Review: Num8ers

Posted on February 15, 2010

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Numbers
By Rachel Ward
The Chicken House
February 2010
336 pages

When fifteen-year old Jem looks into a person’s eyes she can “see” the date of his death. For that reason, she keeps her distance from people. Her ability is a burden as well as a curiosity for her. Are the numbers absolutely certain? Do they have something to do with her? Can fate be altered?

Out of the blue one day her schoolmate Spider strikes up a friendship with her. His antics match his nickname and he’s constantly in trouble so Jem finds him annoying at first. But she can “see” that his number is up in a few weeks and this intrigues her. After they get expelled from school, Jem and Spider take off on a day trip into the city to ride the London Eye Ferris wheel. While waiting in line Jem can’t help but notice everyone has the same number and it’s that day. She believes something bad is about to happen. She begs Spider to run and the two of them are seen fleeing from the scene before a bomb explodes. From then on they are swept up by the hand of fate.

At first glance most of us wouldn’t be caught dead with the likes of Gem and Spider. But Rachel Ward carefully lays bare their souls and it’s easy to care about these two kids. You won’t get your hands dirty reading Numbers but you will feel the grittiness of life as a throwaway kid.

Copyright (c) 2010 by Peggy Tibbetts

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