Book Review

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Book Review : Num8ers

Num8ers is a fast-paced story, written by Rachel Ward, driven by a girl and her attempts to get away from the numbers of ‘fate.’ Jem and Spider’s growth through the story and their ups and down help to make the book much more attractive. 

Fifteen-year-old Jem is an outsider and a loner. And she wouldn't have it any other way. Jem's mother was a junkie who overdosed when Jem was only seven. Her father was a trick. Since her mother's death, Jem has bounced from one foster home to the next, never fitting in, never letting anyone get close to her. Even eye contact makes her uncomfortable, because when she really looks at people, she sees not just their faces, but their numbers; More clear, their death dates. A stereotypical youth, Jem lies to her foster mother, skips school, smokes cigarettes, and treats everyone she meets with impoliteness and aggression. She avoids drugs because of her mother's death but otherwise her behavior is uniformly self-destructive and rebellious. This begins to change, however, when she forms a hesitant friendship with a boy from her reform school. Spider is a tall, thin black boy who lives with his grandmother, a psychic who sees auras and accepts Jem's "gift," even though she does not know what it is. Through Spider's persistence and his Nan's approval, Jem begins to soften, just a bit. The relationship between Jem and Spider is the backbone to the story, but everything always comes back to the numbers. Fate and destiny play a huge role in the book because throughout all their travels, Jem is loaded with the knowledge that Spider is going to die. She’s seen his number and there’s no changing that. Or is there? That’s the question that drives Jem’s development and her actions. The most important question is, if you knew when someone was going to die, what would you do to change it? Num8ers is far more than just a book about a girl who can see death. It’s a seriously page-turner. Plus, when I read it, I could...
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