Monday, April 11, 2011

Review: Numbers by Rachel Ward

 I can't believe it took me so long to read Numbers! I really enjoyed this book. I think what I enjoyed the most was how imperfect Jem is. Jem is a borderline delinquent. She is cullen , cuts classes at school and wanders the street of her English town. She avoids people as much as possible, their presence, their friendship and most importantly their eyes. When Jem looks into a persons eyes she sees them. Numbers. The Numbers represent their date of death.

Jem's gray world, listless world is interrupted by the presence of Spider. Spider shares in her delinquency but he also is involved in a dangerous game with some of the local criminal element. Jem tries to push Spider away but he is a force of nature. Soon she is attending parties, visiting Spiders house and meeting Val , Spider's grandmother and against her best judgement developing strong feelings for spider. Especially as the days of Spiders life are slowly ebbing away. Spider has less than 6 months to live.

Spider inspires risk and caring into Jem,s life and the two take off together. The two enjoy a brief joy and respite from the darkness of their worlds but soon the criminals Spider has ripped off are on their trail and the numbers of Spiders death come closer and closer.

I couldn't put this book down! Rachel has created a strong narrative voice in Jem. Her journey is heartbreaking at times and beautiful as she gently opens her heart to Spider. I also liked the Racial diversity in this book as Spider and his grandmother are African American.

Wonderful writing and characters that stay with you, a great read.


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