Jan 5, 2015

ARC 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?

I received this ARC for review from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, I was in no way compensated for this review.

Victoria Roberts' debut YA read, When, takes psychic abilities to a different level! Abby gets the psychic vibes and feels almost naturally, but Maddie here has a different sort of talent. She can see the death date on a person's forehead, living or dead, actual person or photo...and that's it. She can't see how they will die or anything else that could help said person, just tells them their date. 

When was a pretty intriguing read, though I will admit, at times things seemed a little slow. What Maddie does is the only source of "weird" in the book, which isn't so much of an issue, but when she decides to stop reading people, that kind of puts a damper on the pacing. For the longest time, Maddie has been charging people to tell them their death date or that of their loved ones. It was her mother's idea, mostly because she needs the extra cash to buy booze.

Maddie has a hard-knocked life to say the least, her mother has been turning to the bottle ever since her father's death a couple of years ago. And when Maddie reads the date of a young boy, a date that is fast approaching versus years into the future, she tries to warn the boy's mother and chaos ensues from it. And then when the day comes and the boy goes missing, Maddie finds herself in the middle of an FBI investigation!

I will admit, that the mystery element was incredible! And I also have to admit, that I really didn't suspect the murderer. I may have gave a passing thought to it, but then another "suspect" came up and I was positive of the who-dun-it and was wrong! And really, being wrong is just as fun as being right, because when you're wrong, you totally don't see who the real villain is and makes it all the more thrilling when it gets revealed!

I was kind of amazed with Maddie's character. Yet again, we have the not oh-so-popular type, and her one friend Stubby is her rock through it all. He tries to help her out and just be there for her. There's no romance between them though. But there's a lot of bullying in this one once the case gets underway and I was amazed at Maddie's strength. She's a fighter, but anyone can only take so much hate for so long.

One teeny, tiny complaint I had was the love interest that the description hints at. Maddie does have a crush and has an encounter or two with him. But that's it. He wasn't around for much. Though the ending does bring this up again, which I liked how it was twisted in. I guess I was just kind of hoping the crush would be around more then he was. Which again, wasn't very much. My one other complaint came from when there was an argument (of sorts) between Stubby and Maddie. And then a few pages later, all is well between them. It kind of left me reeling a bit. I guess I can see where Victoria was coming from with what she wrote, but then I don't know...I was just left wondering at the sudden and abrupt change in Stubby after everything.

Overall though, When was still an amazing read! I enjoyed it quite a bit despite a few little issues. And I can't be sure yet if this is a standalone or a possible series. It ends like it could be either way! I guess that's the magic of mystery series! Which reminds me of how behind on many of the other mystery series I have waiting for me! Including at the moment, one of Victoria's!

I definitely recommend When to the YA and mystery fans alike! It's a fun read with a good twisted mystery, which after all, is the best kind of mystery!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars

When releases January 13, 2015


  1. I have been quite curious abou this book. I have see it around but no reviews yet. I am glad you enjoyed it.

  2. Yay, so glad you enjoyed When, Jessica! I can't wait to try it. I love both of Victoria's adult series, so hopefully I'll love her YA books just as much :) But, oooh, I though this was going to be a stand-alone... that's interesting that the ending is a bit more open-ended. Maybe it'll go the trilogy route, as so many YA's seem to be doing these days? Either way, more books :D Never can complain about that!

  3. I'm not a huge mystery fan so I'm not sure I'll read this one... It does sound like it might have enough of a paranormal aspect to make it worthwhile though. The lack of romance gives me pause - I hate when a blurb is deceiving! That and I need a little romance in just about any book or it seems kind of empty. I'm glad you enjoyed this one though! Great review :)

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

  4. I think if I had a choice, I would definitely want to know the date instead of how I die. I feel like I would constantly be terrified of the thing if I knew how. For instance, if I knew I was going to die in a car accident, I'm not sure I would be able to get in a car again for fear. This sounds like a really fun read. I like that you didn't know who the right suspect was. It's a lot more fun to me when I guess wrong. Great review! Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven.

  5. I have seen this book before but haven't read it yet. I totally would give it a try, I love mistery so much! And this sound like a great mistery and a great read!

    Great review!!

    Giova @ Corazones Literarios


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