Search This Blog

Love reading challenges? Check out my other blog:

2023 Bookish Books Reading Challenge

My Progress:

23 / 30 books. 77% done!

20 Books of Summer 2023

My Progress:

17 / 20 books. 85% done!

2023 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (2)
- Alaska (1)
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (12)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut (3)
- Delaware (1)
- Florida (1)
- Georgia (1)
- Hawaii (1)
- Idaho (1)
- Illinois
- Indiana (1)
- Iowa (1)
- Kansas (1)
- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine (3)
- Maryland (2)
- Massachusetts (3)
- Michigan (2)
- Minnesota (1)
- Mississippi (1)
- Missouri (1)
- Montana (1)
- Nebraska (1)
- Nevada
- New Hampshire (1)
- New Jersey
- New Mexico (1)
- New York (11)
- North Carolina (4)
- North Dakota (1)
- Ohio (3)
- Oklahoma
- Oregon
- Pennsylvania (1)
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina (1)
- South Dakota
- Tennessee (1)
- Texas (4)
- Utah (1)
- Vermont (3)
- Virginia
- Washington (3)
- West Virginia (1)
- Wisconsin (2)
- Wyoming
- Washington, D.C.* (1)


- Australia (3)
- Canada (7)
- Chile (1)
- England (19)
- France (2)
- Ireland (2)
-Italy (1)
- Scotland (2)
- South Korea (1)
- Sweden (1)
- The Netherlands (2)
-Vietnam (1)

My Progress:

42 / 51 states. 82% done!

2023 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

25 / 25 books. 100% done!

2023 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

48 / 50 books. 96% done!

Booklist Queen's 2023 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

49 / 52 books. 94% done!

2023 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:

46 / 52 books. 88% done!

2023 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

34 / 40 books. 85% done!

2023 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

29 / 40 books. 73% done!

2023 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

13 / 25 books. 52% done!

2023 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

Book Bingo Reading Challenge

20 / 25 books. 80% done!

2023 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

86 / 109 books. 79% done!

Children's Book Reading Challenge...For Adults!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

When All YA Paranormal Sleuth Books Feel Exactly the Same ...

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Maddie Flynn possesses a unique gift, although it feels more like a curse than a blessing.  When the 16-year-old looks at a person, she sees a date hovering near their head.  As a small child, she doesn't pay much attention to these random-seeming numbers.  It's only after her father dies—on the exact date Maddie predicts—that she and her mother finally understand what the numbers really mean.  Spying a golden opportunity to make a pile of cash, Maddie's alcoholic mom forces her to do readings for desperate clients.

When Maddie foresees the death—the date, not the cause—of a 13-year-old murder victim, she quickly falls under police suspicion.  As more teens are killed in a similar fashion, Maddie becomes their prime suspect.  Now, she and her best friend, Stubs, must find the killer not just to stop the violence and clear their names, but also to avoid becoming the next victims.

Although I've read about a million YA books with pretty much this same setup, I hoped the whole death date thing would set When by Victoria Laurie apart.  No such luck.  Its story and characters felt too familiar, too generic.  Add tell-y prose and gaping plot holes and yeah, it just wasn't that great.  I wanted something memorable.  When wasn't it.

(Readalikes:  Reminded me of The Body Finder series [The Body Finder; Desires of the Dead; The Last Echo; and Dead Silence] by Kimberly Derting and the Bang [Crash; Bang; and Gasp] and Wake series [Wake; Fade; Gone] by Lisa McMann)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (no F-bombs), violence, and intense/scary situations

To the FTC, with love:  I received an e-ARC of When from the generous folks at Disney/Hyperion via those at NetGalley.  Thank you!


  1. Well dang! This one looked good to me. I'm so tired of the same story being told. And what's worse, they all feel the same! Ugh. At least there's other unique books out there.

  2. That's disappointing, when I read your summary (or was that the blurb?) of the book I thought that it sounded different to many of those other books and I was already planning to go search for it in the local library. It's tough on writers, but it would be nice to see some different plots out there.

  3. Just reading the plot synopsis here sounds familiar. I've seen this done before--the whole seeing someone's death and then falling under suspicion of murder when it happens. But since no idea is really new, I always hold out hope that the execution will be fresh! Sorry this one wasn't.


Comments make me feel special, so go crazy! Just keep it clean and civil. Feel free to speak your mind (I always do), but be aware that I will delete any offensive comments.

P.S.: Don't panic if your comment doesn't show up right away. I have to approve each one before it posts to prevent spam. It's annoying, but it works!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin


Band of Sisters by Lauren Willig


Hooked: A Memoir in Crafts by Sutton Foster

Followin' with Bloglovin'


Followin' with Feedly

follow us in feedly

Grab my Button!

Blog Design by:

Blog Archive