Monday, May 3, 2010

Numbers by Rachel Ward (ATWT)

 Published: February 1st 2010 by Chicken House/Scholastic Inc.
Hardcover, 325 pages
ISBN: 0545142997
(isbn13: 9780545142991)

Whenever Jem meets someone new, no matter who, as soon as she looks into their eyes, a number pops into her head. That number is a date: the date they will die.

Burdened with such an awful awareness, Jem avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. But while they’re waiting to ride the Eye Ferris
wheel, Jem notices that all the other tourists in line flash the same number. Today’s number. Today’s date. Terrorists are going to attack London. Jem’s world is about to explode!


Having a curse of a power, Jem avoids any contact from the people around her. Being faced with the foster care system at age seven, she's been bouncing from family-to-family for some time now. She's fifteen and tries to distance herself from civilization. When forced to make communication with one never-still tall black kid her age, she takes a chance. What she finds leaves her on the run from the pigs and heartbroken.

I have to say, with Jem's unusual power of being able to see the death date of anyone who looks her in the eye; I sincerely thought that Number's would be a great addition to the YA genre. What I found left me foul-mouthed and deeply frustrated. I've seen mixed reviews of Numbers, and really thought that the reviewers that gave two-stars didn't understand the words they were reading. I took their word in kind, and when I read Reading With Tequila's review, I knew that everything she said I agreed with wholeheartedly. The very beginning of Numbers was depicted of Jem's past and how she acquired her ability; it also mentioned how her present day life she was dealing with being devoid of interaction with others. While her loneliness was completely understandable, as the book progressed, I soon found that there really was nothing special about seeing the day people die. Although, Jem had a rule of not telling anyone about her ability, there were instances where it could have helped the people she semi-cared about. It was honest that she thought that no one really understood her, but it's not really like she tried to explain herself, at least not until it was really necessary in the very end. Jem's character didn't really appeal to me in any way, and I can't say that she grew as a fonder character. Spider, a character that shows up out of nowhere from the start, was quite quirky in the beginning. Besides his BO, Jem and Spider seemed to have somewhat of a chummy relationship. As they were on the run, their relationship grew to a point where it was interesting but unbelievable. Even with all the horrid remarks Jem thought about him at first, she still grew feelings for him that were much unexpected. The last few chapters I really didn't enjoy at all. It seemed like Ward really didn't know what to do with the ending but just let it go and see where it fell. It was a made-up ending for a terrible tale.

I do not recommend this book in any way; don't even pick it up at the library if they have it.

Grade: D-