Ever since she was child, Jem has kept a secret: Whenever she meets someone new, no matter who, as soon as she looks into their eyes, a number pops into her head. Read more...
Ever since she was child, Jem has kept a secret: Whenever she meets someone new, no matter who, as soon as she looks into their eyes, a number pops into her head. That number is a date: the date they will die. Burdened with such awful awareness, Jem avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. The two plan a trip to the city. But while waiting to ride the Eye ferris wheel, Jem is terrified to see that all the other tourists in line flash the same number. Today's number. Today's date. Terrorists are going to attack London. Jem's world is about to explode
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 48.
- Review Date: 2010-01-04
- Reviewer: Staff
Fifteen-year-old Jem has a singular and terrifying ability—looking people in the eye reveals to her the date they will die. Needless to say, she avoids eye contact. Her mother overdosed; she's on her umpteenth foster home; and school (when she goes) is a dead-end special education class. But school also brings her closer to Spider, a gangly bundle of raw energy who genuinely likes Jem—and who she knows has just weeks to live. Their bittersweet courtship becomes terrifying when their first date ends in a terrorist bombing at the London Eye. Jem escapes with Spider moments before the blast, but witnesses report their flight and suddenly they are persons of interest in a police investigation. 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. This is not an easy read, but it isn't entirely hopeless either. Despite its supernatural premise, Jem's story shines a stark and honest light on the lives of teens on the fringe. Ages 14–18. (Feb.)