NUMBERS by Rachel Ward
Publisher: Chicken House
Released: January 2009
Review Format: Paperback
Series: Numbers #1
Since her mother's death, fifteen-year-old Jem has kept a secret. When her eyes meet someone else's, a number pops into her head - the date on which they will die. Knowing that nothing lasts forever, Jem avoids relationships, but when she meets a boy called Spider, and they plan a day out together, her life takes a new twist and turn. Waiting for the London Eye, she sees everyone in the queue has the same number - something terrible is going to happen.Wow, what a fabulous read this book was! I borrowed it from my local library and started it the day I bought it home. As you know, I am such a slow reader and I actually finished this one in less than 24 hours – a first for me!
The synopsis for this book really grabbed my attention. Can you imagine what it would be like to be able to see the date someone would die? And how could a story be written around this? As it happens, very well! I was totally entranced with Jem and Spider from the moment I met them and loved where Rachel Ward took this story.
Jem is a very introverted character. She doesn’t much like human contact and would rather everyone just leave her alone. Personality wise, she could have been a very uninteresting or irritating character, but Rachel Ward did an amazing job with her and I really loved watching Jem grow and I felt so connected with her that I was sure we could’ve been friends. As the main character for this book, she was perfect. I can’t imagine Numbers with a different lead at all. Befriended by Spider early on in the book, the two of them end up on the run from the police after being connected to an awful incident in London. During their time on the run Spider starts to make some progress with Jem and her reluctance to become friends, and it was interesting to understand why Jem felt like this. Spider tried so hard and was so understanding that I really respected him. I can’t really say any more without spoiling the storyline for you. I do want to say though that there is a sex scene in this book, but it is done very tastefully so I still think that it is suitable for a teen audience.
The writing flowed beautifully throughout this book and was very easy to read. I didn’t find myself having to take a break to work out what was going on like I do in some books. Each time I put the book down to do some chores, I was desperate to finish what I had to do so I could go pick it up again. I found I really needed to know what was happening to Jem and Spider.
I think my favourite scene in this book was the rain – if you’ve already read it you’ll know exactly what I am talking about, or if you haven’t read it yet, that scene is just full of emotional awesomeness - so now you have to read it to find out why I loved that bit so much!
Numbers ends with a fairly big cliff hanger that I didn’t see coming until the very last pages. I can’t wait to get stuck in to book two, Number: Chaos, very soon. I loved this book and I really recommend you give this series a go. I don’t think you’ll regret it!
My rating: 5 stars