Frome, Chicken House, 2009, 285p
Whilst avidly searching for an appropriate author to visit my school for World Book Day 2013, I came across Rachel Ward's Numbers trilogy. Fast paced drama and teen angst combine in this tragic story, at the centre of which is death.
When Jem looks into someone's eyes, she can see the date of their death. A series of numbers that spell out a date. She cannot escape these numbers, but she can escape contact with other people, so she protects herself and others by avoiding friendship and companionship.
Unfortunately, however hard one tries to avoid people, sometimes people attach themselves to us. In Jem's case, it's Spider, a fidgety boy from school who insists on being Jem's friend. Unfortunately, Jem knows the date that Spider is going to die.
This novel made me intrigued to know more about Rachel Ward - a typical product of being an English student. Throughout the novel, she debates, whether our lives are planned out for us - are the dates that Jem sees predestined, or is there any way to control them? Jem has very little religious or spiritual faith, and I wonder if this is a reflection of Ward's own ideas.