Book Review: When by Victoria Laurie

Book Rating


Book Review

When is another book I got as a young adult novel that I wanted to listen to while walking Walter. Except for, with this one, I found my walks getting longer and longer… I couldn’t quite let go of it when I got home, so poor Walter was in tow for up to 5 miles sometimes with this one playing! Don’t worry–I don’t think he ever minds extra long walks.

Alright, so this one definitely had more serious themes than the last one I read, By Your Side. Maddie, the main character, couldn’t be more different than Autumn! Her life was much, much more complicated. Maddie sees death dates, right above someone’s forehead. She can see it in pictures or real life, before or after a death. But even knowing this, nothing has ever changed a date after she had seen it. Finding out what the dates were came too late for her father, and when he died, their remaining family seemed to fall apart.

Maddie’s mom spiraled into alcoholism. I think this depiction of alcoholism feels very realistic, and also a little scary. I haven’t been close to anyone with this but it seemed realistic to me. Maddie’s life had been hard–but it was about to get a whole lot more difficult.

Of course, the death date idea has been used before, but I really liked where Victoria Laurie went with it. She made it very realistic. It was this world, but a girl who had a special ability. And, it’s not accepted widely by, well, anyone. But I particularly liked how Laurie used it against Maddie when it comes to a homicide case. It seemed absolutely realistic that if someone predicted and tried to warn a mother of a thirteen-year-old’s impending death, and on that very date, the son disappears, they would be pretty high on the list of suspects.

Everything after that Laurie executed really well, in my opinion. The stress of being involved in the investigation, the fallout at school, the fallout at home, the story as we follow Maddie through this predicament of hers. All I can say other than that is that there are all kinds of twists and turns–some you predict before Maddie does, others that may shock you as much as they do her!

I definitely recommend this book–but I will warn you, it may have you jumpy at the end! Someone knocked on my door at one of the end scenes, and I definitely ran and hid. I’m not ashamed at all either; it seemed perfectly logical at the time.


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