Friday, August 19, 2011

Book Review: I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 480 pages
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062026240
ISBN-13: 978-0062026248
Series: Lorien Legacies #1
Source: Purchased at The Vero Beach Book Center
Cover: I must admit, I find this cover a little more *ahem* alluring, than the original. Even if Alex Pettyfer weren't so yummy, I feel like there is more to look at on this one!
First Sentence: "The door starts shaking."

Mini-Review: A debut as unique for it's authentic male prospective as for it's subject matter!


In the beginning they were a group of nine. Nine aliens who left their home planet of Lorien when it fell under attack by the evil Mogadorian. Nine aliens who scattered on Earth. Nine aliens who look like ordinary teenagers living ordinary lives, but who have extraordinary, paranormal skills. Nine aliens who might be sitting next to you now. 

The Nine had to separate and go into hiding. The Mogadorian caught Number One in Malaysia, Number Two in England, and Number Three in Kenya. All of them were killed. John Smith, of Paradise, Ohio, is Number Four. He knows that he is next. 
I Am Number Four is the thrilling launch of a series about an exceptional group of teens as they struggle to outrun their past, discover their future—and live a normal life on Earth. 

I was reluctant to read I Am Number Four because of all the controversy about what actually went down with James Frey. After seeing the movie, I decided to give it a shot because it seems liked a good story. What I found was an honest male prospective with great adventure, vivid writing and a unique plot equal parts exciting and action packed.

Perhaps my most favorite thing about I Am Number Four was John's voice. Everything from the way he saw the world to the way he spoke was very male to me. I'm not saying that I haven't read novels that excel at this but this novel was particularly good at creating a male that was both authentic and likable. His most used phrase "hell yeah" was familiar and through his perspective we got to see how earth compared to his home planet. I liked that he didn't back down to bullying but was also so sweet and devoted to Sarah. The combination of a sense of responsibility and his willingness to be a kid (I'm looking at when he holds Henri on the ceiling until he gets his way) really made his character pop.

Another great thing about this novel was it's supporting characters. Many of them weren't what they originally seemed. Even when John had type casted him, he'd be pleasantly surprised to find out that they were different. My favorite relationships were between John and Sam, who needed a friend desperately, and John and Henri. I Am Number Four is stuffed with originality from the different type of legacies, the way the charms work, how the deaths are burned into their legs to the evil races hunting down the Numbers. Learning with John about his what happened to his home planet and about his powers and those who seek to steal these things was fascinating and kept me turning pages.

This novel isn't without it's faults. For me, the story dragged a bit towards the middle and was bogged down by a lot of detail. At times, the detailing was amazing but there were other times where I felt like it slowed down the action and as a result, I lost some of the tension. This is especially evident in the ending. I found that I actually liked the movie ending better than the book. I realize that fight scenes are incredibly visual and that a movie can accomplish this better but I liked how bad ass Four and Six are in the movie. I felt Four/John lost this edge in the book and it made me a little upset. The other major compliant I had was I felt things come together in Ohio a bit too easily for John. He wanted Sarah? She likes him! He wanted a friend? Here's Sam! He wanted to stand up to Mark? Done! It wasn't enough to be really annoying but I'd have like to see him try a bit harder.

Though I did have a few complaints, I'm so happy I read this book overall. John's voice was authentic, the other characters broke free of stereotypes and the journey is fast paced. I loved the movie and I loved the book just as much. I can't wait to see what will happen to John, Six and Sam as they begin to find the other four in The Power of Six!



  1. I've been reluctant to read this too - plus, I saw the movie, and wasn't too impressed. However, it sounds a lot better, judging from your review, than I thought it'd be, so I may give it a go! Thanks for the review, and glad you enjoyed it.

  2. Glad you enjoyed this one, Amber! I just reviewed The Power of Six and I must say, I love this series! I understand where you're coming from with the controversy revolving around James Frey... but... ;) Great review!


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