So, we all have those moments of “what if I could ____” and Victoria Laurie takes it one step further by bringing us Maddie: a girl who CAN see things, more specifically the date that everyone she encounters will die. A little creepy, with plenty of fuel for thought this story is unique as a stand-alone, and from the perspective of a 15 year old girl.
Maddie is struggling with life as it presents to her: her father died when she was young, and her mother is embroiled in her own battles with alcoholism. The mother-daughter relationship was tackled head on, with a clear depiction of what Maddie deals with at home. Her best friend Stubby is supportive and a small break from the everyday hassles that seem to keep Maddie on the edge.
But, her ‘gift’ is only a series of dates: she never knows the how. So when a disappearance happens, precisely on a day Maddie knew, there is a law enforcement scramble to get Maddie’s insight.
Slowly but surely Laurie increases the tension and plot of the story as it winds on. Maddie is longing to be wrong, to have made a mistake, but it appears that will be one wish that goes unfulfilled. Unusually for many teen reads, there is a romance that is briefly touched upon, but soon forgotten in the midst of other more pressing concerns. Not a teen romance, this story is far deeper and more thought-provoking, with standout characters who are simply trying to be ‘normal’ in the face of impossible odds.
While there are a few moments of ‘not quite right’ procedure with law enforcement, and a romance that was so briefly mentioned it could have been removed with no damage to the plot, this story was engaging and intriguing and sure to please readers from 12 – 17 without fail.
Author: Victoria Laurie
Genre: Teen Reads
Published by: Disney/Hyperion
Published on: 13 January, 2015
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 9 Hours: 15 minutes
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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?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.