I was really pleased with Death Date by Victoria Laurie. I haven’t read any young adult thrillers lately and her book definitely satisfied my needs for one. Death Date was also one of the better young adult thrillers that I have read this past year.
Death Date by Victoria Laurie
Expected Publication: January 13, 2015
How I Acquired This Book: ARC Tour
Pretty Little Liars meets Medium in this fast-paced thriller and fantastic YA debut from a New York Times bestselling author
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 maybe connected to it all, Maddie’s whole existence is about to be turned upside down. Can she right things before it’s too late?
(Summary from Goodreads)
Not only do I enjoy a really great young adult thriller, but I love when they involve ghosts, spirits or psychic abilities. When requested to read and review this book as part of an ARC tour, I had honestly been expecting a lot from Death Date. I have to say, Victoria Laurie definitely delivered. While the plot line itself was a bit different from what I had been expecting from the summary, I couldn’t help but turn page after page until the book was finished. I loved how original the idea for this book was and the idea that someone could see people’s death dates just by looking at them. I also loved how completely shocked I was when I was reading the final few chapters. All throughout the book I constantly thought I knew who the murderer was and every single time I was proven wrong and left guessing again. It’s a personal pet peeve of mine when you can easily out who the murderer is a couple chapters into a book. In Death Date, I didn’t know until Maddie herself knew and I liked the element of surprise that came with it. In the final chapter, I liked how the author tied everything together in a way I also wasn’t expecting.
As for the characters, I liked some and didn’t really like a few others. Without giving too much away, there are a few characters you will get serious mixed feelings for. You go from liking them to disliking them within a few chapters or opposite. I really liked the main character Maddie. To me, she seemed like a strong female lead character. She put up with a lot throughout the book and never once backed down. She was determined to prove her innocence to everyone and no matter how rough or scary things got, she kept going. I also felt sympathy for her as she often blamed herself for her father’s death and would ask herself the infamous question numerous times throughout the novel, “What if?”. In a way I would say Maddie was easily relatable, but in other ways I would say she isn’t (obviously because I don’ see people’s death dates and have never been the suspect of a murder investigation).
Overall, I really enjoyed Death Date; it pulled me in and grabbed my attention from the beginning. It was a quick read for myself since I was unable to put it down for more than a few minutes at a time. Death Date is also original and unlike any other young adult thrillers I have read before and definitely makes my top ten young adult thriller list.