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Ratings and Book Reviews (3 12 star ratings
3 reviews
)

Overall rating

4.5 out of 5
12
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    Fun Story but with Major Problems

    I don’t quite know what to think about this book. On the one hand, it is an undeniably enjoyable tale about a teenaged girl with the undesirable ability to see the date of when any person she meets will die. She can even see the death date in a photograph. As you might imagine, this is not a blessing. It causes her to be socially isolated in school and it has helped to send her mother into alcoholism when her father is killed on precisely the day Maddy predicted. The characters are all well drawn and believable. To get drinking money, Maddy’s mother sells sessions with Maddy for people who want to know when they or people they care about are going to die. Unsurprisingly, some of these sessions go poorly as people respond negatively to the news. Maddy is suspected of murdering a young boy when he dies (kidnapped, tortured and murdered) as she predicted. (She only predicts the when, not the how.) And this is when the story takes a turn for the worse. Despite having an obviously high IQ, Maddy behaves stupidly for most of the story. When the FBI questions her in the disappearance of the boy she tells them she sees death dates but makes no effort to prove to them what she can do. Proving her talent to customers must be a regular part of her life. Think it through. They bring the photograph of an already deceased person that Maddy couldn’t know and she tells them the day they died. Anyone with half a brain would know that the FBI (and just about anyone else) was not going to believe she had this “talent”. With the internet at their disposal they could have quickly come up with fifty or a hundred pictures that would have at least stopped them from automatically dismissing her claim. They could then (as they finally do half way through the story) have created a more controllable test using old family photographs and in doing so eliminated Maddy as a suspect. But she doesn’t make any effort to prove things to them until a third of the way through the novel. Similarly, she constantly holds back important information from her uncle (who is also her lawyer) and the FBI and the whole conclusion of the story depends on her doing something that I frankly don’t believe anyone is dumb enough to do. Not all of her foolish moves are unbelievable. She is a teenager after all. And she and her best (and only) friend are almost obsessed with the idea of changing a person’s death date, which explains how he catches the FBI’s attention and gets accused of murder. The bullying in school that follows is well written and disturbing and it is in the resolution of that problem that the novel finally hits its stride and gets on firmer footing. Once Maddy undertakes to prove to the FBI she has her ability to see death dates, the novel improves considerably. The action moves more quickly and her talent proves useful to the investigation. But again, something happens that it is difficult to justify—even though it is very exciting when it happens. Maddy discovers the ability to influence death dates. This is difficult to justify. She hasn’t been seeing the date people die of natural causes. She’s been seeing the date they die no matter what the cause—cancer, murder, automobile accident. So how does she suddenly gain the ability to change the course of fate? Again, it’s exciting, but it left me looking for an explanation from the author that was not forthcoming. Overall, I’m glad I read the book. I enjoyed it. But I think that with just a little restructuring of the plot it could have been a far superior novel.
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    So Good

    Simply Amazing! Victoria Laurie can really do no wrong. Well done. I have been a fan since the beginning and she just gets better.
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    Really good!!!

    I loved the emotion it made me feel!! It was exciting and suspenseful and I won’t lie I cried, but it was worth it.
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