Sunday, September 5, 2010

Review: Numbers by Rachel Ward

Title: Numbers
Series: The Numbers Series
Book Number: One
Author: Rachel Ward
Published: 2010
Source: Received for Review

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! (taken from

Numbers is an intense, honest book. It doesn't hide any of life's dark side. Jem is a poor, neglected girl with a terrible secret. She shuts everyone out and hides in alleyways, avoiding other people. 

I don't think I've ever read a book quite like Numbers. Death is such a prominent topic. Each human is a alloted a certain number of years, and once their time is up, they're gone forever. It's no wonder that Jem withdraws from society.  I wouldn't want to know when my friends and family were going to die, either. 

The UK author's style was entertaining and different. Her writing was a little odd, but I got used to it as I kept reading. One thing I never got used to was Spider and Jem's relationship. Maybe it was just because I didn't care for Spider. Ward didn't made him attractive or even that likable, and I never fell in love with him. To be honest, I'm not even sure if Jem ever did. It was like one of those "friendships with benefits," if you know what I mean. 

The plot didn't go the way I expected it to. After reading the synopsis, I expected the bomb to be later on in the story. Actually, the London Eye is bombed within the first hundred pages. This leaves Jem and Spider on the run for the next two-hundred-something pages, which was a bit tedious. 

Overall, I'd say that Numbers was a worthwhile read. It wasn't wonderful, but parts of it were poignant and thought-provoking, especially whenever Jem's supernatural ability interfered. Read it, but don't expect too much from it. 

*I received this novel from Penguin in exchange for an honest review.