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 thehow, 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?
"When" is a standalone, suspenseful mystery twisted around 16-year old Maddie Flynn who has the unique ability to see the exact date that someone is supposed to die. Maddie was but a child when numbers started appearing over people's heads. It wasn't until her father, a police officer, was killed in the line of duty that the numbers started making sense. When is a gut retching story that truly makes you sit up and take notice of Maddie's plight.
Her alcoholic mother uses Maddie's abilities to make additional money, which in turn, keeps her numb to what is happening to her own daughter. She has no friends except Stubby because her fellow students believe she is either cursed, or a witch. She has never been able to save anyone from their death date, nor has she been able to change anyone's death date. Not for lack of trying at least.
The real kick in the story begins after Maddie tells a mother that her son's death date is approaching. Not believing this to be true, Maddie finds herself under a microscope by the FBI after the kid disappears and her best friend tries to help yet another victim. Maddy and Stubby find their worlds turned upside down, and at the center of a murder investigation that leads to a climatic finish to the story.
Even though Maddie has her eyes set on a boy from another school, Aiden, When is NOT heavy on the romance side. When doesn't have any love triangles, or lust at first site scenes. Stubby and Maddie are best friends, not love interests. Period. When is NOT a paranormal story with vampires, werewolves, or any other supernatural entities. When IS a story about a brave teenager who is smart, goal oriented towards going to Cornell, loyal to her best friend to the point of doing whatever it takes to save him, and deals with not only her father's loss, but her mother's descent into being completely useless.
When is a fairly unique story with a heart warming ending. Although Maddie and her family, including her Uncle Donny, go through some awful times, it is the scenes with Maddie's neighbor Mrs. Duncan that truly brighten up the story. I absolutely adored Mrs. Duncan. She stood by Maddie throughout and in the end, she melted my heart with her words, and her actions.
In the end, When was an entertaining story that kept me reading right to the end despite some missing segments of the story due to formatting errors. You can't blame that on the author. We are warned that ARC's are as is when we request them, and therefore we should expect errors, or missing words. It is the final product that matters.
Author - Victoria Laurie
Title - When
Published by Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: January 13, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery
Format: E-Book, 336 pages