When Will the End Come for You?


It started as a jumble of numbers that would eventually form dates. Those dates set Madelyn Fynn apart from the rest of society, and they are the reason she is suspected of murder.

Julie Day, Staff Writer

Would you want to know what date you are going to die? Victoria Laurie poses this question in an admirable way in her novel When.

Madelyn Fynn is a junior in high school who was given an innate ability to see the death-dates of everyone she sees. Maddie’s mother, an alcoholic widow, uses her daughter’s ability as a way of income. Mrs. Tibbolt comes to Maddie to know of her daughter’s death-date, and Maddie could not help but notice the upcoming death-date of her son, Tevon. Mrs. Tibbolt grew angry with Maddie and called her a liar. When Tevon goes missing, the FBI investigates Maddie.

The novel follows the investigation of missing teens that turn up dead. The FBI blindly bases their entire investigation on Maddie, which is completely irrational because of the nature of the crimes. For about 200 pages, two FBI agents practically harass the Fynns instead of trying to solve these murders.

Finally, Maddie and her uncle, Donny, finally convince the FBI agents of her innocence and the novel really takes up speed. Everything happens quickly and in true teen fiction style, ends with a happy romance. When is the equivalent to spending time and effort buying a really great present, then balling the funnies section of a five year old newspaper around the gift.

The story is compelling and intricate, yet Laurie dwells on the fruitless investigation of Maddie for far too long. Because of this, the story becomes absolutely impractical. The FBI is made to look incompetent and narrow minded, and a police investigation of dead teenagers stays at a standstill for months because the two FBI agents on the case refuse to look at anyone else except a teenage girl for the horrendous crimes. If Laurie would have spent less time ruining the image of the FBI and more time on character development, the novel would have been stellar.

Even though it takes its time to unfold, the actual story line is quite captivating. The truth in this murder mystery novel is shrouded in suspicion with a plot twist that takes readers by surprise. Due to the exciting story line and vivid descriptions, this novel by Victoria Laurie would make a much more excellent movie.