Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books)'s Reviews > Numbers

Numbers by Rachel Ward
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's review
Feb 27, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: ya, series, own, read-in-2011, paranormal


I have a slight love affair with British stories, so I was prepared to love Num8ers from the get-go. It’s nice that the story is worthy of my love as well. There are some really good “I know when you’ll die” books out there, but this is the first one that I’ve read that tackles death and fate so deftly. Jem’s ‘gift’ of seeing the date of a person’s death in their eyes is not only interesting, but so well developed. We never know how it came about or why, but we get to know Jem and how her emotions tie in with this talent.

Rachel Ward’s London is gritty and raw. Jem is a mere 15 years of age, but she’s seen far worse things than most people and it has toughened her up. She can rumble with the best of them, but she’s still only a girl. She’s scared and insecure and even petulant at times. Her somewhat negative attitude is brightened by the vibrant and normally carefree, Spider. Together, these two characters make quite the duo. They complement each other so well, too. Where one of them is weak, the other steps in to make up for it.

The relationship between Jem and Spider is the backbone to the story, but everything always comes back to the numbers. Fate and destiny play a huge role in the book because throughout all their travels, Jem is burdened with the knowledge that Spider is going to die. She’s seen his number and there’s no changing that. Or is there? That’s the question that drives Jem’s development and her actions. As human beings, is our fate set in stone? Are we destined to die on a specific date with no way to stop it? Or do we dictate how long our lives last? And the most important question, if you knew when someone was going to die, what would you do to change it?

Num8ers is a fast-paced story, driven by a girl and her attempts to outrun the numbers of ‘fate.’ Jem and Spider’s growth through the story and their ups and down help to make the book that much more appealing. They truly are a duo for the ages and while their tender moments are needed, readers will not be disappointed by the slam-bang action that takes place in between. Num8ers is far more than just a book about a girl who can see death and I hope others give it a chance. Plus, when I read it, I could hear that British accent in my mind and I loved it!

Opening lines: There are places where kids like me go. Sad kids, bad kids, bored kids, and lonely kids, kids that are different. ~ pg. 1

Favorite lines: And then, a strangely comforting thought trickled through me – I had nothing, so I could do anything now. Anything I wanted. I had nothing left to lose. ~ pg. 58

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