Numbers is a teen fiction novel by Rachel Ward, which came out in 2009. Numbers books explore the gift of being able to see death dates. If you looked in somebody's eyes and saw the date of their death, would it change the way you felt about people? Would it change the way you lived your life?
Jem is able to see other people's numbers, the date of their death. She befriends a boy named Spider and takes a trip to London where Jem forsees a chain of events.
I found Jem to be the usual very depressing, sultry, woe-is-me teen girl who just can't seem to catch a break since her mother died when she was younger. She hates being in foster care, she hates other kids and just wants to spend her days alone trying not to look in anyone else's eyes for fear of seeing their number.
Spider is a bit of a doofus but much easier to like. He quite obviously has a thing for Jem but, he doesn't exactly have much longer left anyway. Both characters did annoy me ever so slightly though just for the fact they acted so gangsta chav saying "Safe" and "respect". Everytime they said one of those words i'd cringe slightly, but maybe i'm just getting old!
On the whole though I quite enjoyed the book. In the beginning it was difficult to read as I have Thanatophobia (a fear of death). And while yes, I realise probably everyone has this fear, in my case it's panic attack kind of fear. So it was hard for me to read it and try not to freak out! It occasionally made me laugh and it was very thought provoking. But I think the best part about Numbers is anyone can connect with it. Every person has their own opinion on whether or not they'd like to know the date of the death beforehand and everyone is afraid of the inevitable. Whether you're 14 or 40, this book will hit home. Rachel Ward is certainly one to watch. But I'd avoid eye contact if I were you...