Friday, 10 June 2011

Numbers - Rachel Ward

I don't know quite what to write about this but it is going to be short and sweet. I'll explain below.

Synopsis: Whenever Jem meets someone new, no matter who, as soon as she looks into their eyes, a number pops into her head. That number is a date: the date they will die. 

Burdened with such an awful awareness, Jem avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. But while they’re waiting to ride on the London Eye in Central London on the day before Jem will be sent back to a care home, Jem notices that all the other tourists in line flash the same number. Today’s number. Today’s date. Terrorists are going to attack London. Jem's world is going to change 


Review: A couple of years ago at Christmas, I saw this in the bookshops and thought it looked so interesting with a synopsis with that. So when I saw it in my local library, I jumped at the chance to read it, picking it up along with the other books without a second thought.

This is one of those books that gets so much hype and then makes you deeply disappointed when you read it yourself. It's another Annexed. The story is so unique, well thought out and just sounds so interesting to read about and thinking people could be like that....but the execution brings it down.
I admit I didn't finish the book. I got to page 180 and gave up. It was just SO boring and tedious. 
From the blurb, it looks like it's all about Jem and living with the Numbers thing but it's more about Spider and her relationship with him. There are also times where it's like 'They did this, then they did this, then this happened' which got incredibly tedious. 

I have read other reviews on this book as I always do and a lot of people seem to love this book, thinking it's so action filled and tense. This may be just my opinion but, erm, really? It was a really slow pace for me which was fine to start off with and made it boring. Jem has a voice that makes you interested but, although they sounds snobbish, it's very casual and colloquial and made me start not to like her at all. I really didn't like at all. It also took me this time of those 180 pages to work out that Spider was black and a few pages to find out that Jem was a girl. That may be on purpose and even so, it wasn't obvious.  
Also, there was this mixture of what the message of the book was. First, it was the numbers thing, then what it's like to be in poverty and when I ended the book, it suddenly started mentioning on most pages about discrimination still against black people in the UK still. I don't mind any of these things but it was just so miss matched and confusing.  Also, the constant references to Spider's body odour (which I am quite aware how guys might forget a shower at least every day) made me feel quite nauseous  not great when I'm feeling sick from a History exam already. Not nice.
There is also the problem that both of these people are fifteen years-old and in Year 11 so about my age and going around smoking, drinking, taking drugs, doing dodgy jobs, sex, stealing cars, knives. All at the same time.
I would like to say now that there is such a small percentage of people that actually do these things. I know a handful of people who have had sex, and even then with their boyfriends - not any old person, and smoked. Although, there are people out there that do that. All the other stuff no-one does, around my area anyway. I'm not naive, I know it happens but so much less than ANYONE makes out. 
In this book, it's constant. That may be because of the poverty thing but I can tell that older people will read this book and make assumptions. Just saying, it's not true and it annoys me when people do say that like they know what they are talking about. They probably don't.

On a positive side, I got into this book straight away for the first few chapters and then by Chapter 6, I'm off. There are some good characters in there that are great such as Spider's Nan and the Nutter. They made me think of people I know now. The book becomes an account of how they fight for survival and get away from something where they are completely innocent. It really nicely shows the development of Spider and Jem's relationship with one another and goes hint at the end if you don't make it until then like me. It shows how you can be thrown together and made to cooperate with each other and get along. It was interesting from that part, if nothing else. 

This book could be amazing with this kind of weird, supernatural plot and some original characters but although, there are some good bits, there are also some not that great bits in it too. And the overall effect makes it very boring and tedious and monotonous and made me just give up to hopefully read a more interesting book. This really isn't one I would recommend unless you're alright with reading things like this. Your decision.
Good idea, bad execution - sorry. 

I give it 3 out of 5

*This will not be added to my challenges as I didn't read the whole thing.*

Pages: 304
Publisher: Chicken House


  1. I wasn't too impressed by this book, either. The sequel, though (The Chaos) was very good.

  2. Really? I might try that at some point if I see it in the library or something. I know the last one is out now.

    To be honest, I didn't realise they were a series until I saw the last one in the shops...


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