5 January 2015

When by Victoria Laurie

When by Victoria Laurie
Series: No
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: January 13th 2015
Source: Disney-Hyperion [Netgalley]

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?

Maddie Fynn has been able to see peoples death dates for as long as she can remember. She never understood what the numbers meant when she was younger. Maddie predicted her father's death and when her father died on that date, she realised what the numbers meant. Her mother suffered after father's death and Maddie basically takes care of them both. Maddie's mother persuades her to use her ability to earn them extra money, so Maddie begins charging people to tell them their death dates. When Maddie predicts the death of one of her clients children, the clients dismisses it. But when the boy goes missing and turns up dead, all evidence points to Maddie. As the murders escalate and more evidence piles up against Maddie, she must try to figure out who the real murderer is before she's framed for something she didn't do.

Maddie was an alright character. I didn't fully connect with her, but I did like her. I felt really sorry for Maddie. Her home situation isn't perfect and she gets bullied at school because of her ability - everyone thinks she's a witch. Throughout the book, Maddie's bullying escalates and even the teachers weren't doing anything to stop it - which was horrible. Maddie is an intelligent, sweet, shy and guilt-ridden character. She wishes she understood her power more and wonders whether she could prevent someone's death. She just wants to help people/

Maddie's best friend Stubby is a sweet and caring. He tries to help Maddie warn the people with early death dates, but ends up making the situation worse for himself and Maddie. 

I really enjoyed the whole mystery aspect of When. I never guessed any of the twists that Laurie threw at me! Laurie kept on my toes wondering who the killer was and whether Maddie or Stubby would actually go down for the murders. She had be constantly questioning the characters and wondering whether they could have something to do with it. There were quite a few murderer suspects and I would never have guessed who the killer was. I had a fair idea, but I was totally wrong. The fed's were pretty hard on the both Maddie and Stubby, which actually made me wonder whether people are really treated like that in real life, because it was pretty awful. Maddie's home situation - her mother's drinking problem. Relationship between Maddie and her mother. Maddie's home life was a main part of the storyline line too. Her mother went off the rails when her father died, and Maddie has basically been taking care of herself. I was really hoping for Maddie's sake that her mother would get help and try to work towards fixing her drinking problem. 

The ending was definitely a well deserved happy ending for Maddie. Deserves to be happy after everything she's been through, so the end left me with a smile on my face.

Overall, When was a really enjoyable book. The storyline constantly keeps you guessing and wondering what's going to happen, and Laurie throws a love of curve-balls to throw you off the trail. When kept me guessing until the very end. A great book to start off 2015!


  1. I love when a book keeps me guessing and ends up surprising me in the end! Glad to hear you enjoyed this one Samantha!

    1. I was totally convinced I knew exactly who it was - and I was wrong! I love it when that happens since usually mysteries are pretty predictable! It was really enjoyable.

  2. I read that Numbers trilogy that was the exact same thing; she could see the date of deaths. Although it was a different story where she saw a lot of people with the same number, so obviously something big was going to happen.
    3* isn't bad. At least you kept you on your toes. Decent start to the year.
    Happy reading!

    1. I always meant to read that series. I had the first book at one point, but I think I gave it to charity since it sat on my bookcase for over 2 year un-read. When was actually pretty good. There's nothing like that in it, it's more about murder and trying to clear her name. I think you might like it :)