Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Numbers by Rachel Ward

Jem is a foster kid, living with the label of orphan after her mother died of a drug overdose when she was a child, and she never knew who her father was.  She doesn't do well at school, she doesn't seem to fit in with her foster family, and a dark secret keeps her from connecting with the people around her.  Jem can see numbers when she looks people in the eye, and it's not just any number, its the date that they are going to die.  She has always seen the numbers, even as a small child, but it wasn't until her mother died that she finally figured out what the numbers were - date of death. 

Now Jem is 15 and living with an okay foster mother, but she is on the fringes and alone - until she makes a connection with Spider, another social outcast.  When she sees a group of people with the same number Jem panics and drags Spider away, just before a terrible tragedy strikes, and now they are on the run from the police and hiding from the world around them.  Jem is spinning rapidly out of control, caught up in Spider's contagious energy and drive, as they run towards a goal that one of them may never reach.

I loved this book, and kept sneaking every chance I could to read it so that I could read it quickly and see what happens.  Jem is a wonderful character, full of flaws and all the other things that make her so human.  Spider is like so many young people I know, he sees what he thinks his future will be and wants to change it - not knowing that Jem already knows the date of his death and is desperate to change it.  The world they live in is gritty and real, the people around them are fleshed out and feel like they live and breathe - people that you might find walking down the street or wagging from school down at the local park.  The only thing that took getting used to was the amount of swearing - but again, it was not gratuitous swearing, it was real language that the people lived and breathed.

I'm already waiting for book two (even though there are other books on my shelf that I should be reading first) and hope that the series stays strong.

If you like this book then try:
  • Vilolet eyes by Nicole Luiken
  • Gifted touch by Melinda Metz
  • Shadowland by Meg Cabot (Jenny Carroll)
  • When lightning strikes by Meg Cabot (Jenny Carroll)

Reviewed by Brilla

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