Monday, March 09, 2015

Quick Bite Review: When by Victoria Laurie

By: Victoria Laurie
PUBLISHED: January 2015 by Hyperion, 336 pages

RATING: 5 stars

GENRES: YA/Young Adult • Fantasy • Contemporay • Murder • Mystery • Paranormal • Suspense • Thriller

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?

A cornucopia of delicious writing elements leaving me completely full but craving more! I DEVOURED this book. I need more. Seriously.

Probably one of THE most original concepts out there. The idea that a character walks around seeing the death dates above everybody's heads? LOOOOOVVVE IT.

The writing was smooth, rich and organic. The tension was high and increased throughout the book. Victoria was able to engage the reader and emerse them in this concept that is difficult to accept. 

You have to feel bad for Maddie. How much pressure and stress that would cause. Then add in the philosphical... does she do anything to change the dates? Can she even do that? Should she? I'd have a splitting headache running in circles in my head if I were her. That's a huge bulk to carry on such young shoulders. Literally life and death of others. No pressure or anything.

Then let's add in looking suspicious. Victoria managed to weave all these elements together to create a beautiful pattern and not a hot, tangled mess. You don't know what the pattern looks like until the end when she "flips the fabric" over. Until then, you're checking all the strings. For a mystery, you can't ask for better writing!