but there is room for more in the future.

I would recommend When to readers that like strong characters, a mystery or suspense filled story that takes you by surprise, and some serious family drama. There is an element of police procedure and investigation as well. I think anyone that likes a book that keeps you enthralled in the action and thinking about what might happen next will appreciate this new novel.


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