Google+ Reading Teen: WHEN (Death Date) by Victoria Laurie

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WHEN (Death Date) by Victoria Laurie

Review by Tamara

by Victoria Laurie
Age Range: 12 - 18 years
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (January 13, 2015)
Goodreads | Amazon

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 deathdates, 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 deathdate 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’s been seeing numbers on people’s foreheads for as long as she can remember. After her father’s death when she was a little girl her family finally realizes that the numbers she sees are the dates people die. Maddie’s mother falls apart after her dad dies and starts drinking, since she can’t hold down a job she makes Maddie see clients, people who want to know when they or their loved ones are going to die. One client brings Maddie a whole lot of trouble. Maddie tells her about her son’s death, he’s killed and she blames Maddie.

The way Maddie is treated through the story really made me feel for her. She is bullied not only by the kids in her class but by teachers too. Everyone thinks she’s guilty and treats her that way. The FBI agents in the book are awful, they are constantly harassing Maddie with little to no proof. She has so much to deal with. I loved Maddie’s Uncle Donny, he’s one of the few people she can count on. He was always there for her and more a parent than her mother.

The mystery was pretty good, I suspected everyone and I was still wrong. I love it when books can surprise me. I had no clue who the killer was, I kept changing my mind on who I thought it was until it finally came out in the end.

There wasn’t a lot of romance in the book and I loved that. I gravitate more toward books without romance lately. Maddie has way too much going on for there to be a real love story going on here. There is a love interest but he’s barely in the book and I think it’s better that way. Plus the ending gives a little hope for Maddie on that front. The book focuses more on Maddie and her best friend Stubby. I love a good friendship, and also a friendship between a boy and girl with no romance thrown in. It can happen! Stubby get wrapped up in the trouble with Maddie and she does everything she can to help her friend even when it could hurt her.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book. It was a great mystery and kept my attention the whole way through.


  1. bloody heck my comment disappeared so here I go again. I haven't read the book but I love the way you gave a seemingly honest review and told your likes and dislikes without being mean or condescending. Now I want to read the book and see what I think! Thanks for an interesting review!

  2. I agree!! Well done, Becca! :D

  3. Awwww. I think this is now my new favorite comment! It was such a hard review to write, but now I feel a lot better about it! Thank you so much! I'm curious to hear what YOU think now! :)

  4. Thanks my dear! :P

  5. Oh noes, this doesn't seem like something I am going to enjoy too much. I did think the premise is interesting but there is no way you could get me to back off faster than saying there are too many POVs, especially if unnecessary ones come into play.

  6. This sounds like a really cook read, but I am not sure I am going to be able to pick it up! That's because there is another book called Numbers by Rachel Ward and it's about a girl who can see death dates and even feel the way they die. I loved that trilogy SO much, you should try it too. But I might find it too similar to this one :/

  7. Okay so I just got this book yesterday and let me tell you this book is awesome so far! Im on page 107 and I just cant believe it... I highly request this book for anyone who hasn't read it yet! this book is awesome! Love it so far! :)xxx Jade

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