|AUTHOR: Rachel Ward|
PUBLICATION DATE: March 1, 2011
SOURCE: My library
OVERALL RATING: Highly recommended
RECOMMENDED FOR: HS, upper-MS
WHAT I LIKED: I cannot say how much I loved the previous book, Num8ers. I remember staying up until 3:30am to finish it, and I still could not sleep after I finished because I kept thinking and thinking about it. I still get my misty-eyes-excitement look when I think about that last shocking paragraph. Num8ers was simply an amazing book.
The Cha0s is also a good book, but I am not as excited about it as I am about its predecessor. I still finished relatively quickly--in 3 days, which is pretty good for me during the school year. In both books, Ward paints characters that are realistically flawed. Characters smell bad, shave off their hair, get badly burned, chain smoke, swear (a lot), are abuse victims, skip school, struggle with reading...So many YA fiction authors write heroes and heroines who are beautiful and smart and have hot bods; it's refreshing to read about teens who could be sitting right next to you in class, survivors who are more street-smart than beautiful. Getting to know them, readers discover their inner strength and love them despite their physical appearances, poor hygiene, socially deviant behavior, and bad habits.
Books set in the future are always a hit with me and, perhaps as a result of that, with my students as well. Ward excels at creating a near-future world where citizens who stand out become enemies of the state. It is easy to see how out-of-control governments that steal personal liberties could easily lead to the problems that plague London in The Cha0s. The Chaos can stand-alone, without reading Num8ers, but why would anyone want to miss Num8ers?
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: The Cha0s just does not reach the greatness of Num8ers. It's a great story though, and I can't wait to read the next book.
- LANGUAGE: high--lots of Fs and Ss, among others
- SEXUALITY: moderate-high--incest, sexual abuse, some kissing, references to male genitalia
- VIOLENCE: high--severe burns, murder, death and dead bodies
- DRUGS/ ALCOHOL: moderate--a chain-smoking great grandmother, one character lives with drug abusers and a drug dealer (but does not do drugs herself), some references to teen drinking
STATUS IN MY LIBRARY (GRADES 6-8): We have it on the high school shelf. Considering the popularity of Num8ers in my library, Th3 Cha0s will be huge.