Tuesday, January 13, 2015

When by Victoria Laurie ~ Review

Source:  Received an eBook copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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?



 Available today from Disney-Hyperion


First, this isn't a romance.  There is a hint in the blurb that it is but Maddie's attraction to Aiden is such a miniscule part of the story that it didn't even come into play.

Second, for me, this story was too forced.  There are several things I'm just not buying at all.  The paranormal aspect of it is fine.  I'm not bothered by that at all.  It's the FBI and school issues that just had me fuming mad.  As a teacher, I saw so many things that just wouldn't happen in a school or with teenagers that I know.  

Examples?  The FBI isn't going to be involved after only 24 hours of a person going missing.  Nor would they spend the amount of resources stalking a sixteen year old on such circumstantial evidence.  AND they would NEVER be allowed to interview a student without their parent in the principals office.  The local police would have to contact the guardian for anything like what was done in the book.   I'm also doubtful that a minor would be thrown into prison with felons on such circumstantial evidence.  Someone as young as sixteen with no previous issues would be protected more even if they were being charged as an adult.  It felt like this was forced to make the story work with little regard for reality. 

Then there is the way the teachers were portrayed as Maddie was investigated.  She's a model student.  Behavior and grades are almost perfect.  When she's under suspicion, all the teachers (except one) and the principal treat her terribly.  I can see the students doing it but a teacher wouldn't even if they felt it.  She was treated differently and punished for ridiculous things.  They made comments that were uncalled for and unprofessional.  They graded her work differently then they had before.  They looked the other way when students bullied her.  They even encouraged the bullying.  One teacher MIGHT let their feeling get to them but not ALL of them.  Teachers wouldn't risk their license for something like this.  Again, it felt like this was forced to make the story work.  I was insulted and disgusted by it.

Finally, I got very tired of Maddie's uncle calling her kiddo.  She is shy and sweet.  Not a typical sixteen year old at all but I just didn't see her as a kiddo.  I wanted to yell at her uncle on her behave to let her been a teenager and not a kiddo.

It was hard to finish this one but I did it because I wanted to know who the killer was.  The story is like a 1000 piece puzzle where the pieces were thrown in the air and fell everywhere.  There are so many options that I wanted to know how it fit.  I really wasn't surprised at all with who it was but I wasn't satisfied either.

I am happy with the ending.  I like that Maddie finally had some good things happen in her life.  She had endured so much and she really is a sweet girl. 

Others felt different...

The Author...

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.

To showcase her writing range, Victoria has also penned a children's epic adventure series, The Oracles of Delphi Keep.


  1. I am so sorry this didn't work for you. I cannot stand it when the book feels forced and has situations you know would never happen especially when those situations relate to something you have actual experience with. Thanks for the honest review!

  2. I just reviewed this one and I actually liked it. I know there were some obvious issues with FBI and police protocol in this book. But I guess I was willing to go along with it. :) Sorry you didn't enjoy it.

  3. I'm sorry this one didn't work for you. I absolutely loved it. And I was too invested to notice that the school's behavior was off, but you're right about that.

  4. It's a shame you didn't enjoy this one. I think I'd give it a pass... :(

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

  5. I am currently reading it and it is just very slow for me I am hoping I can get though it.

    MEGAN @ www.readingawaythedays.blogspot.co.uk