Saturday, September 15, 2012

Num8ers (Numbers)

Ward, R. (2010). Numbers. NY: Scholastic
YA Fiction / Urban-Fantasy

A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year (2010)
YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults

First, as a warning, there is quite a bit of language in this book.  If you are easily offended by the F-bomb, then stay away.  I'm no fan of obscene language, but at least it seemed appropriate for the London street kid dialogue.  They threw it around, much like others would say "shut up." It was really pretty innocuous, if one can say that about the F-bomb. There was also unprotected sexual situations with some description involved, which could be a showstopper.

So the story -- I loved this story.  I gave it 4 of 5 stars in part because of the language, but also because there were a few things that needed explaining and a few things that seemed improbable.  The characters were fantastic and complex, and I liked that for a pleasant change of pace, this wasn't the gorgeous teen girl falling for the hot bad boy. The two main characters, Jem and Spider, noticed the unusual about each other and went beyond the surface to see each other. Refreshing.

Numbers hits on a lot of modern issues - stereotyping, discrimination, drugs, poverty, bullying, to name a few; it makes you think.  I was fairly surprised several times and especially with the ending - didn't see that one coming though I probably should have had an inkling. And though this is a trilogy, really, this could be a stand-alone book, just as Jem's story. I am ALWAYS a fan of the stand-alone book.

I will probably read book 2, The Chaos, but only because I have an ARC of book 3, Infinity.  Hopefully, I will be glad I invested the time. 

Here's the book trailer Scholastic posted.  It makes it seem more sci-fi than I thought the book really was, but enjoy!

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