When by Victoria Laurie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A co-worker of mine at the library (can I call her a co-worker if I'm only a volunteer??) gave me a few ARCs before break and I recently got around to reading this one. I'd been putting it off mostly because of the cover. It just looked really strange.
I am so glad I got around to reading it. It's about Maddie Fynn, a high school-er who sees people's death dates. It's something she was born with and it just comes with everyone's appearance. Of course, she doesn't know what the strange numbers mean until her father dies on the date she depicts floating above his head. This leads to a lot of stress between Maddie and her mother, both feeling it was their fault he's dead, and that they could've saved him.
However, it gets worse. Maddie's mom is an alcoholic and thus can't hold a steady job. This leaves the money-making to Maddie so she does readings for people who pay her. When a costumer's son dies on the exact date she predicted, she winds up in a world of trouble. Police begin to think she's a subject and soon brings her best friend in on it too. Maddie has to come up with a way to prove that she and her best friend are innocent. At the same time trying to keep up with the bills she can no longer afford, and her drunk mother getting worse.
I struggled with this at the beginning, I really did. While the plot wasn't advancing quickly, there was a lot of information introduced all at once. The plot quickly got to a good pace, one easy to keep up with.
I think the only things that bothered me about this was Maddie and the fact that the introduction of every new character came with their death date. Maddie did not act like she was 16. The first time I found out they were old enough to drive, I was honestly extremely confused. The way she acted along with her constant whining reminded me of a 13 year-old. I think it's fair, however. Seeing as she grew up with a single parent who was drunk most of the time, it kind of explains it. Learning the date with the introduction of every new character drove me crazy. I honestly don't care, seeing as very few of them were relevant to the plot and I got used to just skipping over them anyway so I wasn't really paying attention to the years anyways.
Overall, I most definitely enjoyed this novel and would absolutely suggest it to anyone in middle school through high school.
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