Author: Rachel Ward
"Since the day her mother died, Jem has known about the numbers.
Numbers that pop into her head when she looks into someone's eyes. They're dates, the numbers. Dates predicting with brute accuracy each person's death.
Burdened by such grim knowledge, Jem avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. Maybe they can find happiness together, if only in the brief time that remains before his expiration date.
But on a trip to London, Jem foresees a chilling chain of events.
The city's a target. The clock's running out. The countdown is on to a blowup!"
"There are places where kids like me go. Sad kids, bad kids, bored kids, and lonely kids, kids that are different. Any day of the week, if you know where to look, you'll find us: behind the shops, in back lanes, under bridges, bu canals and rivers, 'round garages, in sheds, on vacant lots. There are thousands of us."
I truly enjoyed this book a lot more than I was expecting to. That's not to say I didn't think I would like it... I just wasn't expecting it to be the quick, crazy-interesting read that it is. There's something really intriguing about the concept of someone who can see death-dates. I mean, would you want to know if someone could tell you the date you would die?
This book did a really good job of portraying this sort of push and pull. On one hand, you want people to live their lives like today's their last day... on the other hand, people can fix what wrongs they've done if they knew how long they had. I dunno, it's just a really interesting concept.
The characters started out as really tough and jaded - but then you get to know them and realize what they're like from the inside. It's also cool to watch how each character reacts to things so differently. What they do in crisis... what they do in quiet times... what they do interpersonally... That's just a really big part of this book.
This book pulled me in from page one and really didn't let go until the ending. I'm not going to talk about the ending - but I just want to say that it's shocking. I may or may not have ended with a humongous gasp that weirded out the people around me. :). But this book is so fast-paced and cool that you barely realize the time is slipping by.
This is a great book for people who are into sci-fi concepts, but want a more realism in the story. I hesitate calling this sci-fi, because there are points in the story that you almost forget about her ability. But I'd say, perhaps 9th grade up... and I think guys will like this story just as much as girls would.
Check out Rachel Ward's website. This book was published first in the UK, and you can definitely feel the language... or lilt... or whatever. It's great :). I look forward to reading her next work!
Other Blog Reviews:
Book Love Affair
The Book Smugglers