4.7 34
by Victoria Laurie

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Maddie doesn't have a choice. The forehead of every person she sees is marked by the shadowy digits of their deathdate. Her unique, innate skill often feels more like a curse than a gift, and Maddie grudgingly puts it to use identifying deathdates for the paying customers her mother reels in. It seems like a straightforward way to help support her family-until one


Maddie doesn't have a choice. The forehead of every person she sees is marked by the shadowy digits of their deathdate. Her unique, innate skill often feels more like a curse than a gift, and Maddie grudgingly puts it to use identifying deathdates for the paying customers her mother reels in. It seems like a straightforward way to help support her family-until one client's young son goes missing on the exact date Maddie has pinpointed, and she gets pulled into a homicide investigation that turns her world upside down.

As more young people disappear and are later found murdered, suspicion swirls around Maddie. At once a suspect in the investigation, a target for the murderer, and a partner in a tantalizing dance with a boy who might be connected to it all, could Maddie also hold the key to cracking the case?

This perfectly plotted high-stakes, fast-paced thriller marks New York Times best-selling author Victoria Laurie's YA debut and brims with depth, heart, action, and romance.

Praise for When "

Laurie's debut for teens is quite an accomplishment...The character development is just as riveting as the plot in this well-constructed thriller."
-Kirkus Reviews"

The novel packs in plenty of fast-paced, nail-biting fun, perfect for fans of Barnes' The Naturals series."
-Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books"

This excellent book is a must-have for all libraries, especially where suspense and teen-life fiction is hot. This novel will provide crossover appeal to both older teens and adults."

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Laurie's debut for teens is quite an accomplishment...The character development is just as riveting as the plot in this well-constructed thriller."—Kirkus Reviews"

This excellent book is a must-have for all libraries, especially where suspense and teen-life fiction is hot. This novel will provide crossover appeal to both older teens and adults."—VOYA"

The novel packs in plenty of fast-paced, nail-biting fun, perfect for fans of Barnes' The Naturals series."—Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books

VOYA, February 2015 (Vol. 37, No. 6) - Karen Sykeny
When Maddie was four years old, she discovered that she could see something strange: numbers on foreheads. When she was six years old, she learned that those numbers were death dates. When Maddie is sixteen, her mother is struggling with alcohol addiction and Maddie performs readings for people. When a rich woman comes to her about her daughter, Maddie sees a photo of the woman’s son with a date for next week. Maddie tries to tell the woman her daughter will be fine but that her son is in danger and will soon die. The woman leaves very angry. Maddie and best friend Stubby try calling the woman again, but she threatens them with police action. When the woman’s son goes missing and is found gruesomely murdered, Maddie and Stubby are hauled in for questioning by the FBI. Maddie must do all she can to convince the FBI of her powers and help solve the crime before she becomes the next victim. This paranormal mystery quickly introduces characters’ backgrounds and proceeds directly to solving the crime, with lots of intrigue and suspense. The intense description of tough social life in high school for the odd teen outsider is perfect and even shocking at times. The supportive friendship between Maddie and Stubby, and whether they or their friendship will survive, is engrossing. This excellent book is a must-have for all libraries, especially where suspense and teen-life fiction is hot. This novel will provide crossover appeal to both older teens and adults. Reviewer: Karen Sykeny; Ages 12 to 18.
Children's Literature - Magi Evans
Maddie Fynn knew from early on that she could see numbers on people’s foreheads. But it was not until her policeman father died in a shootout that she and her family understood that the numbers she was seeing reflected the date that the person would die. Still, even now at age sixteen, the how, when, or why eludes her. And though she would like to warn people of their impending death, it appears there is no way to change it anyway. Forced by her alcoholic mother to reveal people’s death dates for a fee, Maddie is bullied at school because of this odd ability. Then Maddie reveals to a client that her son’s death date is a week away, and when the boy is discovered tortured and murdered on the date that Maddie predicted, the FBI focuses its investigation on Maddie and her longtime friend, Stubby. Maddie and Stubby next try to warn another teen who is subsequently killed in the same way, and Stubby is arrested. It is up to Maddie to prove that her ability is not a hoax, to save Stubby, and ultimately to save herself as the killer closes in, and the author throws in a twist that will hit readers in the gut. This book is at first eerily reminiscent of Rachel Ward’s “Numbers” trilogy, but even fans of Ward’s books will appreciate the differences in plot, along with realistic high school drama and the hint of romance in this fascinating thriller. Reviewer: Magi Evans; Ages 12 up.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Maddie has always seen the date people will die, but does not realize what she is seeing until one day, in first grade, her father is killed on a date she told him about two years prior. The tragedy sends Maddie's life spinning out of control: her mother can no longer function without alcohol, they leave the city to live in a small community, Maddie's ability challenges her facility to make friends, and her mother cannot hold down a job. They survive on her father's wrongful death settlement. Maddie, now 16, also makes ends meet by charging a small fee to tell people their death dates. A mother comes for a reading for her youngest son, but Maddie notices that the woman's older son will die in a week instead. The customer accuses Maddie of fraud. When the older boy goes missing a week later, FBI agents show up at the protagonist's school because they suspect Maddie and her best friend, Stubby, of foul play. Soon, more children go missing and turn up dead. This fast-paced story is a little far-fetched: the FBI agents arrest and badly beat Stubby, Maddie suffers unbelievable bullying from classmates and school administrators, all while her mother goes on drinking. At times, the teen seems younger than her years. The plot is filled with false turns, which will keep readers engaged until the surprising ending.—Lisa Nabel, Dayton Metro Library, OH
Kirkus Reviews
If you could know the date of your death, would you? For Maddie, there's no choice: For her whole life, she's had the ability to see the date of anyone's death, hovering just over the forehead. But her gift hasn't helped her much—it didn't prevent her police-officer father from being killed in the line of duty, and it hasn't stopped her grief-stricken mother from descending into alcoholism. Now, Maddie does her best to blend in, uses her ability to make some extra money for herself and her mother, and spends time with her best friend, Stubs. But then a client's son disappears and is later found dead on the date that Maddie predicted he would die. Suspicion falls squarely on Maddie, especially when another teenager is murdered in similar fashion—and Stubs becomes caught up in the investigation too. The tension inexorably mounts as Maddie faces heartbreaking choices. Readers will root for Maddie not only to find the killer, but to gain a little happiness, too. Laurie's debut for teens is quite an accomplishment: Maddie's voice rings true, and her character development is handled well. Some adult characters are less well-rounded, yet the compelling plot overcomes these flaws. The character development is just as riveting as the plot in this well-constructed thriller. (Paranormal thriller. 12-18)

Product Details

Disney Press
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Victoria Laurie is the New York Times best-selling author of the critically acclaimed YA thriller When and the upcoming Forever, Again. She also writes extensively for the adult paranormal mystery genre. She currently lives and works in a quaint little suburb in Michigan where she provides food, love, and shelter to a lippy parrot named Doc and a ginger-colored pup named Ember. To find out more about her and her books, please visit victorialaurie.com.

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When 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
BookLoversLife1 More than 1 year ago
Could you imagine if every time you looked at someone you could see the date they will die!! Well that's what Maddie sees. Every time she looks at someone she sees their death date and it never changes. She can even see the dates on a picture. When her father passes, her mother starts drinking and its up to Maddie to look after her. Her mother gets her to "read" for people and tell them their dates if they ask. One day at a normal reading a mother ask Maddie to read for her sick daughter. Maddie does but as the mother is putting away the picture Maddie catches a glance of the womans' son.  She grabs the picture and cant help but tell the mother that the little boys date is next week. The woman gets angry and calls her a fraud. Maddie tells her best friend Stubby about the reading and they try once more to tell the woman that her son is in danger. The woman takes it as a treat and threatens to call the police.   The next week Maddie sees on the news that the little boy is dead and feels terrible sadness. She goes to school only to be called to the principles office soon after. She arrives and is introduced to 2 FBI agents. From that moment on Maddie and Stubbys life is thrown into turmoil. Both of them are the main suspect in the killings and Maddie knows she needs to tell them of her gift, but will this just make it worse??  I absolutely loved this book! When I first read the synopsis I was sufficiently intrigued enough to add it to my list and I was so happy when I got an advanced copy to review. Well I flew through When and devoured it. I loved Maddie. Her story broke my heart. Her dad is dead and her mother an alcoholic and she is left to be the adult. Its hard enough to deal with knowing when everyone is going to die, but to do it for money is so hard for her. She feels overwhelmed and upset so much that her only release is to write the death dates down in her diary. Every single person in her school thinks she is a freak except for her friend Stubby. He is her rock through everything. Maddie is a quiet, kind and nice girl. She is sensible, determined and loyal and I loved her character.  I loved the idea of When as well. The idea of seeing everyones death date is frightening but intriguing also. I don't know if I'd want to know when mine would be but in a way I'd also like to know so that I was prepared. Poor Maddie has a hard thing to live with and I don't envy her because she is bullied because of it, both from kids and adults.  Overall When was a suspenseful and intriguing read. It hooked me from the start and I flew through the pages eager to see what happened next. I think at one stage or another I suspected every character, including the FBI! I loved the little twist at the end and didn't see it coming. From the well written characters to the tense plot When is a must read and one that I've no problem recommending to everyone. 
PiecesofWhimsy More than 1 year ago
I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting a whole lot when I started this book. I thought it sounded like an interesting story idea, but I wasn't sure how it would all come together. .. it came together very well! I was pleasantly surprised by the story and characters and once I started, I could not stop reading! When centres around Maddie, a young girl with the ability to see people's 'death dates'; the day they are going to die. This leads to all sorts of trouble when a boy whose death date she predicted turns up murdered and Maddie becomes the lead suspect in his murder investigation. The mystery and characters in When are just fantastic! Everyone has their own depth and story and each character has their own voice. And there were so many different connections and cross-overs between events and characters which made the story all the more enjoyable. Now, as for the mystery.. that was just really clever. I thought I had everything figured out then another piece of evidence would turn up, or something else would be uncovered and I would change my mind, still completely sure I had it right. I didn't. This story led me on a merry chase and I loved that things were never as straight forward as they seemed. I love a book that throws surprises my way and always keeps me guessing, and When definitely delivered on that front! When is a really compelling read. Victoria Laurie did a fantastic job of crafting an emotional, page-turning read, with a thrilling mystery plot that always kept me guessing. This is a great read for mystery lovers, and for anyone who enjoys compelling YA stories! *I received a copy of this book free in exchange for my honest review*
lkizzle More than 1 year ago
Fantastic book! Read in one night, could not put it down.
Anonymous 8 months ago
This book was amazing! I loved the writing style. It flowed very nicely. The reason I bought this book was because the initial idea of a person seeing deathdates interested me, but I wasn't expecting a very compelling or thought out plot. I was very wrong. After each chapter I felt a need to keep reading in order to find out what was going to happen next. There is a bit of a mystery built into the story that I would have never hace guessed the outcome of. This was such a fantastic book.
Alleeekaa More than 1 year ago
I just recently finished reading this book and WOAH! "When" totally ROCKED! Let me put this in perspective for you… I had me on board right from the start I guess the best part about When was how freaking thrilling and un-put-downable it was! I had no idea who the killer was and the book kept me guessing constantly. There were SO many twists and turns! Every time I thought we’d figured out who the killer was, there’d be another awesome twist that changed everything. I loved it! It was awesome how the author even made me start to doubt Maddie’s best friend. To make things even better, When had no romance. I know, usually you don’t hear me say that like it’s a good thing, but in this book it was a good thing. The lack of romance let the mystery/thriller parts of the book completely dominate, as it should have. There is a little bit of a high school crush in When but it doesn’t play a bit role at all. It’s basically just mentioned in the beginning, in the middle, then again at the end. It tied the story together perfectly, without turning it into a romance. I’ll admit I was worried at first when I read this at the beginning: “I’d never spoken to him, and I’d only see him a handful of times each year when his high school played against mine, but each time I felt inexplicably drawn to him. It was as if I knew him. As if I’d always known him.” I was like “noooo" But thankfully, it basically ends there. It’s just a crush. It doesn’t become this book-long insta-love romance thing. Phew. It turned out just fine. Crisis averted. Overall, When was a fantastic read and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved it. Huge props to the author for pulling me out of my mini slump. It’s books like this that make me fall in love with reading again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book really kept me fixated. I haven't felt the need to finish a book as soon as possible in a long time. This one is a must read.
Alexander Poblano More than 1 year ago
When I first got into this book everybody at school would ask me what I was reading, when I told them I felt like such a huge chick which personally is not a bad thing at all because I really enjoyed reading this book despite all the sexist comments I would get from people. KUDOS TO ME SUCKERS!! Haha... Back to the book. Well by the end of the book I really had a strong bond with Maddie and so much respect for her due to the fact that she was a very independent character, but yet she was still very charming. This made me not put the book down for hours!!! I recommend this book to anybody who is interested in anything in the mystery sub-genre. THIS IS A REALLY GOOD BOOK I WAS AMAZED!!
gaele More than 1 year ago
So, we all have those moments of “what if I could ____” and Victoria Laurie takes it one step further by bringing  us Maddie: a girl who CAN see things, more specifically the date that everyone she encounters will die.  A little  creepy, with plenty of fuel for thought this story is unique as a stand-alone, and from the perspective of a 15 year old girl.   Maddie is struggling with life as it presents to her: her father died when she was young, and her mother is embroiled in her own battles with alcoholism. The mother-daughter relationship was tackled head on, with a clear depiction of what Maddie deals with at home.  Her best friend Stubby is supportive and a small break from  the everyday hassles that seem to keep Maddie on the edge. But, her ‘gift’ is only a series of dates: she never knows the how. So when a disappearance happens, precisely on a day Maddie knew, there is a law enforcement scramble to get Maddie’s insight.  Slowly but surely Laurie increases the tension and plot of the story as it winds on. Maddie is longing to be wrong, to have made a mistake, but it appears that will be one wish that goes unfulfilled.  Unusually for many teen reads, there is a romance that is briefly touched upon, but soon forgotten in the midst of other more  pressing concerns.   Not a teen romance, this story is far deeper and more thought-provoking, with standout characters who are simply trying to be ‘normal’ in the face of impossible odds.  While there are a few moments of ‘not quite right’ procedure with law enforcement, and a romance that was so briefly mentioned it could have been removed with no damage to the plot, this story was engaging and intriguing and sure to please readers from 12 – 17 without fail.  I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
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ladyL More than 1 year ago
I totally loved this book and it's wonderful characters. A fresh premise from an already intriging author,this go round Maddie has a unique "talent". she can see your deathdate on each and every person,living or dead,forhead.The adults who are supposedly taking care of their charges from her mom to her teachers and fbi. Only her best friend and uncle are her support system. Life is not fun for Maddie and gets less so when a series of brutal murders centers on her. With her best friend in jail what will happen to Maddie when her date has expired?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The mystery kept me guessing and the ending was amazing!!!!
COBauer More than 1 year ago
Received a copy from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. I. LOVED. This. Book!!! Couldn’t put it down. I actually read it in a single sitting. WHEN is like a YA version of The Frighteners without all the camp. I can’t think of a single thing I disliked about it. The story and characters were well fleshed out, nothing felt contrived, the pacing was perfect, and there were endless twists and turns. Victoria Laurie knows how to keep readers on the edge of their seats! Lots of feels. Crying, laughing, and all. WHEN is MUST READ! 5 well deserved stars.
PamBo56 More than 1 year ago
Victoria Laurie outdid herself with "When". The story-line is not your typical "psychic teen" concept, which makes the story interesting to read. If there is a sequel coming, I'll buy it for sure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read ALL of Victoria Laurie's book's and this one was beyond Excellent. I hope there are more young adult books as this first one was Amazballs!!!!
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
3.5     I wanted to read When because the concept of Maddie seeing the death dates really intrigued me. I am not always all over the murder mystery types but with that extra element it did grab my attention.     Maddie is a character easy to sympathize with. She sees death every time she looks at people, even a picture. From a young child she saw these numbers, and realized what it meant when her dad passed on the number, date, she'd always seen attached to him. With this, Maddie has a dilema if she should tell people about their death dates, but her mom has nudged her into it because while they have checks coming in from a wrongful death suit, her mom drinks, a lot, and that money comes from Maddie's clients as they call them, who pay for Maddie to tell them their dates.     When she tries to warn the family of a death date and that person ends up dead, she is all of the sudden in the spotlight of the FBI who looks into the disappearance and then the murder and torture of the one she tried to warn. With all eyes on her, suspicious that she did it, or had involvement in the death, her lawyer uncle tells her not to tell any more death dates. Which is understandable. But of course, another new number comes around, and she waivers on if she should warn them. She is already being questioned, she's had several bad experiences with people not believing her, and she feels guilt over her dad, and the dead teen, and she doesn't want to add to that.     I like the friendship that was spotlighted. She's been friends with the awkward but totally golden hearted Stubby (oh how I loathed that nickname-- but we can't have it all).     It was wrapped up well and my questions were answered. I would read another Laurie book again.  Bottom Line: Solid mystery, and liked the main character. 
Sarah_UK1 More than 1 year ago
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Disney Book Group and NetGalley.) This was an interesting story about a girl with a paranormal skill. Maddie was a sweet girl and I felt really sorry for her when she was accused of being involved in a child’s murder. She really didn’t deserve the treatment that she received from both the FBI and her classmates, and it really wasn’t fair on her. The storyline in this was pretty good, although I did find it a little predictable in places. The pace was a little slow for me because I wanted to know what would happen, but overall the story was good. There wasn’t really any romance in this one, but the story didn’t suffer because of it. The ending was pretty good, and I liked the way that things worked out. I was glad that Maddie got a happy ending. Overall; good paranormal YA, 7 out of 10.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a fast-paced, action-packed mystery that was filled with friendship, love, and surprise; i couldnt put it down!
jeena350 More than 1 year ago
This is a terrific read for all ages. Maddie has a gift that ends up putting her and her best friend in danger.  The FBI has her in its sites and she has to prove herself innocent of two brutal murders. This is a thrilling book and a must read for everyone.
KikiD870 More than 1 year ago
The premise of When was fantastic!  Maddie is a 16yo girl, gifted/cursed with a unique psychic ability.  She has the ability to see the death dates of people, both when she sees them and in photographs.  The dates appear as small numbers floating near the forehead.  Her gift/curse doesn't allow her to see the where's and how's of it, nor does it allow her to change anything for those people.  She sees just the date.  And she is never wrong. The mere idea of such an ability is chilling to me.  To be so incredibly immersed in death all of the time.  To be judged and ridiculed.  On one hand, the ability could bring comfort to those afraid death is near when they find out it isn't.  On the other hand, the ability can be painful, knowing that someone has only a short time left.  I can't imagine the pain of having to tell someone that they or someone they love is going to die imminently, much less having to do it over and over again. Needless to say, this has been both a gift and curse for Maddie.  She is a highly intelligent girl, but this ability has made her a bit of a social pariah.  After losing her father in a shootout, her mother turned to alcohol, leaving Maddie to care for them both from a young age.  The drinking got to such a point that Maddie was forced to provide readings for money to survive.  The idea that a mother would be so selfish as to force her daughter to do something so painful so often, simply so that she (the mother) could indulge in her booze habit was reprehensible to me.  As much as I loved Maddie, her mother drove me insane. While I loved the premise of the book and I loved Maddie, I had some issues with the realism, or lack of it, in places.  I think that is a direct result of being a lawyer's daughter and watching too many cop shows!  Less than 24 hours after her son goes missing, a mother reports him missing and suddenly the FBI is involved.  After that, things went from 0 to 60 very quickly and in ways that didn't seem realistic to me.  I don't want to give any spoilers, so I will leave it at that! My Recommendation:  Despite my issues, I enjoyed this book.  The concept is so unique and it is one that really makes you think.  What would you do if you had the same ability?  Would you tell people and risk social isolation, or would you hide it?  Can you imagine what life would be like to be so surrounded by the concept of death all the time?  How would you handle it?
kimmythegreat More than 1 year ago
**Book provided by the author for an honest review** Maddie is a teenage girl who only wants one thing, to have a normal life. Unfortunately, the universe has other plans for her. As far back as Maddie could remember, she has always been able to see everyone's death date. No one knew how important this gift would be until the day her father died. Overtaken by grief and guilt of her husband's death, Cheryl turned to booze to ease her pain while, in the process, neglecting the one and only person left in this world who loved her unconditionally, Maddie. Ever since Maddie was a budding tween, her mother has pimped her out to charge people for their death date's in order to finance her alcohol addiction, turning Maddie from child to caregiver for a useless shell of a woman she called "Ma." The only person Maddie had to turn to was her best friend, Arnold Schroder aka Stubby. Stubby was a compassionate young man for his age, and his family adored her. One day while providing a reading for a woman named Patrica Tibbolt, instead of giving her one reading on the woman's youngest child with Leukemia, she provides the date for her son, Tevon, because Tevon's date is next week! But after telling Mrs. Tibbolt, instead of being oh I don't know, grateful maybe, the witch gets pissed off and accuses Maddie of being a fraud and storms out! When Maddie tells Stubby what happened, he convinces her to try and talk to Mrs. Tibbolt one more time, thinking maybe they could save him, but that turned out to be a big mistake in more ways than one. The following week when Tevon goes missing, the FBI show up at Maddie's High School to question her about his disappearance. That's when the rumors start a flying, and soon Maddie finds herself being judged guilty of something she didn't do by her peers and teachers! This part of the story morphs into such a huge mess, way beyond what I ever imagined! I was so empathetic towards Maddie that I was binge eating potato chips like you would not believe!! Thanks Victoria! Once we are introduced to the FBI, Uncle Donny comes into play. Donny is Maddie's father's younger brother. He is a big deal lawyer- single, no kids and an absolute sweetheart when it comes to Maddie. Donny is now forced to represent Maddie because the FBI douches, Agent's Faraday and Wallace, have honed in on making Maddie's life miserable. Those two knuckleheads were like dogs with a new bone, and they were not letting Maddie go! Now that the story is in full swing, as the investigation continues, life only gets worse for Maddie and Stubby. Like Maddie's life didn't already suck, right?! Because Cheryl was using Maddie to make money, everyone in town knew about the freak show and her alcoholic mother! Maddie was picked on and made fun of by everyone at school. She had the biggest crush on a boy, named Aiden, but she never dared talk to him, or gasp go out with him in fear that he would turn on her like the others once he found out about her ability. The only reason poor Maddie never called anyone for help when she found her mother face down and passed out was because she feared that CPS would place her in a foster home. I could greatly appreciate the inner strength this young girl had with how she kept her head above water and never gave up. The story grabbed my by the heart strings and kept me fixed to the pages when Uncle Donny met with the superintendent and advocated on Maddie's behalf for all the injustice that had befallen her. I was so happy to see this third party come in and listen to Maddie's story. That's as far as I will take that statement. I also would like to add that the ending is pretty spectacular! I was totally thinking one thing, and the opposite happened, lol... I have yet to figure out "whodunit" before, so I shouldn't be surprised, but I was pretty damn surprised!! I totally loved the uniqueness of Maddie's ability, and I can honestly say that I don't have a movie reference for this one........shocker! Well done Victoria! Well done :)
V-Rundell More than 1 year ago
Maddie has a had a traumatic life. Seeing the death dates of every person she meets, or on any close-up picture she sees, is personally horrifying, but she's also forced to rely on this macabre talent in order to support herself and her alcoholic mother. She's only 16 and didn't realize the significance of those funny numbers on people's foreheads until her father's number was up. That was ten years ago and she and her mother are now limping along in a bedroom community about 90 minutes from Manhattan. When she informs a client that her son will die in the coming week, the client freaks out. Maddie attempts to call a second time, urged by her best friend "Stubby" Shroeder, to impress the seriousness of the situation--and is rebuffed, with hostility. That is, until the young boy goes missing. Only, Maddie knows he's not just missing--he's dead. The Feds are in on the case, and Maddie finds herself at the center of their investigation. Her Uncle Donny, a slick lawyer, does his best to cast suspicion away, cautioning Maddie against doing any further readings--but she inadvertently sees a local girl with a looming death date--and Stubby insists they try to help. Their interference only lands both of them in huge trouble, and the Feds are mounting a case file that could put both Maddie and Stubby in jail for a good long time. Meanwhile, Maddie fights the system, trying to prove that her "gift" is what gives her insight, as small as it is. She's got the added trouble of bullying at school, and her mother going on increasingly more dangerous benders. I honestly got chills reading about Maddie peeling her mom off one floor, or another, and putting her back to bed safely--when her mom managed to make it home. Maddie's world has become an even more frightening place as strange trucks chase her down dark streets and yet another child is kidnapped. The FBI is, at first, hostile, but Maddie fights to win their support against Uncle Donny's wishes--he's sure they're going to set her up. Proving her gift is legit is nearly as hard as proving the Tooth Fairy exists, however. Still, Maddie never gives up trying to demonstrate her (and Stubby's) innocence. Not when her mom takes a turn for the worst. Not when Stubby's the lead suspect. And not when it seems the FBI wants to name her as an accomplice to a serial murderer. It's a taut, emotional drama that moves with grace. Several suspects exist, all of whom are equally likely, keeping the reader guessing until the closing scenes. The adults are very real people, not simple characterizations. Maddie's mom is pathetic and sympathetic. Uncle Donny is a champ, and keeps the Feds from steamrolling two awesome kids. Stubby is the kind of best friend I would dream my kids find--selfless, kind and cheerful to a fault. Even the FBI agents who threaten Maddie at every turn aren't as ruthless as they first seem. I expected the ending, but that's like chocolate sprinkles on the thriller sundae. When, not if, WHEN is turned into a movie, I'm gonna get an extra large popcorn and enjoy it again. I read a review copy provided by NetGalley.
Torchwood79 More than 1 year ago
I've been sitting here thinking, my mind playing over the narrative, my hands having nothing to do since closing the book When by Victoria Laurie nearly an hour ago, trying to figure out what I want to say about the story. Let me reassure you I won't be posting any of the dreaded *spoilers* because I prefer to dive into a book as blindly as possible and find the most delight when I have no idea where that story intends to lead me and therefore I attempt to allow you the same courtesy. For this reason of surprise and absolute blindness to the direction of the story I loved this novel. It's easy to see why Warner Brothers optioned the TV rights to this story. It's utterly compelling and a fascinating idea to explore. I have been a fan of Victoria Laurie for many years now, ever since I first picked up Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye while working at Borders. In her tales I have always found incredibly vivid characters, so fully developed and so... human for lack of a better word, that they quickly become treasured friends. Laurie has led me through Hell and back as her characters endure trial after trial and are dragged through the ringer and back again and I wonder how they are going to get out of trouble this time! In When, lead character Maddie certainly has the deck stacked against her. As everything goes wrong and bad things happen at every turn, I found myself wondering if Maddie or anyone could survive in the face of such seemingly insurmountable odds. Laurie leads her through it though with grace, charm, and just a little bit of fiery determination. I see the growth and change in Maddie, and I love her for it. The characters are what truly drive this story. The insecurities, the secrets, the friendships and passions. They aren't perfect, some are incredibly flawed, but that's why they resonated so much with me. They were people I knew. They were coworkers, friends, even strangers I pass on the street. They are so utterly human. For that reason I found myself needing to keep tissues handy as they grew beyond themselves and had moments of selflessness and clarity that changed them and gave them such a fragile humanity. Anyone who reads the back of the book knows that Maddie sees the "deathdate" of anyone she sees. She can't ignore the numbers or escape them and that premise, I admit, drew me in. But this book is, like Maddie herself, so much more than her unique "gift". This book is about the challenges of high school, the struggle to fit in when you were born to stand out, the fragile friendships we share, and the friendships that run so deep that not even fate can break it. I pondered as I read if I would ask Maddie to share my "deathdate" with me, if I would want to have that knowledge. No. I don't think I could handle it. I prefer to spend each day living life to the fullest, hugging my loved ones close and being the absolute best me I can be. But how about you? Would you want to know your "deathdate"?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What can I say about this awesome book by one of my fav authors, Victoria Laurie? A lot, actually!!! She is an author that I go out of my way to know about new releases & add to my calendar to pick them up on the day they’re released. Luckily, this book was provided as an ARC by the author herself so I didn’t have to go to extreme measures to stake out my local Barnes & Noble Bookstore! I love her other two series & the Paranormal genre is right up my alley! “When” is a definite page-turner! I should have timed myself, but I’m pretty sure I finished it within 2 days. I love books that grab me like that & “When” definitely did! I loved the premise of the book & had never seen anything exactly like it before so it was very exciting to learn more about another side of someone’s unique psychic abilities. The character of Maddie was well developed, relatable & I liked her a lot. The storyline was gripping & I was not expecting her to be pulled into a more serious FBI investigation but I loved it! I really hope that Victoria Laurie has plans for future books & makes this a series because I will definitely be one of the first in line to grab it off the shelves !