I Know When You're Going To Die

Young Adult - Thriller
239 Pages
Reviewed on 11/17/2019
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Author Biography

Michael J. Bowler is a teacher, adoptive parent, lifelong child advocate, author of The Lance Chronicles series—books with multi-racial and LGBT characters that deal with significant issues facing American youth today, and Spinner, a horror-thriller featuring teens with disabilities as the heroes.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite

I Know When You're Going To Die by Michael J Bowler is a YA thriller/horror story. Leonardo Cantrell – Leo to his friends, Ninja Turtle to the bullies at school – is 16 years old and so shy he can’t look anyone in the eye. His life turns upside down when an old man at the shelter where he volunteers makes eye contact with him and passes on a gift – the power to see when someone will die. JC, Leo’s best friend, thinks it’s cool until the day Chet Hamilton, the biggest school bully, forces Leo to look in JC’s eyes and see his death, a bloody murder that will happen in less than a fortnight unless Leo can stop it. Together with Laura, the new girl at school, they go through everything Leo saw and think they have figured out who the murderer is. Laying a trap, they plan to stop the murder and change the future but everything goes horribly wrong. The truth is much worse than they ever thought and all three are in for the longest night of their lives, a night that could see them all dead.

I Know When You're Going To Die by Michael J Bowler is a fabulous story with an incredibly unique plot. Written in first-person, from Leo’s point-of-view, the story grabs hold of you straight away. The story centers on the main protagonist, his friends, and enemies, all of whom are exceptionally well-developed. The action is constant, with never a dull moment or any dead spots, and there are plenty of twists and turns, especially the ending. There are several threads running through this story – rich, so-called privileged kids who aren’t quite as privileged as you might think, bullying, friendship, and perhaps the overwhelming thread is that people aren’t always who you think they are and we should never take anyone at face value. This is an excellent story, adults young and older will enjoy it – I did and I look forward to reading more from Michael J Bowler.

Tiffany Ferrell

How mind-numbing and scary would it be if you had the ability to look into someone’s eyes and be able to tell exactly when they are going to die? That’s exactly the dilemma in which Leo finds himself in Michael J. Bowlers’ I Know When You’re Going To Die. Leo is a well to do boy from California who goes to one of the best schools around. Helping out at the rescue mission, he meets a strange elderly man one day who tells Leo that he’s the one. Grabbing Leo’s hand, this mystery man passes on a unique gift to Leo so he can finally die in peace. This gift is knowing when a person is going to die. Believing Leo, J.C., Leo’s best friend, tries to test the theory. They test his abilities with a few people, only to be proven that Leo’s visions were correct. J.C. warns him about meddling in fate when he desperately wants to help or warn the unfortunate people about to meet their maker. An honest accident puts a damper on his curiosity when Leo looks into J.C.’s eyes and is horrified to find out he will be murdered next Friday. With the clock ticking, Leo and J.C, as well as their new friend, Laura, begin to investigate who would want J.C. Rivera dead.

This was such a fun book despite the terrible things that happened to the characters. Michael J. Bowler has done a magnificent job of creating the perfect murder mystery. I really enjoyed Leo’s character and reading the novel through his eyes gives you an in-depth view of his mindset and why he stood apart from the others. What I found amusing were the few Batman mentions mainly because I picture Leo as a young Bruce Wayne. I Know When You’re Going To Die has definitely caught my attention as it is the first horror/crime novel that I have read and loved in quite some time. Perfect characters and plot. I am eager to read more of Bowler's fantasy crime stories as well as referring this book to my friends.

Christian Sia

What do you do when you know for certain your friend will be murdered? I Know When You're Going To Die by Michael J Bowler is a young adult thriller with powerful hints of the paranormal. A very shy boy, Leonardo Cantrell, avoids making eye contact with anyone. But when the sixteen-year-old boy makes eye contact with an old man while volunteering at a homeless shelter, he receives the power to see death. This should be a cool gift except that it leads Leonardo to learn the destiny of his only friend, J.C. Rivera. J.C. will be murdered in less than two weeks. Now they must uncover and trap the murderer. The only problem is that things don't work out as planned.

This is a powerful story with a very strong premise and Michael J Bowler does an impeccable job in capturing the interest of the reader. I wanted to know what will happen to Leonardo's friend. The characters are well-explored and they inspire sympathy in readers. The friendship between the two boys grows stronger from day to day as they seek clues to identify the murderer and Laura, the new girl in school, helps in beefing up the plot and deepening themes. Friendship, death, and murder are themes that are beautifully developed. Each chapter is well crafted with an ending that forces the reader to turn to the next page. I Know When You're Going To Die is deftly written, suspenseful, and featuring characters that are easy to root for; a very engaging and delightful read.