When by Victoria Laurie

Synopsis: 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?

Review: I’ve always loved the novels I’ve discovered by Victoria Laurie. It is true that the genre was really different, as she writes a chick-lit series with ghosts. But I was curious to see what the author could write in another genre, a paranormal YA with a thriller touch. Yes something really different.

Since her childhood, Maddie is able to see the death dates of all the people she meets or when she looks at a picture. This is a difficult gift to wear but it helps her and her mother to earn some money. Yet it is also a job that can bring many problems and the proof is with her latest client. In fact, our young heroine discovers the future death of the young son of her client and she does not believe her. Yet Maddie and her best friend are doing all they can by reminding the young woman to be careful. Unfortunately, despite their warnings, the boy is kidnapped and our girl becomes the ideal suspect. She was already considered as a witch and mocked by more than one, but now everyone thinks she is the culprit, starting with the police. When the disappearances increase and that bodies are discovered, Maddie will have to survive whatever happens to her. Trying to understand what is happening, to convince the police that she really has a gift and to avoid becoming a victim herself … Yes Maddie will have to manage a lot of things, but that’s not all because she will try to avoid abuse in schools or bad people attention.

It’s hard to see what the girl has to go through, the police does not believe in her gift and is convinced that she is the culprit. She is 16 years old but has to manage verbal attacks, accusations and even the police attention toward her best friend. I was very curious to find out who was the culprit and I confess that I did not see it coming. I was very surprised to learn about his identity at the end of history. Surprised also about the identity of Aidan, the boy for whom she has a weakness. So yes I had a great time with this novel. It was interesting to discover Maddie, to see her love for her alcoholic mother, or even the indispensable help of his uncle who loves her more than anything and who wished to take her to live with him.

In conclusion, it was a good discovery, even if it is true that I had already read something like this. I loved to monitor the investigation of these disappearances and I am curious to read more now if we have a second novel.



24 thoughts on “When by Victoria Laurie

  1. Sounds like its the best of both contemporary and fantasy world with the human element making for such a compelling story and Maddie’s ability the catalyst of things. i would be creeped out, in case I meet her, I would NOT want to know what my death date is.

  2. Oh wow, it doesn’t sound like something I would randomly pick – usually, I go for fantasy books – but there seems to be elements to enjoy in it, so…why not, right? And I believe it is going to be published in 2015 and, since I’m looking forward to reading as many of those as I can, I might try this one. Great review!!

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