Thursday, January 21, 2016

Review: When by Victoria Laurie

Book Blurb:

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?

My Review:

4 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: Mystery, Supernatural, Teen--

Maddy has always been able to see numbers on people’s foreheads, but wasn’t sure what they meant until the day her father died. Since then, Maddy does all that she can to keep her mom afloat from her depression and grief by doing death day readings for clients. When a client shows up, Maddy gives her a reading but it is on the wrong child and causes the woman to scorn her and her “gift”. That is until something happens, making Maddy a suspect.

I have read some other books by the author in her adult paranormal mystery series and found them to be interesting, fun and quirky, so I was excited when I saw she had written a teen book. This was a very good mystery story, but it was surprisingly dark, full of death, depression and sorrow. That may be a stupid comment for me to make considering that the premise of the story focuses on a girl who can see people’s death dates, but I honestly expected something a little lighter. That being said, I found the book to be really engaging and entertaining. And the most shocking part was how hopeful I found the book to be as well.

Maddy has had it rough pretty much since she was five years old. She lost her father and had to step up to be the parent to her mother who spiraled out of control from depression and alcoholism. Everyday she sees death, she is so immersed in it that it smothers the life out of her. She really has a terrible time in this book, being seen as an outcast with almost no friends and is bullied physically and emotionally. She takes care of her alcoholic mother who spends all the money Maddy makes doing death readings on booze and I just wanted to wrap her up and take her away. Every time her uncle asked her to move to the city with him, I wanted her to run away from her life as fast as possible and move in with him. I did love the relationships she develops with the most random of people, like the neighbor and the agent, they helped to make the book less full of despair.

Overall this was a really unique paranormal mystery and I would like to see the author write more like this. The book presented so many very possible suspects for me to rummage through and doubt was cast on almost all the side characters in the story, but I did figure out the killer about 3/4 of the way into the book. It was not in your face obvious, it had just been someone that had taken hold in my mind so I was not surprised by the outcome. I feel like the story wrapped up nicely so I don't really want a sequel or a series from this, it was a good complete story, but I would like more paranormal teen mysteries to come. I look forward to seeing what the author makes next.

I received the title from the publisher in return for my honest review.

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