When by Victoria Laurie
Publication Date: January 13th 2015
Source: Disney-Hyperion [Netgalley]
Maddie Fynn has been able to see peoples death dates for as long as she can remember. She never understood what the numbers meant when she was younger. Maddie predicted her father's death and when her father died on that date, she realised what the numbers meant. Her mother suffered after father's death and Maddie basically takes care of them both. Maddie's mother persuades her to use her ability to earn them extra money, so Maddie begins charging people to tell them their death dates. When Maddie predicts the death of one of her clients children, the clients dismisses it. But when the boy goes missing and turns up dead, all evidence points to Maddie. As the murders escalate and more evidence piles up against Maddie, she must try to figure out who the real murderer is before she's framed for something she didn't do.
Maddie was an alright character. I didn't fully connect with her, but I did like her. I felt really sorry for Maddie. Her home situation isn't perfect and she gets bullied at school because of her ability - everyone thinks she's a witch. Throughout the book, Maddie's bullying escalates and even the teachers weren't doing anything to stop it - which was horrible. Maddie is an intelligent, sweet, shy and guilt-ridden character. She wishes she understood her power more and wonders whether she could prevent someone's death. She just wants to help people/
Maddie's best friend Stubby is a sweet and caring. He tries to help Maddie warn the people with early death dates, but ends up making the situation worse for himself and Maddie.
I really enjoyed the whole mystery aspect of When. I never guessed any of the twists that Laurie threw at me! Laurie kept on my toes wondering who the killer was and whether Maddie or Stubby would actually go down for the murders. She had be constantly questioning the characters and wondering whether they could have something to do with it. There were quite a few murderer suspects and I would never have guessed who the killer was. I had a fair idea, but I was totally wrong. The fed's were pretty hard on the both Maddie and Stubby, which actually made me wonder whether people are really treated like that in real life, because it was pretty awful. Maddie's home situation - her mother's drinking problem. Relationship between Maddie and her mother. Maddie's home life was a main part of the storyline line too. Her mother went off the rails when her father died, and Maddie has basically been taking care of herself. I was really hoping for Maddie's sake that her mother would get help and try to work towards fixing her drinking problem.
The ending was definitely a well deserved happy ending for Maddie. Deserves to be happy after everything she's been through, so the end left me with a smile on my face.
Overall, When was a really enjoyable book. The storyline constantly keeps you guessing and wondering what's going to happen, and Laurie throws a love of curve-balls to throw you off the trail. When kept me guessing until the very end. A great book to start off 2015!