Thursday, February 25, 2010

Review: Numbers by Rachel Ward

Publisher: Chicken House Ltd

Released: January 5, 2009

Paperback, 304 pages

Teaser quote:

"Instead of backing away or hitting back, he got his arms and legs around me, and kind of wrapped me up, and squeezed. My arms were held down by my side, my legs had no where to go. I was held in close, my face pressed into the smelly place under his arms, and he sort of sapped the fury out of me. I could feel it going, feel my body relaxing. His chin was resting on top of my head, and we stood there for a bit, just breathing.

'You all right now?' he said after a while." (pg 98)

My rating: 3.5 / 5

My thoughts:

Jem has a unique ability - when she seems someone's face, she see's numbers. Their death date, to be exact. She's lived a rough life, no Dad & a drug addicted mom who accidentally dies of an overdose, leaving her an orphan. She's been around the block, no one seems to understand her, until she meets Spider, a school mate who slowly becomes more. A trip to London changes their lives forever as Jem see's today's date on multiple faces, causing her to think there is going to be a tragic accident and them to flee. She was right, but now news reports say police are looking for two witnesses who fled the scene just before the blast. Having no faith in the system and thinking they are going to take the blame, Jem and Spider decide it's best to run away and start fresh.
I loved the premise of this. I'm a huge numbers geek in real life, but sadly this story didn't focus on that aspect. The beauty in the story is not Jem's numbers ability (as I had hoped for), it is watching two people who feel they have nothing to lose, find each other. The character development in Jem is heartwarming. Even knowing Spiders death date, she is finally able to feel love for someone and sees good in the others around her. Spider, on the other hand, doesn't make it as far but you see some passion as he falls for Jem.
The storyline was unique and had me guessing how it would play out. The moral dilemma appears a number of times (if you know someone's death date, should you tell?) but really this story was about Jem & Spider just struggling to survive. I did have to giggle though as the book takes place in 2009 with an epilogue 5 yrs later. For 5 yrs it seems that we get a glimpse into the future  - which makes me wonder why they didn't write this in 2004 with a 2009 epilogue?


  1. hmmmm it sounds interesting. Not sure if it's my thing as I'm totally anti numbers (I sucked at math!)

    I might give it a go though. Thanks for the info!

  2. Nice review. It sucks that the book takes place in 2009...they should of picked a number like 2060 or something lol

  3. okbolover ~ not to worry, no numbers involved, just dates :)

    Eleni ~ The setting wasn't futuristic so they had to stay in in the late 1990's to present but it was odd that they used 2009 then added a 5 yr later update.

    Juju ~ yep, thankfully though it's not dwelled up too much, just shows why her character is as screwed up as she is LOL. I've got to stop with all these death books, I've read too many this year!

  4. Thanks for the honest review. I've been seeing this book on a lot of blogs and was wondering if I should at it to the ever growing TBR pile.

    I have some awards for you at my blog:


  5. Sounds pretty interesting! It's too bad the numbers bit didn't do it for you, though.


  6. This is an intriguing premise for a book. It's a shame they didn't develop the numbers angle more fully.

  7. Great review!! I really want to read this, it looks good.

  8. I really liked this. I definitely agree that it was more about two desperate teens finding a connection than about the supernatural aspect, which I was slightly disappointed with at first but ended up liking.

    I didn't really get why they set it in 2009 with a 'five years later' epilogue either, until I heard that the sequel is set further into the future. Now it all makes a little more sense, I think.

  9. Maria ~ I hate giving so-so reviews. Thanks so much for the awards :)

    Lea ~ it was interesting in that it got me to thinking about something a bit off topic... depression, addiction etc. I can't wrap my brain around why they need to hit rock bottom but that always seems to be the way it goes. I liked that the book got me seeing her refusal for help not as a negative charater trait, more as her issues are something she needs to deal with herself.

    Stephanie ~ ya that part kinda bummed me too :(

    Book Monster ~ hope you love it :)

    Lauren ~ I figured there would be a sequel with that ending! Hmm, may have to give that one a try when it comes out :)

  10. Great review! Now I'm even more curious about this one, the premise sounds captivating!

  11. Thanks for the review, I enjoyed reading it! This one has been on my wishlist for a while now, it sounds really interesting!