I read a lot of positive reviews of this novel when it was first released and have finally got around to giving it a try. Whilst I enjoyed it enough, it unfortunately wasn't quite as good as I'd expected from the summary, which sounded really intriguing.
The book revolves around fifteen-year-old Jem who has the extraordinary ability of being able to see the date that someone will die whenever she looks into their eyes. Isolated Jem has grown up in a string of foster homes since the death of her mother and finds it hard to trust or get close to anyone, so is naturally reluctant to let in Spider, a youth she meets who seems to want to be friends. On a trip to London however, Jem is horrified to encounter an entire group of people who all have the same numbers of death- that day's date. Knowing something horrific is about to happen, Jem goes on the run, setting off a chain that will have dramatic consequences for both her and Spider...
Generally this was a well-written story, though it didn't quite grab me in the way that I'd anticipated as once the main event happens it is basically a lot of dialogue and running (with of course the predictable love story)! Still, characters were fairly well developed and I did find Jem to be quite intriguing as a main protagonist. I suppose my main impression of this novel was that it could have been a bit more suspenseful- it's all peaks and troughs and the majority of the book is a bit flat. I have read far more compelling YA fiction that really hooked me from the get go (The Hunger Games, The Host, Delirium, Uglies, etc) and I think this was a bit weak in comparison to those.
Though of course I am not the books targeted audience, I still enjoyed this novels concept and I think 3 stars is a fair rating- though some of the strong language and the dark themes (drugs and whatnot) surprised me a bit- so I think this is more aimed towards the older end of the YA market as there is a bit of gritty realism to it that might not be understood by younger children. I liked the ending though and have book two on my TBR pile, so have high hopes this series will get even better- the idea is a real attention grabber after all.