Review: When by Victoria Laurie

24460603Blurb from Goodreads

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 the how, 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?

Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published January 13th 2015 by Disney Hyperion
edition language: English
genre: Mystery, Paranormal, Young Adult
My Thoughts
ARC was provided by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review.This book somehow brings out memory of my teenage life when the only thing I read is suspense-detective kind of books. I love detective stories I thought I’ll only read them for the rest of my life which is not likely happen as I grow old.

Now, reading this book with my older eyes and mind, I can say that I still love this kind of books. And I really enjoyed this story, though I also realize that there are things that feel unbelievable and far-fetched. But I can shrug it off and think that Maddie is just a teenage girl. So it’s understandable when she’s a bit naive and doesn’t take a second thought of what older people suggest her to do. When she puts her mind on something, she’ll do it. No matter what. In a way I admire her bravery. On the other hand I feel like I want to tell her to be careful. The story also contains with things that are too easy for Maddie and other characters it seems they are often be at the right/wrong place in a right/wrong time. And much for their inconvenience it seems to help/make the situation worse for them. But then again, I can still bear it as I like the characters.

For one thing, though it’s kind of predictable, there are still things that surprise me. And the pace is so good it’s so engaging I want to keep reading it. There are moments when I feel my heart beats fast as much as when I can’t help not to smile because of Maddie and her bestfriend, Stubby’s coversation or his unique personalities behind that shyness and awkward boy. And I really like their relationship. They a bit remind me of Amy and Hawkeye, a pair of teenage detectives from Can You Solve The Mystery? series I fell in love with long time ago.

And then as I reach the final page, I realize I don’t want this story to end. It has perfect ending, I really liked it but I also feel like I can read more of Maddie and other good characters in the future.

Result: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Reading Challenge:
– GoodReads: Book #5
– YA Buddy Readers’ Corner ♥: Finish all of ARCs (Advance Reader Copy) I have by the end of 2015.
– Popsugar: A book with a one-word title
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Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

19288043Blurb from Goodreads

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? 

Paperback, 422 pages
Published April 22nd 2014 by Broadway Books (first published June 2012)
edition language: English
genre: Mystery, Thriller, Adult
My Thoughts
What are you thinking, Amy? How are you feeling? Who are you? What have we done to each other? What will we do?

Nick and Amy Dunne are one fucked up couple

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I know that this book has lots of twists with wicked characters, both main female and main male character. So I kinda prepared myself to not fall into one of them or believe what they or one of them say. And I really did try to guess and see everything they told me so that I won’t be that surprised when I face those twists.

But the thing is the way Gillian Flynn wrote was so damn believable I cannot help not to fall to the characters. So in some part I felt sorry for Amy and really, truly, honestly hate Nick. And in another part I felt the opposite. It was just so weird I can’t decide which one I most love or hate. And at the same time the twists were still surprising, even after my friend told spoiler to me. So yeah…this is just that good!

I also really liked the characters. The two different POV made me see them as very different characters. And they play their role well, I have love to hate and hate to love relationship with them along the story. I hate Nick for what he did in their marriage while at the same time I can see (and understand, though am disagree) why he did it. And so does with Amy, I understand the reason she did what she did, and at the same time I think she’s crazy-manipulative woman. I know this might sound crazy and weird but I admired her, especially in part two. She’s smart, manipulative and cunning. I liked her POV much more than Nick’s because her POV can deceive me and kept my mind thinking and guessing of the story.

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At the same time, I didn’t quite like her in last few chapters of part two. I felt like it wasn’t Amy’s POV that I admire in first chapters of part two. It was like she turned into indifferent character. She isn’t that cunning anymore and rather silly and unprepared than a smart and thinking ahead woman. She’s just another case of rich girl who doesn’t know what to do outside her comfort zone. And the result was I felt like the story drag on, before it backs on track in part three.

All in all, as my first experience of Gillian Flynn book, I won’t forget Amy and Nick story easily. And they won’t be the only characters I read from Ms. Flynn. Now I’m gonna buy and read her previous books, for sure.

Result: 4 out of 5 stars