Book Review - Numbers by Rachel Ward

Monday March 8, 2010

by Rachel Ward
February 1, 2010
The Chicken House
Whenever Jem meets someone new, no matter who, as soon as she looks into their eyes, a number pops into her head. That number is a date: the date they will die.

Burdened with such an awful awareness, Jem avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. But while they’re waiting to ride the Eye Ferris
wheel, Jem notices that all the other tourists in line flash the same number. Today’s number. Today’s date. Terrorists are going to attack London. Jem’s world is about to explode!


This is one of those books that starts out at a slower pace and then has an ending that kicks your a**. After I finished the book I kept going back and re-reading passages that I really liked.

After Jem and Spider witness the terrorist attack in London they panic and runaway from it all. Their journey together shows that this book is more about building bonds, trust and love after you've been hurt and let down by others most of your young life. Don't get me wrong, Jem's horrific gift plays a key part in the story but the heart of the story is more about Jem, Spider and the people they meet along their journey.

I really liked this book. I loved Jem and Spider because they are imperfect and real and represent so many lost children out there. Physically and emotionally abandoned children who are victims by proxy of drug and alcohol abuse. There is a line in the book that Jem says to Spider that really struck me and says it all:

"Wouldn't it be good if you could start again?" I said. "I feel like my life's screwed up before I even got started."

As a middle school teacher/librarian I see these kids all the time. Maybe that's why this book really struck me and will stick with me for a long time.

A wonderful debut novel that I totally recommend. I'm anticipating the follow up book The Chaos which will be published sometime in Spring 2011.

References to drugs/alcohol/sex make this book appropriate for ages 14 and up.

Check out the book website HERE and read the first chapter of Numbers!

Review copy sent by publisher and donated to school library. 


Maria the Bookworm said...

Numbers has been on my wishlist for a while now :) Once again, great review!

brizmus said...

I love books that make you want to immediately go back and reread passages! I've been wanting to read this for a while, but the other day I read a negative review and have since been scared.
Glad to hear you really liked it! :-)