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Numbers (Numbers, #1)
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Numbers (Numbers #1)

3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  16,607 ratings  ·  2,114 reviews
Numbers that pop into her head when she looks into someone’s eyes. They’re dates, the numbers. Dates predicting with brute accuracy each person’s death.

Burdened by such grim knowledge, Jem avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. Maybe they can find happiness together, if only in the brief time that remains before his expiration d
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Published February 1st 2010 by Brilliance Audio (first published November 8th 2008)
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Abbie It was ok. The whole idea is what made me read it, imagine being able to see what Jem'd be insane!! I like her, and Spider, the pother main…moreIt was ok. The whole idea is what made me read it, imagine being able to see what Jem'd be insane!! I like her, and Spider, the pother main character. If you're curious, I'd say just read it because it's a relatively short book and you can always just read the 1st book and not the other 2. Or is there 3...?(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Numbers is yet another victim of misleading marketing. Everything about this book's packaging - the cover, the blurb - screams Sci-Fi! Saving the world! Action! Angsty love! No wonder every negative review of it I've read says - Well, I expected Numbers to be this, but it turned out to be that, so I am totally disappointed.

Let me tell you what this novel actually is about. Numbers is a story of two poor, rough British kids who find themselves on the run when, thanks to Jem's ability to see every
Ruth Belano
Review before finishing the book:

I am so sorry to my friend who willingly spent her money just to buy me this disappointing book for Christmas. When I read the overview, I was like, "This is going to be a great book!", and so, I spent months craving for this book because I don't have the time to buy and read it, until my oh so good friend gave it to me as Christmas gift. I was so excited to read it!! but...

It.was.horrible. The plot was just so irrelevant to the supposed main idea of the book. Th
Emily May
I was pleasantly suprised by this book, I really liked the story and the exploration of the underclasses and labelling in society. The questions asked about the current justice system in Britain and whether or not the police are simply looking for a likely candidate to blame, are often a question faced in reality. The exploration of racial issues also gives insight into a dark world where the police see a black boy (or girl, but less so) automatically as a criminal or at least a suspect.

The plot
Rachel Ward has written a really dirty and gritty novel here, one that will stick with me for a while...the ending was packed with a very sad punch...and the last few sentences really left me wanting Numbers 2, The Chaos!

So while, I was sure in the beginning this novel was NOT one I would like, thinking I would never finish it, in the end it's a 4 mushroom book for me! A book that reminded me that, while it might take a while, you need to give a book a just might turn out to be somet
Annie Z
Reading this book was agonising.

I wanted to like it so much. Jem’s ability is great. The message of the novel is interesting. The concept holds so much promise, but gets seriously bungled up due to the shoddy writing, silly characters and insipid plot.

I didn’t like the writing—it felt kind of messy to me. In my opinion, the story is told in a very dull way. I don’t know, it had the potential to be interesting, but it fell flat in that area.

And the characters! They are such complete idiots! Jem
Jem has an unusual gift--when she looks people in the eye, a set of numbers pops into her head. When she was younger, she thought nothing of this. However, when her mother dies of an overdose, the numbers suddenly make sense to 6 year old Jem: the numbers are the month, day, and year on which the person in question will die.

Now 15 years old, Jem has lived a tough life in inner-city London. Shuffled from foster home to foster home and understandably withdrawn and guarded because of her secret, Je
Didn't enjoy this book at all.

Not because of the writing or... a lack of talent from the author's side. No. I just hated the characters so much that I couldn't help but feel tortured throughout the story.
I mean, if you don't like the characters, you're doomed to dislike the book in general.

Alright, let me try to explain this without being rude.
The main characters are so dumb, that the only people I sympathized with in this story were the police chasing them.
There simply isn't a real reason for
I've been going back and forth on how I wanted to rate this book, and I'm still not sure it's worth a full three stars, but that's what it's going to get from me at least for right now. I guess I was expecting something more… maybe different from Numbers by Rachel Ward. It wasn't really creepy, dramatic, suspenseful nor intriguing at any grand or significant scale. The story just shifted my suspended reality from here to there with no consistent path or flow, but I never really lost interest, so ...more
Bah. I’ve been sitting here for twenty minutes now trying to figure out how to word this. I give up. Pretend I just wrote something clever.

The story bored me. A girl can see anyone’s date of death by looking into their eyes. Because of this, her life sucks. But then she meets a dude and she wants to change everything. It’s some combination of cliché horror movie and cliché YA novel. To its credit, the book doesn’t shy away from “adult” themes (sex, drugs, etc.), but it doesn’t do much with them.
Okay, so, usually, I try to be nice about reviewing a book, because writing a novel is hard, but I did not like Numbers. Like, at all.

I thought it was a really cool idea, that Jem could see the date of people's deaths, but I feel like that wasn't really the most important part of the plot.

It was like, "hey, this girl and her boyfriend are on the run from the police, even though they really didn't do anything wrong, but since they were suspiciously running from the scene before a terrorist attac
Loved it! Numbers is the story of Jem; a fifteen year old girl who has spent over half her life orphaned and bounced from family to family in the foster care system. Therefore, it almost goes without saying that she is a troubled girl with issues a plenty. In addition to the crap load of, well crap life has piled on her; Jem sees a number whenever she looks someone in the eye. That number is always there, always the same, and it is the date that person will die. As a result, Jem grows up learnin ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrea Hussey
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

I think you have to take the book synopsis with a little grain of salt. I went into this thinking it was going to be sort of post-apocalyptic, with this huge cataclysmic event that Jem knows is coming, and that it was going to be all about that. Really, though, it's all about Jem. The attack is fairly small, comparatively, and really is more a catalyst for the action, and not the action itself. It's a story of self-discovery as much as anything.
And I didn't find this a bad thing.

The book is m
I am so disappointed with this book. I’ve been looking forward to reading it for a few months now but for me, it just fails to deliver.

The concept of the novel is interesting: Jem, our 15 year old narrator, is able to see the date that someone is going to die once she looks them in the eye. This idea alone made me want to read this book, but now that I’ve finished it, it just feels flat.

Ward’s writing is good but the plot felt very thin and it feels like she has bulked the book up with unnecessa
Amanda (Born Bookish)
I was torn with whether I even wanted to finish reading this book or not. One minute I had decided that I wasn’t going to read it anymore and then I would decide that I wanted to see how things played out. I went back and forth, back and forth the whole book.

I was really intrigued by the whole plot of this book. A girl who sees the date someone is going to die whenever she looks into his or her eyes. Why can she see this? What does she do about it? How does she deal with it? I was interested to
One and a half stars would be the ideal for this book.
I thought this one, was a big, waste of time and money, mess. The first hundred pages were painful to read. Dialogues in "street talk" is not my idea of a good book. Because the dialogue just doesn't "flow". I don't care if Jem and Spider are fifteen years old, and if that is a way to ilustrate their social background. I understand it, but i don't have to like reading it.
In fact it became painful to do it.
But i'm more than thirty years old.
Jackie "the Librarian"
If you could know the date you were going to die, would you want to know?
In a just slightly different now, Jem is a moody teenager in the foster system in London. Her mom was a junkie who died of an overdose. She’s been moved from school to school, and in fact cuts school regularly. She has no friends, and avoids people. But that’s not why she’s a moody loner. Sort of like the kid from The Sixth Sense, Jem doesn’t exactly see dead people, she sees numbers. When she looks someone in the eye, she
The idea reminds me still of this video:

I remember thinking that I would've loved to see it as a movie or a book back then ;))
As for this book, there are so many conflicting opinions, maybe I'll give it a try one day and see it for myself.


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When I first saw this book I couldn't wait to read it.When I started reading it I was really disappointed.I thought that it will be really interesting with Jem's creepy abilities,but it was just boring.I didn't like the characters(I liked Britney,but she was suspiciously kind) and neither the action.Jem and Spider were just running and hiding and I think that it could be more exciting if someone was following them.Actually they were followed by everyone...
When I reached the middle of the book I
Julie H.
Num8ers is the unlikely love story of Jemma (a.k.a. Jem) and Terry (a.k.a. Spider, nicknamed for his constant and ungainly motion). Jemma is a child of the foster care system who at age six found her mother's dead body after a heroin overdose. All her life, she has learned not to form attachments because the people she loves either don't love her in return or they all leave. Jem goes through life making as little eye contact and no physical contact whatsoever with the people around her. This is ...more
Just by glancing into someone's eyes, Jem can see the date of when that person will die. She has been dealing with this all her life, and she always feels the constant dread of knowing when someone's life ends; it could be in the matter of years, or days. She knew when her mother was going to die; 10/10/2001, and when that day came around the corner, her mother died of an overdose. Now, she lives with her foster mother and two little brothers, Jem keeps to herself and rejects anyone who tries to ...more
Eliora Vespera

"While I existed, the number existed. I was the number and the number was me."

You'd think that Jem is just the ordinary wallflower, the kind that skips the class and avoid social structures. The kind that would grow up just like her failure mother, a junkie who never cared about her own daughter.

It's true Jem doesn't understand most people, but the real reason why she avoids people (specifically eye contact) is because that she sees a set of numbers. At first whe
What pushed this book from 3 to 4 stars for me, is the dark and gritty subtext going on here between the lines. Jem's and Spider's world is not a kind one -- their story represents all those underprivileged, disenfranchised kids who fall through the cracks to end up working dead-end jobs, addicted to drugs, serving time, or dead. It's not a pretty picture, and while Ward is writing from a clearly British perspective, I feel it's not all that different in Canada either -- born into poverty, drugs ...more
3,5 é a pontuação correcta.

Em Números- Luta contra o tempo conhecemos a vida de Jem, uma adolescente de 15 anos que desde que se lembra, quando vê uma pessoa, não importa a idade dessa, vê um número. esse número que vê é a data em que a pessoa vai morrer. Ela sempre viu os números mas nunca se tinha apercebido o significado destes; apenas quando a sua mãe morreu é que conseguiu decifrar o enigma dos números.

Claro que tudo isto é um grande fardo para Jem, que não consegue lidar com esta pressão
This book had a promising plot, as one would know from reading not only fellow reviews, but also the plot, so what went wrong?


Well, A LOT OF THINGS did. I liked the fact that Ward strayed from stereotypical girl and hot bad boy guy falling in love, but still, this book took running away to a whole new level it just makes me
(view spoiler)

What's up with that?!? The heroin was reckless, impulsive,
Katelin R
I would recommend the book “Numbers” by Rachel Ward to a friend because the book has a very unique and engaging plot. In the beginning of the book Jem (one of the main characters) says, “There are places were kids like me go. Sad kids, bad kids, kids that are different. Any day of the week, if you know were to look you’ll find us.” (1) This part of the book really hooked me. I wanted to know more about the main character. Will he/ she get into a lot of trouble? Why is he/she bad and sad? Also i ...more
Well, I'm not sure how I should even begin on this excuse of a book.

*Note: what I'm saying is my personal opinion, and I might be extremely harsh on this book.

Firstly, I must comment on the overall "feel" of the book. Before reading "Numbers," I had this almost science-fiction feel, and I thought it was going to be an interesting book about how she uses this superpower for interesting ways.

Instead, I get this crude tone of gangsters and drug addicts talking all the time, and rude, offensive Jem,

La curiosidad mató al gato y ya sabéis que soy un poco gatuna, así que tanto oír hablar de estos libros -bastante mal, la mayor parte de las veces- hicieron que me lanzara a la piscina. Lo único que sabía acerca de Numbers era que la protagonista veía números en la cara de la gente: la fecha de su muerte. Y qué queréis que os diga, me parecía de lo más interesante. También había escuchado que el problema de la historia eran los protagonistas... y yo tengo mi opinión y os la voy a contar, que
Unusual—this a good thing—YA novel about a 15-year-old girl who, whenever she looks into a person's eyes, sees the date of their death. Unsurprisingly, this fucks her up a bit, as does the death of her mother from an overdose. I really liked that Jem is an unconventional heroine—she's poor and genuinely troubled, not I'm-clumsy-and-my-parents-don't-pay-attention-to-me troubled—and her narrative voice is great. The hero, Spider, is also unconventional, and, warts (or in this case, B.O.) and all, ...more
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Numbers Lit Curcle Novel 2 7 Jun 13, 2015 11:11AM  
En Español, Please!: Numbers - (Abril 2015) 1 9 Mar 16, 2015 10:46AM  
Was it hard to picture Spider as black (not to be racist)? 30 237 Dec 17, 2014 02:59PM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.
More about Rachel Ward...

Other Books in the Series

Numbers (3 books)
  • The Chaos (Numbers, #2)
  • Infinity (Numbers, #3)
The Chaos (Numbers, #2) Infinity (Numbers, #3) The Drowning (The Drowning #1) Water Born (The Drowning, #2) Numbers - Die Trilogie plus Prequel: Exklusive E-Box

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“You get use to someone—start to like them, even—and they leave. In the end, everyone leaves.” 296 likes
“Life's not that simple. Not so easy to move on when the anger you've got is what keeps you going.” 82 likes
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