Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Rachel Ward
325 pages
Publisher: The Chicken House/Scholastic
Source: Barnes & Noble

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

Since her mother passed away, Jem has seen numbers in her head.  When she looks a person in the eye she can see the date they are going to die, a gift that she's frustrated with and causes her to be something a social outcast.  When she meets Spider, they quickly become involved with each other and with something else... that leaves them on the run from the law.

This was a really good book.  The concept was interesting and unique, it was executed well, the characters were colorful, and all-in-all it was a book that I really enjoyed reading.  My one minor complaint is that it dragged on a bit, just a tiny bit, toward the ending.  Still, I'm looking forward to reading the sequel eventually, especially because of the bit of a cliffhanger the author left me with.

I have a major complaint, about this book though.  I seriously debated subtracting a star from my rating because of it, but in the end I choose not to.  Nevertheless, I was seriously bothered by the word choice of the author a few times.  In discussing a reality show the author writes, "Thousands of no-hopers queuing up for hours like cattle, thinking they're going to make it big.  Retards.  Even the ones who could sing." (p. 23).

The word retard(ed) showed up a few more times in the novel and it's a word that needs to be removed from the teenage vernacular, just like the word gay (as in "That's so gay!")  That word is offensive to people who have or know someone who has mental disabilities and should not be used by teenagers to express something as stupid.  There's my little rant, and I'm disappointed that Rachel Ward felt the need to use this word in her book.

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