Jem Marsh could see numbers for as long as she could remember. Every time she looks into a person’s eyes, she sees a number. Her mother’s number was 10102001. It wasn’t until October 10, 2001 that she knew what the numbers meant: it is the day when that person will die.
Knowing when someone’s time is up can really put a damper on relationships. Although she tries to drive people away, Spider, a very tall fellow misfit, just won’t stay away. Even though his date is just a few short months away, she can’t help but befriend him. One day, while the pair is hanging out at the London Eye, Jem notices that everyone’s number around them falls on the same day. As Jem drags Spider away, an explosion rocks the area. Suddenly, Jem and Spider are being chased by police and are under suspicion for the crime. How long can they stay on the run? Can they avoid the police forever?
The concept for Num8ers is a very interesting one – can you imagine knowing when everyone will die? I really felt for Jem and understood why she acted the way she did. I don’t think anyone could act in a completely normal way if that knowledge weighed on them every day.
The first half of Num8ers had me on the edge of my seat and rooting for the misfit couple. My problems with the novel began midway through the book. At a certain point, it seemed as if the plot just stopped and became pointless. I accepted that the characters were scared teens who had to run away from a difficult situation. The particular situation served a purpose in deepening Spider and Jem’s relationship and progressing it to a romantic stage. However, the latter part of the novel just fell flat for me. There seemed to be no real reason for the ensuing events and my disbelief was difficult to overcome.
As a whole, I enjoyed Num8ers. The characters were compelling and the writing style sucked me into the story. The last quarter of the book wasn’t the best and was obviously left open for a sequel. I will give Rachel Ward another chance and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
Elizabeth is a student at Cal State Long Beach. She laughs a lot, loves cats, and lives for music and books. You can read her blog here: http://titania86-fishmuffins.blogspot.com/.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Big Honcho Media. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.