Skip to main content


Numbers is a YA sci-fi-ish novel by Rachel Ward.

Jem has seen the numbers since she can remember. Like any child, she just accepted it and didn’t wonder what it was. But when her drug-addict mother died, Jem got her first idea of what the numbers meant. Because the number she always saw when she looked at her mom? 10102001. The day her mom died? 10/10/2001.

Over the years she’s been shuttled from one foster home to another, always seeing the numbers – never sure if she caused their death or could just see it. But there was nothing more haunting than seeing the number of a toddler, seeing the inevitable end of every single person she came in contact with.

Now fifteen, Jem has succeeded in having not one friendship or relationship of any kind. But then she meets Spider. He’s another outsider – goofy and good-natured. Somehow she finds her guard melting just a tad around him, until she becomes almost-friends with him.

Only problem? According to his number, she doesn’t have much time left with him. And sadly, the time they have left may be on the run – after a trip to London ends with her and Spider being sought after by police…

Numbers is different than other sci-fi/supernatural books on the market right now in YA. It takes place in gritty, urban London and is very grounded and grim. Jem’s character is very flawed, very broken, and very alone. She is sometimes caustic, sometimes unlikable – yet Rachel Ward helps you to understand her, to forgive her.

Jem’s ability is not one that anyone would generally want, I think. And that brings about even more empathy. Thing is, Numbers is much more a character study than it is a sci-fi/paranormal novel. You’ll want to know that before you jump in.

In Numbers you are presented with a suspenseful, taut story that follows two outsiders on the run, finding friendship and closeness for the first time. They’re scared, and it’s palpable. Spider’s number is so close, though, that it adds to the nerve-wracking tone. You wonder along with Jem – how is he going to die? Why? Is there any way to stop it? The answers are heartbreaking and unforgettable.

Numbers is definitely a darker novel, but there is hope too. I am happy to hear that there is going to be a second and third book coming out. I don’t know how that’ll work, as the story didn’t seem to have a need for a sequel – but I’m glad to follow wherever Rachel Ward is taking Jem.

This is a personal journey, with a twist.


Popular posts from this blog

The Stowaway

The Stowaway is the first young adult/middlegrade book in the fantasy trilogy Stone of Tymora, written by the best-selling father and son team R. A. and Geno Salvatore.

In it, we meet a 12 year old boy that has been tracked by the demon Asbeel his whole life - and he doesn't even know why. And when circumstances leave him fending for himself, he ends up a stowaway on the Sea Sprite, a ship holding, among its varied passengers, the unusual elf Drizzt Do'Urden. As he tries desperately to get as far away from Asbeel, sailing down the coast of the Sea of Swords proves itself dangerous as well. But foremost on his mind is the mystery of why he is orphaned and alone - and incessantly hunted.

At first The Stowaway looks to be a heavy duty fantasy fiction novel - filled with so many different creatures and places your brain feels fuzzy trying to keep it all straight. But if, as I quickly learned, you allow yourself to really sink your teeth into it, The Stowaway sweeps you away into a w…

Real Live Boyfriends

Real Live Boyfriends is a YA contemporary novel by E. Lockhart, and the fourth novel in the Ruby Oliver quartet.

Here we are on the last day of “Ruby Oliver Week” and if you aren’t already reading these books – well, why not?

But I’m more than sure most of you are – and hopefully you’re all caught up, and therefore not at risk of being spoiled by my review of Real Live Boyfriends. You’ve been warned!

Ruby Oliver is beginning her senior year of high school with a real live boyfriend: Noel.

At least she thought she was.

After having spent the rest of junior year and the beginning of summer being fully in love (okay, they never actually said the word, but the vibes were strongly in that direction), Ruby is now confused.


When Noel went to visit his brother in New York for a while, almost every day they talked on the phone and exchanged funny emails. She never once felt insecure.

Until all of a sudden – communication stopped. Ruby would call and he wouldn’t answer. She’d leave a voice mai…

#YAStandsFor Daily Social Challenge... Day 5!

In my final day of participating in the I Read YA Week celebration (you can keep partying, it goes on through Monday!), I found myself presented with a new challenge of: Create a graphic showcasing an inspirational YA quote.

I'm not super tech savvy and I've never created a graphic before. But with just a little Google searching and a download of an app, I was able to create this:

Thanks for joining me this week! I hope you all enjoyed it! Please follow or subscribe for notifications of new posts and reviews upcoming on the Bibliophile Support Group!