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Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Overall it's a decent read, 13 Dec. 2008
This review is from: Numbers (Paperback)
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I quite enjoyed reading this young adult book. It's certainly pacey and very relevant for the times with the inclusion of terrorism. The book is very readable with good length chapters that do keep you wanting to read on. The reason it doesn't warrant 5 stars in my opinion is that the book will date itself specifically because it is set in December 2008, which might not hold the same interest in 5 or 10 years time for teenage readers and secondly because of reference to the London Eye, already almost a decade old.

The characters of Spider and Jem are great to read about. However I do feel that Rachel Ward has tried to capture too many stereotypes. The book is full of them - a white narrator with a black friend, disaffected low-achieving teenagers, drugs and alcohol within gangs, children in care and upper-class stereotypical families. Having said all this, the actual plot runs smoothly.

I do believe it helped that I was reading this book at the exact time that it was set, it seemed to make it exciting and enthralling. There's definite potential though for this author as this is overall, a good debut novel with appeal for a range of audiences. Whilst there's enough to hold the reader's attention, it did seem to stall for a period and I was left wondering if there was substantial material for the author to continue with the pace she had started. Although there was, the conclusion didn't seem fitting for me and was something I feel could have been better developed.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 1 Apr 2012 21:05:39 BDT
Last edited by the author on 1 Apr 2012 21:06:07 BDT
I know this was written years ago but just some points you pointed out as negatives personally I find vital to character and plot development.

A lot of teenagers (not all) do see the world in stereotypes; its how they try and make sense of the world and where they fit in. So Jem (the narrator) thinks herself and those around her fitting into this "going nowhere" stereotype and accepted that categorization at the start of the story. However, later on in the story as she starts to encounter more of the world through the people she meets and her physical environment, this starts to destroy many her preconceptions of people preset at the beginning of the book.

Also the the reference of the London Eye makes the story accessible to a wide range of readers as almost everyone has seen an image of the London eye, which is in the background of many many films (and I think it may be in the credits sequence for bbc news ?) unlike parliament or Buckingham palace the area around it is accessible to the public and not got the authoritarian connotations.

I hope someone finds this helpful.
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