NUM8ERS, by Rachel Ward

This is a British young adult book about a 15-year-old girl in foster care who can see the date of a person's death as soon as she looks them in the eyes. Jem is sullen and withdrawn, placed in a special ed class for troublemakers which she attends only sporadically. Partly, this is because of her difficult life, but also because avoidance is the best way for her to deal with her knowledge of others ' death-dates. But then she is befriended by Spider, a gangly black boy with a number only a few months into the future, and starts to enjoy her first real friendship. That is, until the numbers she sees of a group of people near the London Eye all show the same date, today - she forces Spider to run away with her just as a bomb explodes on the Eye, and the two teens quickly become the top witnesses/suspects.

It's a clever plot-line, but the writing isn't spectacular. It's a bit difficult getting through the London slang, and since it's written in the first person and Jem isn't exactly the nicest of people, you kind of want to punch her in the face half the time. That being said, I like that Ward is trying to bring attention to an often-overlooked class of people. Still, I doubt I would recommend this to many people.


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