REVIEW: NUMBERS by Rachel Ward

NUM8ERS by Rachel Ward
Age Range: 12 and up
Pub. Date: February 01, 2010


One day Jem takes a look into her mother's face and a number becomes burned into her brain: 10102001. A number that she pays no mind to until a few years later when she watches the coroner write down DATE of DEATH: 10/10/2001. It was then that Jem realized that she had a special ability, a curse, she had the power to know ones expiration date.

Flash forward and Jem is now 15 and living life totally under the radar, refusing to look anyone in the eye for to do so would be TMI on a totally different level. Jem has been tossed from home to home and in and out of schools . She constantly feels lost and untethered, until she meets SPIDER, and why Jem doesn't want to admit it.....they fit.

Then one day while on in the city Jem comes to the horrifying realization that those around her all exhibit the same death date. Things click for Jem and before Spider knows it, she has him running away minutes before a catastrophe narrowly misses them both. Truths are known, accusations are made and soon Jem and Spider are on the run...WANTED.

While on the run you witness Jem and Spider's relationship solidify as they struggle to maintain a step ahead of the law. Their blooming romance is a bright spot amid the dark backdrop of this storyline. For the truth of Jem's gift is ever present and as the dreaded number comes and passes you will be left pondering. If you had the this unique gift, what would you do with it? Would you try and change the numbers or accept it as fate?

Rachel Ward has written a story that is dark and gritty while being original. I have to admit that I was not a fan of Jem until more than half way thru the book. She exhibited personal growth and strength while demonstrating a brutally honest view of having a gift that was more like a curse. And while I enjoyed the British slang, I question if it will meet with equal admiration from US audiences.

NUMBERS is not your regular book. It really got me thinking about what I'd do if I knew when people were going to die, what I'd do differently, and how I'd cope with it. It's an original concept that I haven't seen before, and is one of the things that I liked most about the book. I also admired the realistic setting that was so much of part of Jem's existence. The last sentence was mind blowing now you know there is a sequel and I would really be interested to read it.

So, if you want to read a story that is not candy coated and that will leave you guessing till the very end. Then this is the book for you.


  1. It would be SO hard to know when people were going to die. Not a talent I would want to have.

  2. I liked this book, though I know what you mean about the UK slang etc... holding up in the US. I did wonder if it would be changed for the US release, but it sounds like it hasn't been.

    I'm looking forward to the sequel, which is released here in June.

  3. What an uncomfortable talent to have! But it does sound like a book I would want to read. Thanks for the recommendation.

  4. I loved this, so I'm really looking forward to the sequel. It never occured to me about the UK slang, but you may be right.

  5. I gave it the same rating as you did, I don't think that I enjoyed it as much though. The Uk slang didnt bother me that much, but I'm from the Uk though.

  6. great review. i really want to read this. i have for awhile now. sounds intense. i would never want to have that gift. neverrr. i like UK slang, so i'll enjoy that (but I also understand it more than most US teens probably...haha)


  7. I really enjoyed this review, and I am intrigued by the fact that you said the book keeps you guessing until the very end. It sounds like an interesting novel. I will keep an eye out for it.


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