"The eyes, they say, are the windows to the soul, but when Jem looks into a person's eyes she sees numbers. These numbers are a date: the date of the person's death.
Numbers, by Rachel Ward.
If all you ever saw were dates in people's eyes -- if you had no parents, but were being passed through the foster system, things would indeed seem a bit bleak. Jem eventually makes a connection -- but how does knowing when someone is going to die change how you live and interact with them?
Read the review in the UK Guardian. This book came out in the U.S. in paperback on January 5th.