Author: Rachel Ward
Publish Date: February 2010 by Chicken House/Scholastic
Pages: 325, hardcover
Reason for reading: For fun =)
Synopsis: 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 London 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!
Jem hasn't had it easy. She never met her dad, her mom overdosed when she was a kid and she bounced around foster homes. She's shut herself off from the world. Never having had any real stability and dealing with the eerie ability to foresee people's death, it just seemed safer to distance herself from everyone. Until the one day she meets Spider. Spider, an outsider like her, is almost bubbly and is bursting with energy. He doesn't push her and just accepts her for who she is and eventually she begins to open up.
One day, while hanging out in London waiting to ride the Eye, she notices that everyone around her is fated to die that very day. Fearing the worst, she and Spider make a run for it and escape the Eye right before its blown to bits. They are spotted running from the explosion and now all of London is on a manhunt for them. They run away and that's when everything changes...
At first, I really could not connect with Jem or Spider on an emotional level. Then again, these characters lived lives entirely different from mine so there wasn't anything for me to relate to. However, they were very complex in their own way. Tough on the outside, so vulnerable emotionally...that's what made them endearing.
The dialect and language in the book was a bit tedious at first, but we have to consider that the book takes in London *sigh* and the dialogue is being spoken by street kids. Within context, the language made absolute sense.
The premise of this story was very interesting. I could not imagine what it would be like to meet someone and instantly know when they would die. Ward carried this through the first part of the book. However, about half-way through, she veered off track a bit. The story shifted into more of a story of unlikely love between Jem and Spider. Towards the end of the book, the numbers theme came back into play and even more powerfully than before. By this time, you "feel" for these characters and you really want them to find the happy ending they so desperately want.
The story started off a bit slow, but by the end, Ward threw curve-ball after curve-ball *don't you just love that?* Overall, this story was unique and intriguing. It deals with a variety of topics including sex, drugs, strong language, moral dilemmas and mortality.
Some of you may find that you are having a hard time getting through it - but persevere! The ending is worth it and there is a great message hidden in there!
Heads up, there's a part two, Numbers 2: The Chaos scheduled to release in the US in the Spring of 2011.
RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥