Title: I Know When You’re Going to Die
Author: Michael J. Bowler
Narrator: Stephen Sanders
Leonardo Cantrell is a painfully shy sixteen-year-old who cannot look people in the eye. One night while he’s volunteering at a homeless shelter, an old man forces eye contact and gives Leo the power to see Death.
His best, and only, friend—J.C. Rivera—thinks this new power is cool until Leo accidentally looks into J.C.’s eyes and “sees” his murder, a murder that will occur in less than two weeks. Stunned and shaken, the two boys sift through clues in Leo’s “vision” in a desperate effort to find the killer and stop him before he can strike.
Aided by feisty new-girl-at-school, Laura, the boys uncover evidence suggesting the identity of the murderer. However, their plan to trap the would-be killer goes horribly awry and reveals a truth that could kill them all.
So where to begin with this review since I absolutely adored EVERYTHING about this book.
Leo isn’t like his classmates. Instead of worrying about material things and selfies, he spends his time helping out the less fortunate. That’s how he meets a homeless man who changes his life by giving him the ability to see when people are going to die. Leo reasons that as long as he doesn’t look into anyone’s eyes, he’ll be fine. Then, he accidentally looks into his best friend’s eyes and sees he’ll be murdered in a week.
For me, this was one of those books that you think about long after you reach the end. It had a lot of themes: good versus evil, life and death, and bullying. Every character in this book was very well fleshed out and it led to the themes of the story. I loved Leonardo. He was a very relatable character with a good heart and a soft-spoken nature. His best friend, J.C. was his exact opposite. I think it was for that reason that they got along so well. I loved the roller-coaster of ups and downs their friendship went through. I think everyone needs a friendship like they shared.
I liked Laura’s character too. She was a fantastic addition to the story with her intuitive ways and unique insight into the situation. Even the school bully, Chet, had a wonderfully tragic background. The kind that actually makes you understand why he is the way that he is. In the end, I loved the way the author had these characters interact and each one was strengthened by what they went through.
The entire death and life aspect is what kept me thinking though. If we had the power to see when someone was to die, would it be a good thing to interfere or let it happen? Throughout this book, I thought of the Final Destination movie franchises, and even the author made a reference in the story. Saving someone who is destined to die leaves ripples, but I love the decision that Leo made at the end of the story. I feel like that’s a fitting end to this story though it still leaves the reader with a bit of wonder.
Narration was wonderful. It seemed as if every character had their own voice, and it added to the immersiveness of the audiobook. Loved this combination of author and narrator.
Highly recommended audiobook!
This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.