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1 rating: 5.0
A book by Rachel Ward

Starred Review. Grade 8–10—10102001. That's Jem's mother's number. Jem saw it whenever she looked into her mother's eyes, but it wasn't until four years after the woman's fatal heroin overdose when Jem was 11 that she realized that the number … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: Rachel Ward
Publisher: Chicken House Ltd
1 review about Numbers

Exhilerating And Heartwarming

  • Feb 8, 2009
I've never read anything by Rachel Ward, nor am I even aware if she has written anything else. The one thing I'm very sure of is that this book is her literary masterpiece and will ensure her name goes down on history as a capable writer.

The story itself is unusual and the blurb on the back gives you a brief, yet distorted idea of what this story is about as a whole. It's true that it's about a girl struggling with the curse of being able to see the dates that people will die, but it's also about a close and developing friendship that helps her deal with this situation.

So the story itself is told from the perspective of Jem, a 15 year old orphan who has been distributed from foster home to foster home until she finally finds her place with Foster Mum Karen. She has the curse of being able to look into the eyes of anyone and seeing the date their lives will end. The result came on her mothers day who died of an overdose and was found by Jem, and she's lived with the fear of getting close to someone because she knows their date.

Getting close has always been her fear and that becomes worse when she finds friends in the wonderfully named "Spider." A lanky black kid who is essentially the definitive teenage stereotype we hear so much about in the news. Jem knows his number and it's not far away, so she struggles with her personal life and trying not to get too close. One day while out in London town, they both go to the London Eye but Jem notices everyone in line has the same number. In a panic they run and there's a terrorist attack on the London Eye, leading the media into a manhunt for the pair. Being on the run, they both find themselves letting their guard down and Jem lets him in closer and closer.

This is more a story of friendship than it is about the curse that Jem holds inside her. The development of the friendship whilst they are both on the run is actually quite beautiful. The story starts off with the characters generally sounding like the typical annoying "chav" stereotypes we here so much about today. They do start off that way but as I progressed through the book, a level of intelligent humanity is released and I found myself becoming attached to both characters and their quest for freedom.

It gets a high recommendation as it's a wonderful book.

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