Saturday, February 13, 2010
Numbers by Rachel Ward (yes, I am back from the dead, AKA fluworld)
Release Date: Available Now from Scholastic
Source: From Publisher
By the numbers....
"Listen, Jem." The words came spitting out of her face. "I don't need this today, so just...shut...up." Syllables stinging like angry wasps, her venom fizzing around me. And all the time, as we sat eye-to-eye, her number was there, stamped on the inside of my skull: 10102001.
Four years later, I watched a man in a scruffy suit write it down on a piece of paper:
Date of Death: 10/10/2001.
Ever since she was child, Jem has kept a secret: Whenever she 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 awful awareness, Jem avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. The two plan a trip to the city. But while waiting to ride the Eye Ferris wheel, Jem is terrified to see 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!
This is an absolutely fantastic read!! I know I say that a lot and I always mean it when I say it, but this is a book that truly deserves all of the exclamation points and praise I can throw at it.
When I started it, I don't think I really knew what I was getting into. I knew the basic idea behind the book, but I had no idea where Rachel Ward would take that idea, or what an amazing journey I would take through these pages.
It's not an easy read, I mean emotionally. Readability-wise, I just sailed right through it. The story and the superb writing kept me turning the pages well into the night. Emotionally though, these characters will just break your heart. These are the types of kids that I see at school everyday: the forgotten ones, forgotten by their families and society. Jem, although hard as nails, is one of the most compelling and heartbreaking characters I think I've ever met. She's wonderfully portrayed here with just enough anti-social mixed with wants to be loved.
Action-packed doesn't even begin to describe this book. These kids are running nonstop...it wore me out just reading it. And the ending was a complete surprise to me, too. I can't wait for the sequel. I don't know what the US date is for book 2, but it comes out in the UK in June, I think. Can't wait!!
Superb book!! Unfortunately, on my recent trips to both B&N and Borders, I haven't seen it on the shelves once. I hate that awesome books aren't reaching the shelves where we can all get our hands on them. So, please head to your local booksellers and ask about the title. If they don't know we want these books, then they'll never make the effort to get them in stock. Trust me....from my days in the book world, I know, if the customer keeps asking, they will finally listen.