Monday, August 09, 2010

NUM8ERS by Rachel Ward

I wrote about THE MARK earlier. Its another teen novel in which a teen can tell when someone is going to die. In that book an aura appears around people 24 hours before their deaths. This book explores whether or not to tell someone they are about to die, what one would do if they knew, if death could be prevented then what might happen. In num8ers Jem sees the date of death for each individual when she looks for the numbers. She has seen such numbers all her life and only recently understood them to be the date of death. She has been in foster care a long time as her parents are dead. Her current home is pretty stable but she is accustomed to skipping school and otherwise being a misfit. Another misfit who has recently started selling drugs for another student and using a little.Spider, becomes friends with Jem. He also frequently skips school and they often spent those days together. Its on one such day that Jem sees a cluster of deaths about to happen that same day, all of the people are near the London Eye Ferris wheel. In panic she runs taking Spider with her. The kids are seen running just as there is an explosion resulting in numerous deaths. They become persons of interest. Believing that no one will believe them innocent of causing the explosion they go on the lam, trying to escape the man-hunt, the law. While fleeing they have a number of harrowing experiences and recognize their true love for each other. Spider is captured, Jem goes into asylum in a church. They are reunited temporarily but tragedy strikes, partly because the reunion occurs on the date Jem sees as Spider's death and she is desperate to stop it. What follows is Jem coming to terms with things and a fairly common resolution - a new life replaces that of Spider's. This is mostly adventure story. I preferred Marked but Numbers is the more popular. JDW 8/9/10

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