When by Victoria Laurie

January 13th, 2015 kimbacaffeinate Review 71 Comments

13th Jan
When by Victoria Laurie
When
by Victoria Laurie
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Genres: Paranormal
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon
Goodreads
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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 thehow, 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?

When by Victoria Lane was an engaging paranormal with a neat concept. The protagonist has the ability to see everyone’s death dates. They hover around folks foreheads and even appear in photographs. The story shares what happens when a death she predicted ends up having her accused of foul play.

Caffeinated Aspects:

  • The premise for When is interesting and a little creepy. Imagine knowing the date everyone will die. How Maddie came to do readings was believable and immediately allowed the reader to connect. It makes you ponder the questions, “Would you want to know your end date?”
  • It is a standalone! In a sea of trilogies, series and serials it was fantastic to slip into a world and get a complete story.
  • Maddie Fynn is an interesting character who struggles with her gift and dealing with her broken home life. Despite that, she is a good kid and tries to deal with her lot in life. She longs to be wrong, which is understandable. I immediately felt a connection to Maddie, and appreciated how realistic she was portrayed.
  • Secondary characters are strong and added to the story. Stubby her best friend is both supportive and the catalyst that complicates things. The portrayal of Maddie’s mom and her disease was well done. I appreciate the way the author addressed it. From FBI agents, to the next-door neighbor Laurie gave them all unique voices and depth.
  • The pacing of the tale keeps the reader engaged as Maddie struggles to clear names and keep her home life from falling completely apart.
  • The author slowly increased the tension, with twists and turns. How people reacted as the case unfolded was realistic and a painful reminder of guilty to proven innocent. The final chapters will have the reader unable to set the book down. The conclusion was strong and left the reader satisfied.

Decaffeinated Aspects:

  • Police and FBI procedures are not exactly by the book here and while I suppose arguments could be made; I just rolled with it as the story was engaging.
  • There is a love interest, and while it displays Maddie as young, and normal it did little for the storyline. It was just sprinkled in here or there. Romance is not a necessary ingredient for me, but the hint of one and minimal page time may disappoint some. Go into the story thinking no romance and all will be fine. While it served to lighten the intensity, it could have been cut during editing.

When was a fantastic paranormal young adult standalone and not to be missed.

About Victoria Laurie

Victoria Laurie is the New York Times bestselling author of 26 books and counting. Victoria divides her time between her two adult mystery series, (The Psychic Eye Mysteries, and The Ghost Hunter Mysteries), and a Y/A thriller, When (Formerly titled Death Date), to be released in early January of 2015. As a professional psychic, Victoria’s protagonists – psychic Abigail Cooper, and spiritual medium M. J. Holliday – tackle the tricky world of the paranormal while fighting bad guys and demons with plenty of plucky humor and determination. And using that keen understanding of the paranormal, Victoria also created the character of Maddie Fynn, a teenager with the unique intuitive ability to predict the exact date of someone’s death.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She's a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat... Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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71 Responses to “When by Victoria Laurie”

  1. Lexxie

    Great review, Kim! I’m glad you enjoyed When so much. I thought it was OK, but it really reminded me of another story where the MC could see when people would die, so the premise wasn’t new to me.
    I hope you’re feeling better this week! Happy reading.
    Lexxie recently posted…Review: Soul Walker – Robyn JonesMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Ah, this was a new premise for me. Sorry it was just ok..I have had that happen.

  2. Meg

    Oh wow, this sounds like a really good book! I’m a little freaked out by the premise of being able to know when everybody is going to die though… eek!
    Meg recently posted…Exciting News!My Profile

  3. Nick

    I’m happy that you enjoyed this more than I did, Kim. I wish I was not as bothered by the FBI proceedings, but it got on my nerves. I watch too many shows and read too many books to be able to just ignore that. And yes, the love interest was useless!
    Great review! 🙂
    Nick recently posted…Review : Rebound by Noelle AugustMy Profile

  4. Stacy (StacyHgg)

    What an interesting premise!!! I haven’t seen this one reviewed before so I wasn’t too sure what it was about. I think what you said at the end of your review about the Romance is important, because I – like you – don’t have to have it to enjoy a book, but I would like to know ahead of time and not be teased with it while reading.
    As for the question on the cover
    Would I want to know? Heck NO!!! LOL
    Stacy (StacyHgg) recently posted…Top 10 Titles I am NOT-so-patiently awaiting the release of… featuring Tarryn Fisher, Colleen Hoover, Jamie McGuire, Madeleine Sheehan, S.C. Stephens, Mia Sheridan, and A.L. JacksonMy Profile

  5. Adriana

    This is just like Death Note. That’s all I could think of while reading your review. It’s a manga and it would be interesting to see something like it in novel form. I feel like I already know whose been killing everyone though.
    I’ll have to set myself up to thinking no romance like you said because I always get excited by them. I don’t want to be too hyped up to be let down.
    Adriana recently posted…The Shadow Society by Marie RutkoskiMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Same here Heidi, now if it was an adult book I would scoff..but I think some of it is just watered down.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      There isn’t even enough of a romance to get connected..it was just this curious little tid-bit that popped up once or twice. It didn’t make me mad..but I questioned its validity.

  6. Rashika

    It’s sad that there wasn’t as much research into the Police and the FBI procedures but at the same time, it’s nice to hear that this one was a standalone. I am starting (*cough* *cough*) to get worn out by all the series out there. Even in the contemporary genre, there are so many series and it makes me so happy to come across a book that is meant to be a Stand-alone.

    Lovely review, Kimba!! 🙂
    Rashika recently posted…ARC Review: Willowgrove by Kathleen PeacockMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Oh I agree it seems I stumble upon books I want to read but find I am three books behind on the series and trying to keep up with them all

  7. Lark

    I really like Victoria Laurie’s Psychic Eye mysteries, so I’ve been eager to read this. So glad it doesn’t disappoint! Thought I’m a little surprised that the FBI/police aspects aren’t quite right, because she’s been writing a murder mystery series for a while now. Still, I am looking forward to reading it – and thanks for reminding me to put it on hold at the library.
    Lark recently posted…Top Ten 2014 Releases I Meant to Read But Didn’tMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Glad to hear that, and yes it wasn’t perfect but as you said I enjoyed myself

  8. Tyler H Jolley

    It’s funny you mention that the police/fbi procedures were not accurate. A writing conference I’m going to this spring has a class taught by a police officer to talk about policies/producers so we, as writers, can get them right. Next year we are having an MD teach the same class.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Nice..those little details matter and most seasoned readers of the genres notice.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It would be so creepy. Just imagine being in line at the food store and seeing that the cashier will check out sometime today..gads

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