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Numbers: Book 1 [NOOK Book]

Overview

Starred by PW and SLJ! Now in paperback, Rachel Ward's gripping debut psycho-thriller that pairs futuristic sci-fi with a tender, touchingly real love story. Includes a teaser to the sequel!

Ever 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 horrible ...
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Numbers: Book 1

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Overview

Starred by PW and SLJ! Now in paperback, Rachel Ward's gripping debut psycho-thriller that pairs futuristic sci-fi with a tender, touchingly real love story. Includes a teaser to the sequel!

Ever 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 horrible 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!
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Fifteen-year-old Jem has a singular and terrifying ability—looking people in the eye reveals to her the date they will die. Needless to say, she avoids eye contact. Her mother overdosed; she's on her umpteenth foster home; and school (when she goes) is a dead-end special education class. But school also brings her closer to Spider, a gangly bundle of raw energy who genuinely likes Jem—and who she knows has just weeks to live. Their bittersweet courtship becomes terrifying when their first date ends in a terrorist bombing at the London Eye. Jem escapes with Spider moments before the blast, but witnesses report their flight and suddenly they are persons of interest in a police investigation. It's a gritty tale, unsparingly told, and debut novelist Ward demonstrates exceptional control of her material. Her characters remain true to themselves and their bleak circumstances, making for some excruciating moments. This is not an easy read, but it isn't entirely hopeless either. Despite its supernatural premise, Jem's story shines a stark and honest light on the lives of teens on the fringe. Ages 14–18. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
Gr 8–10—10102001. That's Jem's mother's number. Jem saw it whenever she looked into her mother's eyes, but it wasn't until four years after the woman's fatal heroin overdose when Jem was 11 that she realized that the number was the date her mother would die. And it's not just that number that the teen sees—she knows when everyone will die by looking into their eyes. Isolating herself from the rest of humanity seems to be the only solution until Spider, a freakishly tall, twitchy mess of a boy, refuses to leave her alone. In spite of the fact that she knows his death date is only months away, she can't resist his overtures of friendship. One afternoon, while ditching school, they head for the London Eye tourist attraction. When Jem realizes that several people standing in line are fated to die that very day, she panics and takes off. Newspapers and television pick up the story, and Jem and Spider, targeted as the terrorists responsible for destroying the Eye, or at least witnesses, are on the run in a stolen car. Ward's debut novel is gritty, bold, and utterly unique. Jem's isolation and pain, hidden beneath a veneer of toughness, are palpable, and the ending is a real shocker. Teens who read Charles De Lint, Holly Black, and Melvin Burgess will take to this riveting book and eagerly await the upcoming sequel.—Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK
Kirkus Reviews
Jem's been bouncing between foster homes since her mother overdosed when Jem was only six. Now she's a typical troubled teen, skipping her special-ed classes almost as often as she goes. Though she's not entirely typical, as most troubled teens don't see the death dates of every person they meet, floating in eight stark numerals over each head. 10102001, her mother's number. 07142013, her foster mother's. And 12152010, Spider's. Spider is the gangly, twitchy, stinky classmate who's the first person ever to try to be Jem's friend. When the two of them are seen running away from a massive terrorist attack in London-Jem had warning of the deaths, hadn't she?-they flee the police investigation and run away into the country. If only December 15 weren't closing in fast, Jem could even be happy with her new romance. Their journey is filled with heartwarming encounters with helpful but realistically wary strangers feeding their bodies and touching their hearts. A lovely, bittersweet tearjerker about living life to its fullest. (Fantasy. 13-15)
Children's Literature - Renee Farrah Vess
Whenever fifteen-year-old Jem looks into the eyes of other people, she learns a lot about them—and discovers the very day they will die. She avoids personal relationships in order to protect herself from the inevitable pain until she meets Spider. Spider is an outgoing boy who dares to talk to her and does not take no for an answer. Soon Jem realizes that she has broken her personal rule and has fallen into a relationship with him. Both already considered to be troubled outsiders, they decide to run away after Jem notices a suspiciously large group of people with the exact same death date. Now the police want to know why they fled from the scene minutes before the deaths took place. Set in current-day London, the story moves along smoothly, the pace altering much like the chase in which Jem and Spider are involved. Although the story could take a seemingly depressing turn, the result is actually uplifting. As the story focuses on the importance of quality of life and company kept, readers watch Jem and Spider learn to trust, to live, and what it means to genuinely love one another. Reviewer: Renee Farrah Vess
VOYA - Jamie S. Hansen
It is said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. Rebellious fourteen-year-old Jem looks into someone's eyes and sees much more than a soul. What she sees are numbers that translate into the date when that person will die. To escape the burden of her knowledge, Jem has retreated from human contact. In foster care after the death of her drug-addict mother, she skips school and avoids making friends. It is only when she meets strange and gawky Spider, an outsider, that Jem feels a connection to another human being, even though she has seen his number, too. When the two play truant to visit London, one terrifying event at the London Eye changes the world forever, turning Jem and Spider into fugitives from the law. In her debut novel, Ward manages to combine a gripping and action-packed narrative of a flight through the English countryside with the careful delineation of the interaction of two remarkable characters. From her gently sardonic description of two urban youth encountering and ultimately sleeping with a herd of cows to her absolutely stunning and unexpected epilogue, "Five Years Later," this writer never puts a foot wrong. Readers who grab this novel based on its eye-catching cover design featuring a red eye staring at a jumble of numbers will be hooked from the first page. Reviewer: Jamie S. Hansen
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Numbers have a different meaning for 15-year-old Jem: the numbers that pop into her head when she makes eye contact with anyone reveal the day that person will die. Orphaned after her mother's overdose, Jem has been in foster care for years and avoids forming relationships until she meets Spider, another outsider who, despite Jem's efforts, pushes past her self-imposed barriers. A trip to the London Eye ends in disaster when Jem realizes that the tourists waiting in line have the same number and that they are all going to die that very day. Wanted for questioning after fleeing the scene of an apparent terrorist attack, Jem and Spider go on the run—a prospect made all the more daunting for Jem because she knows that Spider's number is up in just a few days. Sarah Coomes brings Rachel Ward's gritty story (Chicken House, 2010) to life with emotion and intensity. She perfectly captures Jem, a teen who hides her pain and loneliness behind a tough girl attitude, and gives Spider his own distinct nuances as well. Jem's emotional growth in the latter half of the book is satisfying, and listeners will be awaiting the sequel even as they are reeling from the twists at the end of this novel.—Amanda Raklovits, Champaign Public Library, IL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545356725
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/1/2011
  • Series: Numbers , #1
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 141,948
  • Age range: 14 years
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Rachel Ward first won a writer’s award at a regional arts festival, and her prize-winning short story turned into the opening chapter of Numbers, which is her debut novel. She is currently working on the sequel. Rachel lives in Bath, England, with her husband and their two children.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 113 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(45)

4 Star

(25)

3 Star

(14)

2 Star

(11)

1 Star

(18)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 113 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    "Numbers" A Fantastic first book from Rachel Ward, so gripping you won't be able to put it down until you reach the final page. It reminds us not to judge things at face value and always to remember that everyone is an individual!

    Excellent book for mature teens and the young at heart. A fast paced adventure with a teen romance thrown in. The story focuses on Jem, a misunderstood troubled girl with the power to predict when people are going to die, and her equally misunderstood friend Spider. The two are caught up in a terrorist act in London and are forced to flee from the police. In their ensuing flight Jem comes to terms with her life and herself, whilst discovering that sometimes people can really be trusted.

    Ward is an exciting new talent who writes engaging contemporary fiction. She tackles the complexity of the lives of her protagonists realistically and compassionately. I can't wait to find out what happens in the sequel.

    I have given this book as a gift to most of my teen friends in England - male and female and they have all loved it.

    13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This book was excellent - 5 stars!!!!

    This book was so good; you have to read it. Jem is a tired and frightened girl going from foster home to foster home. She's sick of seeing people's "numbers" when she looks in their eyes. The "numbers" are the dates of their deaths. But can she change the dates? Can she find love and happiness? Read it, and find out.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2011

    AMAZING!!

    This book is a real page turner. Itll keep you on your toes and very unique ideas. It changed my life..my #1 all time favorite book! My emotions went up and down while reading this. I laughed and cried, and at times I wanted to crawl in the pages and slap a few characters. Amazing book. I dont think its possible to even dislike this book.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    This book was simply amazing!

    There are no other words to descibe this book! Rachel Ward has a hit on her hands. The concept is imaginative and the writing shapes the plot wonderfully! I finished reading it in a matter of hours and i have loaned it to 4 of my friends so far and they have all loved it too! You must read this book!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Language problem

    I bought it and it was in spanish! So i just lost 12 dollars :(

    5 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great Book

    I chose to read Numbers because the summary of the book sparked my curiosity. I thought the book sounded very interesting. I couldn't put it down when I started reading it. Though she can be mean, the main character is very likable. The author did a really great job writing it and the story was never boring. I love how there were several different genres that the book had. It was a great action/adventure sci-fi story, but at the same time it was like the ultimate love story. I loved how personal the characters were and how well described the places in the story and the characters personalities were. I really loved the book because for me it's everything I look for in a good book. The storyline was interesting and got exciting at a lot of different parts. I also like how part of the story was the mystery of the numbers. The mystery was how she found out what the numbers meant and how they work. My favorite part of the book was the ending because for me it was the most exciting part and the most unexpected. I'm glad I chose this book and I would recommend it to anyone. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2012

    My very first book I ever finish. This book is very interested.

    My very first book I ever finish.
    This book is very interested. From the very first time I heard the summary, no matter what  I'm going to finish this book. Numbers is about a shy , unsocialize teenage girl: Jem had a unwanted gift (more like a curse) that  she can see people date of death by look into their eyes.She hide away from people and life for avoid her gift.
    Then she met Spider ,and she realize how living & loving are so important. The ending of the book is very predictable, it make me can not sit still . It make me want to read the second book of this series !!!! 
    K.N

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Best Book Ever!!!

    The title says it all!:)

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2012

    Omg

    So i think if you buy this book here it might be in spanish?? BUT DONT LET THAT STOP YOU! Just get the book out of a liberary or something becaseit is sooooo worth it! Love love love totally recomend it

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2011

    Wtf?

    Its in f*cking spanish!?!?!

    2 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 27, 2010

    AMAZING

    this book was one of the best books i have ever read it was very hard to put it down it had drama, action and more everything you would ever want into one great book with a major twist

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2010

    WOW! Can't wait for sequel!

    Amazing read that won't let you up for air. Jem and Spider are amazing characters. I read this book in less than 2 days. I am an avid reader; about 2-3 books a week (sometimes more)Rachel Ward did an amazing job for a writer just stepping on to the scene. Kudos Rachel!!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Action packed, but Unsettling

    Since Jem can see death dates of living people, concepts of fate/destiny come into play for obvious reasons, although what disturbs me a little is that we appear to have little control over the "when" part of our "departure from this world," according to this book, according to Jem.

    Jem and Spider are on the run and it's all about survival. I think the way each of them think complement each other, and it wasn't hard for me to like Spider. There were a few moments of humour and some light-hearted scenes, but their adventure brings them to places neither of them expected to find.

    I believe there are a few British expressions in this story, some swearing appears now and then and there is some mention of sex, but nothing more than that. I found it refreshing and not annoying.

    Jem is not your typical girl; she's independent, she'll stand up for herself and she doesn't whine to get what she wants or needs. She's street smart, but she lets Spider lead when he's around. In an odd way, she's like a boy and I actually like that about her. She would refuse to show any sign of weakness. She may be short, but what she lacks in height, she makes up in character.

    I had wanted to see a different ending because I didn't want to believe that death dates are somehow predetermined and unchangeable in a particular context, but after some pondering, perhaps it's the most suitable ending. The pacing of this story is very good, until the last couple of pages where everything happens very quickly and reader's are fast-forwarded to five years later. Readers don't know why Jem sees death dates, but there's a hint. While reading this story, I would have given it a 3 or 3.5 out of 5, but due to the suspenseful but satisfying end, I'm giving it a 4.

    This is the author's debut YA novel and I think she did a great job with this life affirming story. There will be a sequel set for release in 2010.

    If you'd like to read from a new author and the ideas of fate and how our actions affect the outcome intrigues you, this one's for you.
    (betterwithbooks.blogspot.com)

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2013

    Really good.

    The plot is interesting and so is the love story. It is definitely one of my favorite books. Some parts made me cry and others made me laugh. It is worth buying.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2013

    Loved.

    Okay , This story made me feel soooo good ! I LOVED Britney and Spider and Jem. It was one if those romantic sifi books thst should be a movie or something. I could read this book over and over again. The thing is though she shouldnt have put in the part where Spider slipped to his death. That killed me. But the book is like soo full of feeling. I want to see another one like this. :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2013

    THI

    THIS IS A MUST READ BOOK-5 STARS!!!!

    This Is a really good book for mature teens to read, because it is a fast paced adventure that is told in the best way it can be. The story is about Jem a misunderstood teen girl that has the ability to predict the date that people are going to die, and she is very accurate.
    She tries to avoid relationships because she doesn’t wants to fall in love with someone and his date is coming soon to die, she avoids relationship until she meets spider another outsider and takes a chance to be in a relationship with him, but he only has a brief time that remains before his expiration date comes up.
    If you don’t read this book it’s your loss!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2013

    Awesome book must read

    Fantastic absolutely gripping

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 20, 2012

    "Numbers" a very first book I ever finish 

    "Numbers" a very first book I ever finish 

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2012

    It started off extremely slow. It dragged and it dragged. I

    It started off extremely slow. It dragged and it dragged. I almost put it down. The only reason i didn't was, because I wanted to see what happens in the end. I am so glad I did. The summary of the back of the book is rather misleading.
    I thought the London Eye thing was going to be part of the end. After that happened it got better and better. I don't want to give anything away so I won't say too much about the plot. It does get very exciting and there are lots of shocking moments. I was gasping and crying plenty towards the end. A lot of things happened I didn't expect.
    I liked the characters. I didn't always agree with Jem's choices but due to her gift, but I couldn't really blame her. It took a while to warm up to her though but once I did I really felt for her. Spider was great. He could be very nice and sweet, he was a great friend.
    I can't wait until i read the next book, it was absolutely amazing. I sure do hope the next one is even better.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2012

    Amazing Book would reccemend it to every teen i know(which is al

    Amazing Book would reccemend it to every teen i know(which is alot). I feel in love with this book since chapter one! I also fell in love Spider, i thought he was the picture perfect boyfriend even though he had his flaws.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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