NumbersNumbers by Rachel Ward
Novel provided by publisher.
Win this Novel! Click here.

PJV’s QUICKIE POV: Braced for a phenom read, I was slow getting into this novel and even slower to actually like the characters so halfway through I put it down disappointed. Curiosity pulled me back the next day and I couldn’t put the darn book down. Read all night and ended the book with a slam and an “Oh fudge!” (Ok it was more the R rated version).  This novel was that powerful. When someone describes a novel as gritty… well this is what they mean.  This novel was gritty, touching, scary, and pitiful, all wrapped up into one thought provoking piece.

REVIEW: Jem and Spider are products of London’s housing projects. They are going no where, and no one expects them to.  Spider is a black, ADHD, awkward boy whom is attracting the wrong kind of attention. Jem is a white, orphan, who watched as her mother died of an overdose. College is not even a thought, they have no dreams, they have no future, all they have is the now. Yet, Jem has a secret, a secret she figured out the day her mother died.  She can see the date of people’s death in their eyes.  She saw her mother’s date of death, she saw the homeless man’s that got ran over my a car, and now as her and Spider hang at The Eye…she sees that everyone near them has the same date. Today.

They run.  And they keep running, because two youths running from the scene of a terrorist attack that had been acting very strangely right before are now wanted for questioning.

This is a tough read, it is really hard getting through the first half because it is almost an OCD chronicle of the lives of these two tragic characters. In the end it has meaning.  Stick through it and read on. Character development is a slow steady progression, at first I was unsure I even liked these two. Jem was angry and mean spirited, Spider was whacked out and dishonest, how could I like them, when they had not one redeeming trait. Yet as we traveled the English countryside with them, the two characters grew themselves, and they morphed into respectable and likable creatures.  By the end I loved them.

RECOMMENDATIONS:  Mature teens and adults. There is mature content in the pages of this book, but I recommend this for teens, I think it might be an eye opener. Parents you might want to read before you pass it on to make that judgment yourselves.