A Reader Opines: When by Victoria Laurie

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When by Victoria Laurie
Expected Publication: January 13th 2015 by Disney-Hyperion
Genre: Young Adult | Thriller | Paranormal
My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Have you heard the saying my eyes are bigger than my stomach? I hear it a lot during the holidays. Friends and family load their plates with food because it all looks so good and then can’t eat it all. I’m that way about books. I go nuts in bookstores, libraries and at Netgalley. You could call me Veruka Salt when it comes to books. I want it all and I want it now. In an attempt to control my book acquiring urges I’ve limited my Netgalley requests. But When by Victoria Laurie intrigued me so much that I couldn’t resist.

Summary taken from Goodreads:
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?

Can you imagine knowing the exact day your loved ones will die years before it happens? With one look you could see the date and yet have no idea of the how or why. What a burden! How eery!

When is a credible story. Truly. Victoria Laurie has written a tale in which I could easily suspend my disbelief and become engrossed in its unfolding. The plot consistently pitted red herrings against the culprit leaving doubt and certainty to dance around the perimeter of the story.

The characters are well-developed and easy to identify with, even Maddie who possesses this strange ability. They are everyday people experiencing extraordinary events, sometimes reacting badly and other times being their regular old nasty selves. I became emotionally invested in the main characters with ease, however no one gained my full trust until the climax.

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