Numbers by Rachel WardNumbers by Rachel Ward


byRachel Ward

Paperback | February 1, 2011

Pricing and Purchase Info

$10.80 online 
$11.99 list price save 9%
Earn 54 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


"Engrossing and au courant... Numbers is ace." - The Los Angeles Times

Now in paperback, the gripping psycho-thriller that pairs sci-fi with a tender, touchingly real love story! Starred by PW and SLJ!

Whe3ever Jem meets someøne new, as søon as she looks into their eyes, a number pops into her head. That number i5 a date: the date they will die.

Since the day her mother overdosed, Jem has known about the num8ers. With such an awful burden, she avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. But on a visit to London, Jem foresees a chilling chain of ev3nts. The city's a target. The cløck's running out. The countdown is on to a blowup, and her world is about t2 explode!

RACHEL WARD first won a writers' award at a regional arts festival, and her prize-winning short story turned into the first chapter of Numbers, which is her debut novel. She lives in Bath, England-where some of the story takes place!
Title:NumbersFormat:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 8.03 × 5.28 × 0.77 inPublished:February 1, 2011Publisher:SCHOLASTIC INCLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0545143004

ISBN - 13:9780545143004

Appropriate for ages: 14

Look for similar items by category:


Rated 3 out of 5 by from Okay The concept really blew my mind away because I thought that it is going to be a book about Jem's personal struggles about seeing numbers and saving all those people, but instead, it got a little bit boring as the end was predictable lacks action. But the story is a nice coming of age story, and I look forward to the next book in the series
Date published: 2016-11-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Pretty Good This was not half bad, kept your attention the whole way through the novel and didn't feel like it overlapped the story line as many of the books in this genre so often does.
Date published: 2016-11-07
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Just Okay ! This book had immense potential, I was really excited to read it at first. I got into it very fast in the beginning I found it was headed in the right direction and grabbed my attention. Unfortunately it was not what I expected at all towards the middle of the book, I thought it was going to be about Jem trying to save peope from their fate happening. The concept is great and it could've been explored and developped so much more. It really fell flat towards the end, with a predictable ending as well. It was just an okay book for me I really do not think I will follow through with all the other books since I did not make any sort of connection to the characters, they were actually very boring and I did not see their personalities come out. For me it was not what I expected and I think I gave this book too much expectations for what it was really. I was disappointed. 
Date published: 2013-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Brilliant! this was a really good book and my first British read in a long long time. It was a really down to earth novel one that really hits home as I find a lot of British stories do. You really Identify with Jem a girl who has nowhere and no one until she meets Spider. when Jem sees a whole group of people with the same number at the London Eye she knows something bad is going to happen and they are all going to die. She quickly flees with Spider and then the cops are after them for questioning but how do you tell the cops that the reason you knew they were all going to die is because you can see there deaths? The two of them go on the run together faced with Jem's secret but time is running out for them and the cops are catching up. Rachel Ward is a amazing writer I couldn't put the book down and when it was all over had to immediately pick up the next book the chaos! I defiantly recommend it to one and all!
Date published: 2013-02-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely great!!! I really enjoyed this book. About a girl who is an outcast until she meets a boy who takes her on an adventure. Yes you have to read this book people because it really is the best.
Date published: 2012-01-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A good read First, I did not realize this was setting place in England, I only found out after reading a few chapters in. I don’t recall too much British slang in this book, and if there was, it was easily understood. To start off, Jem’s gift for seeing numbers is interesting and it’s what sets itself apart from other books where the main character is always either hearing voices or seeing ghosts. So I thought this idea was rather unique. The plot itself is interesting and the pace is steady; neither fast or slow. Several scenes were times where I laughed (Jem and the birdie doo incident got me laughing so did Jem’s rolling ankle moments. I think the image of Spider cracking up laughing about it helped as well). There were other tender moments, and other moments that got me shaking my head. The reader experiences different emotions throughout the story, and this is what makes it such a great plot. Both Jem and Spider are excellent and well written. They both develop as the story goes on and it provides a real good entertaining read. I liked both characters. They did fit well together and complimented each other. Spider was more of the comic relief between the both of them and Jem did the worrying part. However I liked how Spider looked out for Jem and although he was in trouble himself, it didn’t matter as long as the two of them were safe. All in all, I really did enjoy Spider as a character. There was a part that irked me however, when Jem was freaking out and attracting attention to herself and Spider. That annoyed me. If she wasn’t freaking out like an idiot none of the rest of the plot would have happened but I can’t help but wonder, “what if?” things were different. Then again, perhaps the plot wouldn’t have been as exciting and it would have been a much different book. Although the plot was great, I couldn’t help but notice some of it was just predictable. The ending was all right though, it was sad, but you figured that would happen. It was well written, and I will be reading the book after this one. It’s a great book with plenty of character development and leaves room with, I’m hoping, a sequel that lives up to this one.
Date published: 2011-09-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from wicked book I must say wheb I started readin this book it was ok then when I got farther on into it I thought well I don't really like it then when I got half threw it I was in love the ending shocked the hell out of me awsome book number 1
Date published: 2011-08-04
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Good idea, but fell flat I might be a little harsh on this one, but there it goes. I think this book held a beautiful premise: the leading character seeing a number for everyone and realizing this is the date they die. I had a lot of hope for this book. Probably too much, because this was a real let down. I did not like the characters. Jem fell incredibly flat and so did Spider. I did not feel one bit of chemistry between them. The plot was dull and very predictable. *********SPOILERS********** I saw the pregnancy coming a million miles away and I just KNEW the baby had to see the numbers. Gosh. *********SPOILERS********** Now, I don't think this was a bad book, but I can't say I enjoyed it. I kept reading because I wanted it to get better, but to me, it didn't. But I do see why people would like this one. I just don't. And even though I kind of want to know what happens next, I don't think I'll read the following books of this series.
Date published: 2011-05-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Okay The summary for Numbers lead me to believe that the plot would be about Jem running around London, trying to prevent a horrible event from happening. But that wasn't really what the book was. The terrorist attack, which takes place at the London Eye, happens very early in the book, and sets the book in motion. From there, Jem and Spider are forced to leave their homes and run away from interrogation. The characters Rachel Ward created are the exact depiction of troublemakers, but she was able to make them likeable throughout he novel. To be honest, sometimes I thought Jem and Spider were pretty dim, but their strength and Spider's childlike behavior kept me going. It was nice to see the characters change and mature throughout the story, and as I kept reading, I was begining to like the characters even more. Although the concept of being able to predict someone's death isn't very original, Rachel Ward was able to give the story a modern day spin on it. Jem's reaction to it all (y'know not going crazy, that sorta thing) is very interesting. As Jem and Spider were running, I always found myself thinking "Why did they run?" or "Why didn't take a backpack?" or even "Why no flashlight?", that sorta thing. But I guess the story played itself out so that the readers could really understand the struggle Jem and Spider had to go through. I do have to admit that Jem's constant complaining did kind of annoy me. The ending to the book didn't really come as a shock to me, but it was still enjoyable and very solid. All I can say about Numbers is that it was good. It wasn't a knock out but it wasn't a trainwreck either. I have read the first few chapters of The Chaos (to be released in Juin) and I'm actually pretty enthusiastic about reading it. I'll read it and have a review within the next few weeks. Themoodyteenager.blogspot(.)com
Date published: 2011-03-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Dreaming of Books Review (May Contain Spoilers) Jem’s mother died of a drug overdose when she was a child and since then she has been in the foster care system being bounced from place to place. She starts hanging out with her classmate Spider and a friendship forms between the two. The countdown and terrorist attack mentioned in the summary happens pretty early on. Because Jem and Spider are seen fleeing the area they are zeroed in as suspects. Both are rattled, scared and finally decide to run away to the countryside in order to evade the police. I thought the premise was really interesting because Jem has this amazing ability--she can see a person’s date of death. Jem always as her walls up, guarded and tries to avoid getting close to others. It was hard trying to connect with her and it isn’t until the end where she opens up and her emotions spill over that I could really feel for her. From the book summary it sounded like the story would be more of a adventure and thriller. And I did find it exciting until they decide to flee to the country. Once on the run Jem and Spider become increasingly paranoid. Always thinking that someone might notice them or are following them. It didn’t make sense to me that they would flee because initially they are only wanted for questioning. They would probably be released if they cooperated with the police but fleeing would just make them look more suspicious. Overall, Numbers was an okay read. The beginning was exciting and intriguing, the story lost track in the middle but it all came together in the end.
Date published: 2011-02-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it!! When I first picked out this book and I handed it to the cashier, she gave a little scream. She said she wasn't expecting the red eye on the front haha. It was funny. But the book itself, it is very relatable and I loved every section of it. The characters...just very relatable and real! I remember thinking "Uh, oh. Another "bad girl" book. Here we go again." But I was wrong! She is not llike any other "bad girl" in every other story. She has a mind of her own and is very strong. She knows what she wants. Near the end of the book, it REALLY captures your attention and you just. cannot. put. it. down. It even made me cry for three days just thinking about this story because I have never related to something as much as I related to this book. I was always skeptical about love but this book really opened up my eyes and...put my feelings into words! Highly recommended!!
Date published: 2011-02-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ASK YOURSELF HOW WOULD YOU DEAL WITH IT? When Jem’s mother dies Jem come to realize that the mysterious numbers she sees when she looks someone in the eye are actually the day of their death. Uncomfortable with her secret Jem shuns contact with people until she meets Spider, a young man who is also troubled and alone except for his “gran”. One afternoon, on an outing, Jem realizes that everyone’s numbers are the same … all these people are going to die on the same day? This is the jumping point for the rest of the book. Although the book did not go in the direction I was expecting from reading the book jacket it was an interesting read that made me wonder about coping with life if we could all see into the future just a little bit. The ending had the unique quality of being both a surprise in one aspect and quite predictable in another. Definitely a good setup for a sequel. This was another in the long list of books which makes me wonder about the validity of the YA label - definitely a good read for teens and adults alike.
Date published: 2010-09-27
Rated 1 out of 5 by from If you are tempted by the interesting idea, DON'T FALL FOR IT! I innocently picked this book at random because I though it had potential, and good cover art. Little did I know this novel was filled with predictability and unlikeable characters. During the novel, Jem meets (and eventually falls in love with) a smelly loser who, by looking into his eyes and seeing the date of his death, she knows is going to die soon. After selfishly saving herself and smelly loser from a terrorist attack on the London eye, they become suspects and think its a great idea to run away. This book had its twists and turns, but I didn't find any of them at all interesting because they were so predictable. It doesn't help that you have to read this novel through Jem's depressed and rebellious point of view. The climax of this novel was supposed to be sad, but I did not feel one shred of remorse for the poorly developed and unlikeable characters of this novel. Also, the "intense" ending, actually made me laugh. In conclusion, I highly advise you to not read this book, but instead use your time to read these amazing books below which I highly recommend.
Date published: 2010-07-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Trippy This book was amazing. Really made me re-think how I see fate and the things that happen to me. This book is about Jem. Jem has a special talent. Whenever she looks someone in the eye she sees a number. It's not until her mum dies of an overdose that she realizes that the numbers stand for the date that person is going to die. As Jem grows up she learns to distance herself from people, not wanting to get to close to anybody, only to have them die on her. It's not until she meets a boy names Spider that she finally lets that go and become connected to someone. One day while Jem and Spider are hanging out in downtown London around the London Eye, Jem notices that all the people who are waiting in line to go on the Eye all have the same number, that days date. Knowing that something bad is going to happen, Jem and Spider run away only seconds before the London Eye explodes. What happens next is really entertaning and sweet. This book is fabulous and i would recommend it to anyone who loves a good chase novel.
Date published: 2010-06-11
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Mediocre I picked up this book thinking it was going to blow me away. The concept had so many possibilities, so many plot lines but to my disapointment it wasn't what I had been expecting. I'll admit I'm guilty of judging a book by its cover and so I was mislead. The book was good however and definitely had its good moments but they weren't my favorite characters and the plot line seemed a little off. I didn't like the ending though. It wasn't completely unexpected. There were subtle hints along the way but for the most part it was completely out of the blue. But it did end on a cliff hanger and therefore I will probably pick up the sequel when it's realeased in North America.
Date published: 2010-04-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Thought-Provoking Tale Jem has this "gift". Just by looking into somebody's eyes, a string of eight numbers will pop into her head. Those eight numbers is the date that person will die. After her mother's death when she was six, Jem realized what these numbers meant. She kept the numbers a secret and never told anyone what she saw. She avoided human contact as much as she could while she was sent back and forth to a number of foster homes. When she finally settled down with Karen, her newest "mother", she still hated what she saw, wishing she could get away from all the numbers. At school, she was seen as a freak. Everybody avoided her just as much as she avoided them. Then a boy, Spider, dared to be different. He talked to her, got to know her, and eventually they formed a friendship. Spider was like her, but also so different in so many ways. He understood Jem, but they both had anger issues too. Jem never told Spider her secret though, she was too afraid of what he might think. Plus the fact that she knew the exact date he would die: December 15, 2010; only a few weeks away. She didn't know what would happen to him or what would cause his death, all she knew was that when the time came, she wouldn't be able to stop it. Eventually, their friendship grows to something more as the story goes on. Then one day while at the London Eye Ferris Wheel with Spider, Jem looks into the eyes of several tourists. When she sees the exact same date in all their eyes, she realizes that something huge was about to happen then and there. Afraid, she flees the scene with Spider, and just when they're far enough away, the entire Ferris Wheel blows up, killing many innocent lives. The pair, having nothing to do with the terrorist attack, are suddenly suspects due to the footage right before the attack where they were seen running from the scene. With nothing but prison ahead of them, Jem and Spider run for their lives as they try to escape town. Their journeys lead them all around London where they try to hide from the cops while surviving on what little they have. And all along, Jem slowly counts off Spider's dates till his death... Numbers was a mind-blowing experience. Could you imagine knowing the exact date people were going to die? That would be beyond horrifying for me. Ward's writing really got you inside Jem's head as she struggled with what she saw and her decisions on what to do about it. I really liked how this book ended, not because of how the story ended, but by how Ward finished it. It's not your typical YA teenage-love-story-ending kind of book. It has a lot of depth to it and really makes you think about your life. If you knew what day you were going to die, what would that do to you? Would you mole around at home, crying as the seconds ticked by? Or would you get out and live the rest of you life? Numbers really made me think about life in a new way, and I am so glad I picked this book up.
Date published: 2010-03-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Debut Jem is 15, her mother died of a drug overdose & she’s been in & out of foster care since then. She has a secret, she can look into someones eyes & see the date of their death. While standing outside of the Eye Needle with her buddy Spider, Jem sees something startling: all the people in line have the same date of death, today’s date & Jem can do nothing to stop it. Both Jem & Spider go on the run after the Eye is bombed, fearing that they’ve been labeled terrorists. While on the run, they end up falling in love but there’s a problem…Jem can see Spider is running out of time & she’s doing everything she can to stop it. When I started this book this morning, I didn’t intend to finish it in 5 hours. I put the book down after the first 125 pages to rest my eyes, got back up after 10 minutes & did not put it down until I finished. The concept of being able to see someones date of death & not being able to do anything to stop it, just sucked me right into the book. I was routing for Spider & Jem the whole book! I absolutely loved that Jem finally let down her shields with Spider, Jem as a foster child & someone who can “see” death, just couldn’t get too close to anyone. But when Spider befriends her, she can’t help but like the 6′4 gangly loner. Jem is such a strong character you can’t help but fall in love with her! I admit, I even got a bit emotional during the last few chapters. It’s one of those books that you must have someone to talk about with when you finish, because the very last sentence in Num8ers will make your skin crawl in a good way! Thankfully the sequel is due out this summer! It really is that type of book, that you must share what you thought about it with someone else. The ending reminded me a lot of the Hunger Games, a shocking end where your mouth opens & you really think about it. Though this book is targeted to YA, I must warn there are some mature scenes (death, sex, language) but in the context of the book, it works. I don’t find that it was added for shock value at all, it just works. If you want to read a YA that will suck you in from start until finish, Rachel Ward’s debut novel is one of the best of 2010!
Date published: 2010-02-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Powerful and Captivating. Just by glancing into someone's eyes, Jem can see the date of when that person will die. She has been dealing with this all her life, and she always feels the constant dread of knowing when someone's life ends; it could be in the matter of years, or days. She knew when her mother was going to die; 10/10/2001, and when that day came around the corner, her mother died of an overdose. Now, she lives with her foster mother and two little brothers, Jem keeps to herself and rejects anyone who tries to get to know her. Until Spider comes along, he tries to talk to Jem and Jem gives in, and gets to know him. She looks up into his eyes and sees the date...which leaves her heartbroken. Jem and Spider become close, and Jem is truely starting to feel like somone cares for her. They spend more time together, and when they are at the London Eye, Jem looks around and sees many people's numbers, and they are all exactly the same--today's date. Jem knows something is going to happen any second, and when she get's her and Spider out of there, they look back and see the massive explosion that destroyed the London Eye. Now, the police have footage of Jem and Spider running from the scene, and they must leave as soon as possible, because the accusations are far from true. The plot thickens, Jem and Spider are in enough trouble as it is, now they are escaping the accusations. This is the adventure of two teens doing everything they can to escape and survive in the meantime. They come along trouble during the way, meet new people and over come problems. Spider does everything he can to keep them safe, and so does Jem, but she is also keeping track of the days until the untinkable happens. This was a very captivating book that left me hooked from the start. The emotions were very strong, and you felt them a long the way, leaving you attached to the characters and always hoping for their safety. The plot was amazing, and the characters were unique. They weren't regular characters from books talking about prom, going on dates or going out with a mysterious guy or girl. These characters went through a lot, and reading about their struggles was very powerful and heartbreaking. It isn't your typical romance either, which was great for a change. Overall I really liked this book, and I'm so glad I read it!! *There is quite a bit of swearing and some other things, so I would reccomend this book for ages 14+. 2010-016
Date published: 2010-02-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Action-Packed, but Unsettling Since Jem can see death dates of living people, concepts of fate/destiny come into play for obvious reasons, although what disturbs me a little is that we appear to have little control over the "when" part of our "departure from this world," according to this book, according to Jem. Jem and Spider are on the run and it's all about survival. I think the way each of them think complement each other, and it wasn't hard for me to like Spider. There were a few moments of humour and some light-hearted scenes, but their adventure brings them to places neither of them expected to find. I believe there are a few British expressions in this story, some swearing appears now and then and there is some mention of sex, but nothing more than that. I found it refreshing and not annoying. Jem is not your typical girl; she's independent, she'll stand up for herself and she doesn't whine to get what she wants or needs. She's street smart, but she lets Spider lead when he's around. In an odd way, she's like a boy and I actually like that about her. She would refuse to show any sign of weakness. She may be short, but what she lacks in height, she makes up in character. I had wanted to see a different ending because I didn't want to believe that death dates are somehow predetermined and unchangeable in a particular context, but after some pondering, perhaps it's the most suitable ending. The pacing of this story is very good, until the last couple of pages where everything happens very quickly and reader's are fast-forwarded to five years later. Readers don't know why Jem sees death dates, but there's a hint. While reading this story, I would have given it a 3 or 3.5 out of 5, but due to the suspenseful but satisfying end, I'm giving it a 4. This is the author's debut YA novel and I think she did a great job with this life affirming story. There will be a sequel set for release in 2010. If you'd like to read from a new author and the ideas of fate and how our actions affect the outcome intrigues you, this one's for you.
Date published: 2010-02-13

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Numbers"A page-turner: What starts as a simple extrasensory gimmick grows into an increasingly engrossing and aucourant plot line involving terrorism, class tensions, and youth." - Los Angeles Times"It's a gritty tale, unsparingly told, and debut novelist Ward demonstrates exceptional control of her material. Her characters remain true to themselves and their bleak circumstances, making for some excruciating moments.... Despite its supernatural premise, Jem's story shines a stark and honest light on the lives of teens on the fringe." - Publishers Weekly, starred review"Gritty, bold, and utterly unique. Jem's isolation and pain, hidden beneath a veneer of toughness, are palpable, and the ending is a real shocker." - School Library Journal, starred review"A lovely, bittersweet tearjerker about living life to the fullest." - Kirkus Reviews"A moving portrayal of life and love lost." - Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books