Monday, November 10, 2014

Review: When by Victoria Laurie

Title: When
Publisher: Hyperion
Publication Date: January 13, 2015

"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
" (Goodreads)

I got the book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Honestly... I liked the book.

Maddie is our protagonist and for her entire life, she's been seeing number over people heads (or on there foreheads, I really don't know). When she's like four her dad begins to teach her her numbers and she stars reciting the numbers over his head and even draws a picture of her entire family with the dates over their heads. It turns out that the dates, are the dates that people are going to die, as she learns when her father is killed. So, flashforward, Maddie and her family have moved out of the city, her mother is a pretty serious alcoholic, and her uncle, her fathers brother, does what he can, but he lives in the city so he isn't there all the time. Because their mom drinks up a long of the money, she makes Maddie tell people their death dates, kind of like she's a fortune teller, for money. It backfires one day when Maddie tells a woman that her son is going to die the next week. The boy is kidnapped, then found dead on the day Maddie predicted. The boys mother blames Maddie for it, and all of this poor girls problems begin as the cops begin hounding her and even go so far as to arrest her best friend. It's all pretty rough. She wasn't the most popular girl in school before that, but she's even beat up by two guys in a hall when the whole town thinks that she's a killer. Personally I never understood any of that because if I thought someone was a killer or a witch or basically anyone who could hurt me, I'd make it my life's mission to leave them the heck alone, but whatever.

I like Maddie well enough. I felt for her, she was in a rough spot, she was trying to user her ability to help people and it back fired big time, but I have to say that I didn't really connect with her. I'm not sure what was missing, but I wasn't feeling it. As a rule of thumb I always know that I'm going to like stronger characters. I like the girls who talk back, don't take crap, and refuse to let people walk all over them. Granted, Maddie's situation was pretty intense, she was looking at jail time, so realistically I don't know. I have to say though, as soon as the cops became involved I would have forced them to show me random pictures of people that had died so I could tell them the death dates, I was really annoyed that it took her so long to do that, but I guess if she did the story would have been less exciting. I'm not sure what else to say other than that I wish I could have connect more to Maddie.

Oh and one last thing. The description says that she attracts the attention of a young admirer who may be at the center of it all. Very misleading. The guys name is Aiden, and we see him three times in the book, once in the beginning, for three paragraphs in the middle, and for a half a page at the end. She thinks he may be involved for a second somewhere in the middle, but even Maddie disregards the thought. I would have rathered he not be mentioned at all because I kept waiting for something that never happened

All in all, I was very entertained by the book, I will suggest it to my readers when it books comes out, but I doubt I'll be reading it again.


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