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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

[ARC REVIEW] When by Victoria Laurie


Author: Victoria Laurie
Genre: YA Fantasy, Paranormal
Expected publication: January 13th 2015 by Disney-Hyperion
ARC Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Pre-order from: Amazon | Barnes&Noble
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?


My Thoughts

*I received a free ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

When revolves around the story of Maddie, a sixteen-year-old girl who has the gift of seeing people's deathdates. After her father's death when she was a child, her mother coerced her to use her ability to make extra money. Maddie's life pretty much consisted of school, dealing with bullies, taking care of her alcoholic mother and reading for her clients, until she got caught up in a murder investigation. Will Maddie be able to use her gift to prove her innocence before she herself gets in danger?

I really did enjoy reading When. It was unique and new to me. I've read and loved other mystery thriller books before and this book is as good as those. I liked the plot and the writing. I liked the build-up of suspense and the twist at the end. The red herring was really effective as I wasn't able to guess who the killer was until it was revealed.

The characters were okay enough, though I did not see much character development on Maddie. What I liked most about her, though, was her determination to help. Stubby, though a minor character, went through drastic changes that made him more interesting. Other dynamic characters were the FBI agents and even the killer himself.

I especially liked the events towards the end when they figured out who the killer was. It was action-filled and breathtaking. Will definitely make your pulse race. I honestly did not expect that turn of events!

When only fell short on the romance department, but it's understandable since it's not a romance book to begin with. The ending was really good, though. The development on Maddie's gift brought interesting possibilities. Aiden actually made me swoon a little. And the fact that the end was so hopeful and positive, in spite of the dark theme of the story, was really really good. I liked it much better because of that.

All in all, impressive story. Good concept, good plot, good writing. Two thumbs up for When.


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Julie @ Books and Insomnia

Julie is a Filipina blogger who pretends she has insomnia so she can stay up late reading. When she's not buried in books, she can be found watching anime, drinking chocolate-flavored instant coffee, lurking on the internet, daydreaming and talking about herself in third person. She loves purple and anything sweet!


  1. Oh, so glad to read a positive review! This seems like a very divisive book because I've read so many negative reviews and some positive ones too. Thanks for the review, Julie! Hope to get to read this soon.

    1. Yeah, I've also read mixed reviews on this book. It was interesting to see different opinions about it. Thanks for the comment, Dianne! Hope you enjoy WHEN. :)


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