Target Audience: Teens/Adults
I always struggle to right a review for those books that have a huge impact on me, and this is no exception.
Realistic, emotional, hard-hitting and a concept that left me shocked to the core, this is a book i will never forget.
Adam, Jem's son, has inherited her ability to see the dates of people's deaths when he looks in their eyes. Also, like Jem, he struggles everyday with it, trying not to look people in the eye and when he does clock a number he jots it down in his notebook. Why? Because he realises that thousands of people in London have the date 1st January 2027, and he also knows that something awful happens on that date that will kill a lot of people.
At the same time, Sarah, a girl at the school Adam goes to, is planning to run away from her abusive father to give her and her unborn baby a chance of a better life. She to, however, has her own curse. Sarah has a recurring nightmare in which a boy takes her baby and runs through a fire, during the disaster that is yet to come. The problem, She thinks Adam is that boy...
I loved the plot of this book, it was electric, alive and so compulsive i literally couldn't put it down, i read it in one day.
Some of the themes that Rachel tackles are so sensitive, i was impressed by how well she dealt with them. Among many, there is suicide, child abuse and drugs, and thats just a few.
One of the most striking themes for me however, was that of destiny and how in control we actually are. Can Adam change the the future? Will lots of people in London die? Can the numbers be altered?
By the end of the book, all these questions are answered fully and a lot more besides, in an exciting and terrifying roller coaster of a thriller novel.
As well as all the high-octane action and terror, there's also a bit of romance, and i loved how Adam's and Sarah's relationship came together so perfectly. It wasn't forced or rushed and the pace was believable.
With regards to the characters, i loved Adam and Sarah, they were believable, easy to understand (especially with regards to language), and i couldn't help but admire their resiliance at the amount of bad things that happen to them. Adam's fighting spirit as he tries to tell London what's going to happen was infectious and i wanted to cheer him along.
In Sarah's case i couldn't help but marvel at how she pulled herself out of a horrifying and degrading homelife to give birth to a baby and then struggle along as a single mum (at least until she meets Adam). Her overwhelming protectiveness for her daughter, Mia, was beautiful to read about and it read so realistically.
Val, Adam's grandmother, was also another standout. As Adam's sole guardian, she is strong, witty and an incredibly strong woman. And towards the end of the book, she plays a very important role that i will never forget, ever. Personally i think that her actions at the end of the book define so much about destiny, death and choices, and it really made me feel that we are in control, no matter how unlikely it seems at some times in life.
To conclude, my overall opinion is that if your looking for a light, easy read, don't read this. However, if you want a meaningful book about issues that matter, a plot that will leave you breathless, a romance that will make your heart race and an incredibly emotional ending that will leave you speechless, then this is most definately the book for you. But do bear in mind that however much darkness and death there appears to be, there is also light and life, something that will be very clear by the end of the novel.