Monday, November 22, 2010

[Review] I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

Title: I Am Number Four
Author: Pittacus Lore (pseudonym)
Publication: 27th August 2010
Publisher: Penguin UK
Source: PB, For Review (Thanks Penguin Australia!)
Pages: 360
Series: Book 1 of the Lorien Legacies
My Rating:

John Smith is not your average teenager.

He regularly moves from small town to small town. He changes his name and identity. He does not put down roots. He cannot tell anyone who or what he really is. If he stops moving, those who hunt him will find and kill him.

But you can't run for ever.

So when he stops in Paradise, Ohio, Johnd ecides to try and settle down. To fit in. And for the first time he makes some real friends. People he cares about - and who care about him. Never in John's short lfie has there been space for friendship, or even love.

But it's a matter of time before John's secret is revealed.

He was once one of nine. Three of them have been killed.

John is Number Four. He knows that he is next . . .
My thoughts: 

Yes, I Am Number Four was written by James Frey and Jobie Hughes. Many people would be familiar with Frey's marketing scam with his fictional memoir. However, just disregard that episode--Four is actually really good.

If you're like me - new to the sci-fi scene, perhaps a reluctant reader of the genre - you'll be repelled, or apprehensive, by the thought of reading about aliens. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Okay, so while the overall pitch of the novel was fairly straight-forward and predictable - in that the main character is the hero and is the "last chance", and a big battle breaks out between "good" and "evil" - I found myself so immersed within the novel and all that happens.

I Am Number Four tells of an alien from Lorien, who is among the last of nine baby aliens on a mission to save their species and planet from the Mogadorians, who we learn are a land-sucking anti-species to the Loriens. John Smith, 15, is an alien. But he'd much rather be a normal high school kid: make friends, go to school. When he is suddenly akin to his first "Legacy", he is both shocked and amazed. The Lorien race's last hope, is those last remaining.

The characters are both a positive and negative aspect for me. They are far too perfect, especially Sarah, Four's love interest. However, I loved a lot of the characters by the end, so while I couldn't connect with any character on any personal level, I still enjoyed learning more about them and actually grew to care about what happened to them. The big battle got me quite emotional. :P

The writing style, which I just realised I've been completely neglecting lately in my reviews. I'm not sure how I feel about the writing style with this one. It wasn't eloquent or sophisticated, but if it had been it wouldn't have suited the story. So, with that said, the way the book was written sits in the "fine" category with me. I love a well written narrative, but that is never a necessity, especially in the YA genre. In I Am Number Four, everything is simple to imagine in the head.

The one thing I will talk about that I absolutely hated, pinning it down, is the relationship shared between Four and Sarah. It was incredibly cheesy, and after about a week of knowing each other, they're exchanging "I love you"'s and acting like an old married couple - the loving kind, not the bickering kind. It was pretty sickening at times, and I'm glad that the novel ended the way it did, because [possible spoiler!] it pretty much ensures that we won't be seeing Sarah anymore.
Thanks so much I HEART MONSTER for hosting the read-a-long. If it weren't for you, I wouldn't have picked up my review copy so early, but I'm so, so glad that I did because this one is was really enjoyable. Even among all the bad reviews that I've seen (but not read through). I can't wait to watch the movie, but I'm also a bit worried that it won't be as good or as detailed as the book was.


The book trailer. Click on the link below for the movie trailer.

Live in Australia?
Fishpond | Readings | Dymocks | Angus & Robertson | Borders | The Nile

Live elsewhere?
Amazon | The Book Depository

I have received this review copy in return for an honest review.


Official Website
Movie (2011) Trailer

Learn more about I Am Number Four and read more reviews at Goodreads

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