Monday, April 5, 2010

Numbers by Rachel Ward

Publisher:  The Chicken House (February 1, 2010
Pages:  336
Source:  Purchased

Jem seems to be a very misguided teen ager.  She has lived in many foster homes since she was seven years old and her mother died of a drug overdose.  She doesn't make friends.  There is no use in getting close to people when you have an ability like Jem.  Whenever she looks into someone's eyes she sees a number.  This number is the day they will die.  She finds herself in trouble at school and so she and the only friend she seems to have, a boy nicknamed Spider, go off to an amusement park.  While standing in line she sees the same number on everyone's head.  The number is set for that day.  She panics and pulls Spider out of the park.  As they run away they hear an explosion.  Now they are wanted for questioning in the terrorist act in the park.  Spider and Jem  make many wrong choices while on the run.  Who can they trust?
There was a point while reading this book that I told my husband I didn't really like the book.  Then I got about halfway through and it picked up speed.  The way the book ended was not the way I thought it was.  Rachel Ward did a nice job of setting the book up so if she wants to do a sequel she can.  Her characters were very believable.
There were a couple of things I didn't like and I know it is a personal thing.  The first is the use of the "f" word.  It seemed as if it was used every few paragraphs.  We all know that teens swear but I found it overused.  Although I understood the words that are more European in nature a lot of my students will not understand what is being said.  Unfortunately because I teach in a middle school and a lot of my students talk and act like Jem and Spider, I can't put it on my shelf.  However, I can donate it to my local library.  I will recommend this to my friends and I do hope that she writes a sequel.

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