The day her mother died, Jem saw numbers in her eyes. She didn't realize until later that those numbers corresponded with the date of her death. She was young and unsure of what she was seeing. But ever since then, when she sees the numbers, she knows what they are. She's even tried to change them by preventing a death. She has never succeeded.
She has trouble forming relationships, because she doesn't like to look in peoples eyes and see how long they have. But then she begins to get closer to someone who really gets her. His name is Spider. They begin spending a lot of time together. One day while at a public event, Jem begins noticing that all the people around them have the same date in their eyes. Today's date. She notices a few creepy things and decides that something big will be happening there in moments. They have to get out of there. She grabs Spider and they run. Moments later, an explosion erupts and kills a lot of people. Unfortunately, video captured them running moments before the explosion, so the cops put their pictures on TV and begin a manhunt. Turns out that the explosion was an act of terrorism, and Jem & Spider are the chief suspects/witnesses.
Since they've both had their share of trouble with the law, they figure they cops will find something to pin on them, so they go on the run. To make her life even more complicated, Jen knows Spider's numbers and she really wishes she could do something to change them.
I was intrigued by the premise of this book right away. I thought it would be more about Jem's ability, but it wasn't. there is a lot more to the story. It's in England, so it has quite a different feel to it. The surroundings and the dialogue is different and interesting. The mood feels kind of dystopian, although that really isn't the genre at all. It's hard to describe. It's gritty and very unique. It's not an easy read - it's an up close look at teens on the fringe. Teens who definitely aren't on the fast track to college, but rather those who would need a lot of encouragement to finish high school in the first place. The ending is truly shocking!
You won't read anything like it, for sure. For a debut novel, this is pretty amazing. Plus, I just found out that the sequel just came out. (in England - not sure if it's in the US yet) For more on the author go here
Here's the cover for the sequel: