PJV Quickie: Entertaining and sweet, I was swept away with the story of WHEN by Victoria Laurie, especially the whole mystery behind the novel. It was an interesting concept even though I had seen it before in Rachel Ward’s NUMBERS.

Review: The basic concept of the novel revolves around Maddie Fynn and her ability to see the dates of a person’s death on their forehead. She can see these dates in photographs and in person and has seen them since she was a baby. It became clear just what she could do, when her father was killed on the date she had consistently drawn over his picture. Now, her mother, depressed and an alcoholic, makes her daughter use her ability to make extra money. When a reading goes wrong and Maddie is suspected of murder – her whole life is turned upside down and now Maddie has to find out who the real murderer is, without endangering herself or her friends.

It was an interesting and cute tale, with a dark edge, it centered around Maddie Fynn who was a very endearing character. I thought that the mystery played out well, even though the teen characters were allowed to “get away” with some things that I doubt real life officers would allow, especially as the novel came to an end. Overall though, a great story and I’m now dying to read more from Victoria Laurie.

Recommendations: This is a murder mystery and there is talk of death and serial killers, but nothing that is explicit or something a parent should worry about. If it didn’t have some mature themes with the killer I would put this at a PG rating.

Cover Snark: I don’t know what Disney Hyperion was thinking with this cover? I hope they change it by the time it is published.  To use such a recognizable stock photo has me scratching my head – huh?