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When Hardcover – January 13, 2015

4.8 out of 5 stars 366 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—Maddie has always seen the date people will die, but does not realize what she is seeing until one day, in first grade, her father is killed on a date she told him about two years prior. The tragedy sends Maddie's life spinning out of control: her mother can no longer function without alcohol, they leave the city to live in a small community, Maddie's ability challenges her facility to make friends, and her mother cannot hold down a job. They survive on her father's wrongful death settlement. Maddie, now 16, also makes ends meet by charging a small fee to tell people their death dates. A mother comes for a reading for her youngest son, but Maddie notices that the woman's older son will die in a week instead. The customer accuses Maddie of fraud. When the older boy goes missing a week later, FBI agents show up at the protagonist's school because they suspect Maddie and her best friend, Stubby, of foul play. Soon, more children go missing and turn up dead. This fast-paced story is a little far-fetched: the FBI agents arrest and badly beat Stubby, Maddie suffers unbelievable bullying from classmates and school administrators, all while her mother goes on drinking. At times, the teen seems younger than her years. The plot is filled with false turns, which will keep readers engaged until the surprising ending.—Lisa Nabel, Dayton Metro Library, OH

Review

Maddie and Stubbs have to deal with classmates who see Maddie as a witch and Stubbs as a little different. Maddie reads death dates to make extra money. When there are two deaths in town, Maddie and Stubbs are involved. School is no longer a safe place for Maddie as she is bullied by students and teachers alike. When Stubbs is arrested, Maddie proves to an FBI agent that she can see dates, and in the process she helps him save his partner. Maddie is portrayed as a strong character; she is resilient and hopeful about the future. Readers will ponder the question of whether they would want to know when their time was up, or if they could be the one to tell others. Laurie does a masterful job of leaving the reader in suspense throughout the entire book, wondering who the killer is and how they find their victims. Sherry Rainosek, Victoria West High School Librarian, Victoria, Texas Highly Recommended Library Media Connection"

Sixteen-year-old Maddie Fynn usually keeps quiet about her gift for predicting the day a person will die, but a well-intentioned warning to a woman about her son's imminent death soon lands Maddie at the center of an FBI investigation when the child turns up viciously murdered. More death dates foretell the murder of local teens, but Maddie's efforts to save them quickly make her a suspect and the center of a community witch-hunt. Maddie finds a reluctant ally in an open-minded agent, but as they piece together clues to the killer's identity they find that Maddie may be at the center of the case after all. Established adult mystery writer Laurie sticks to her strengths here, creating a taut, well-plotted thriller with a dash of the paranormal. The strong build-up, including a few twists, keeps the story moving, while the surprising resolution and final showdown will have readers on the edge of their seats. Though the storytelling is the main draw, Maddie adds her own charm as a determined young woman with too many responsibilities, both familiarly familial and uniquely supernatural. Descriptions of the murders are only mildly gory, so readers wary of horror can get their thrills without the blood and guts, and the novel packs in plenty of fast-paced, nail-biting fun, perfect for fans of Barnes' The Naturals series (The Naturals, BCCB 12/13, etc.) or Winnacker's Imposter (BCCB 10/13). AM BCCB"

4Q 5P J S When Maddie was four years old, she discovered that she could see something strange: numbers on foreheads. When she was six years old, she learned that those numbers were death dates. When Maddie is sixteen, her mother is struggling with alcohol addiction and Maddie performs readings for people. When a rich woman comes to her about her daughter, Maddie sees a photo of the woman's son with a date for next week. Maddie tries to tell the woman her daughter will be fine but that her son is in danger and will soon die. The woman leaves very angry. Maddie and best friend Stubby try calling the woman again, but she threatens them with police action. When the woman's son goes missing and is found gruesomely murdered, Maddie and Stubby are hauled in for questioning by the FBI. Maddie must do all she can to convince the FBI of her powers and help solve the crime before she becomes the next victim. This paranormal mystery quickly introduces characters' backgrounds and proceeds directly to solving the crime, with lots of intrigue and suspense. The intense description of tough social life in high school for the odd teen outsider is perfect and even shocking at times. The supportive friendship between Maddie and Stubby, and whether they or their friendship will survive, is engrossing. This excellent book is a must-have for all libraries, especially where suspense and teen-life fiction is hot. This novel will provide crossover appeal to both older teens and adults.-Karen Sykeny. VOYA"

Gr 9 Up Maddie has always seen the date people will die, but does not realize what she is seeing until one day, in first grade, her father is killed on a date she told him about two years prior. The tragedy sends Maddie's life spinning out of control: her mother can no longer function without alcohol, they leave the city to live in a small community, Maddie's ability makes it difficult to make friends, and her mother cannot hold down a job. They survive on her father's wrongful death settlement. Maddie, now 16, also makes ends meet by charging a small fee to tell people their death dates. A mother comes for a reading for her youngest son, but Maddie notices that the woman's older son will die in a week instead. The customer accuses Maddie of fraud. When the older boy goes missing a week later, the FBI show up at the protagonist's school because they suspect Maddie and her best friend, Stubby, of foul play. Soon, more children go missing and turn up dead. This fast-paced story is a little farfetched: the FBI arrest and badly beat Stubby, Maddie suffers unbelievable bullying from classmates and school administrators, all while her mother goes on drinking. At times, the teen seems younger than her years. The plot is filled with false turns, which will keep readers engaged until the surprising ending. Lisa Nabel, Dayton Metro Library, OH SLJ"

If you could know the date of your death, would you? For Maddie, there's no choice: For her whole life, she's had the ability to see the date of anyone's death, hovering just over the forehead. But her gift hasn't helped her much-it didn't prevent her police-officer father from being killed in the line of duty, and it hasn't stopped her grief-stricken mother from descending into alcoholism. Now, Maddie does her best to blend in, uses her ability to make some extra money for herself and her mother, and spends time with her best friend, Stubs. But then a client's son disappears and is later found dead on the date that Maddie predicted he would die. Suspicion falls squarely on Maddie, especially when another teenager is murdered in similar fashion-and Stubs becomes caught up in the investigation too. The tension inexorably mounts as Maddie faces heartbreaking choices. Readers will root for Maddie not only to find the killer, but to gain a little happiness, too. Laurie's debut for teens is quite an accomplishment: Maddie's voice rings true, and her character development is handled well. Some adult characters are less well-rounded, yet the compelling plot overcomes these flaws. The character development is just as riveting as the plot in this well-constructed thriller. (Paranormal thriller. 12-18) Kirkus"

Product details

  • Lexile Measure : HL820L
  • Grade Level : 7 - 12
  • Item Weight : 1 pounds
  • ISBN-10 : 1484700082
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1484700082
  • Hardcover : 336 pages
  • Publisher : Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (January 13, 2015)
  • Product Dimensions : 6 x 1.25 x 8.75 inches
  • Reading level : 12 - 18 years
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 366 ratings