Sunday, April 03, 2011

Review: I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 440 pages

Publisher: Harper Collins; 1st edition (August 3rd 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061969559
ISBN-13: 9780061969553
Source: Purchased from BookDepository
First Sentence"The door starts shaking."
Favorite Line from the Book: "There is always hope… Don’t give up hope just yet. It’s the last thing to go. When you have lost hope, you have lost everything. So when you think all is lost, when all is dire and bleak, there is always hope."
Book Summary:  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 am not much fan of sci-fi books… contemporary – yes, paranormal – yes, dystopia – yes, steampunk – yes… sci-fi – uhm, not really! Sci-fi movies and TV shows, I can deal with them better, but books, I have to think twice before reading it. BUT, I Am Number Four changed that. When I first saw the trailer of the movie adaptation of the novel, I instantly looked for the novel. The premise reminded me of Roswell, the TV series which I was addicted to before when I was still in high school. Anyway, although there were similarities, i.e., nine Loric children were transported to our planet which have special powers, it still captured my interest. Thus, I searched for the book and waited for it to be delivered through ordering at Book Depository since the hard cover edition is already out of stock here (delivery took about twenty-one business day here in Manila). 

The premise is about nine children from a planet called Lorien who travelled the universe in order to escape the Mogadorians. The Mogadorians were the ones responsible for depleting their planet and eventually killed all of Lorics. The children along with their guardians travelled to get to Earth, the next planet whom they have identified as the planet which can sustain them due to its similarities with Lorien. Before the children boarded the space ship, one of their elders casted a charm which protected them and assigned numbers to each one of them. 

Little did they know that the Mogadorians eventually followed them to Earth and hunted them – using their numbers as well. Numbers one-three were killed, and Number four is next. Number four or John Smith (throughout the majority of the book) is with his guardian Henri. John and Henri keep on moving to one place to another in the hope of eluding the Magadorians. After each murder of their kind, John will be notified by having a mark suddenly appear in his leg. The latest marking was that of Number Three, thus prompting them to yet again, move to another town – Paradise, Ohio. 

John is a sophomore and went to high school. There, he met Sarah. Sarah is the beautiful girl in school which can’t be approached – not because she’s picky with people, but because of her ex-boyfriend, Mark who up until that point still thought AND acted that they were still going out. To cut the story short, Mark made John’s life in school, hell on earth. Pranks were being done to him; enough bullying was given to him too. During this time too, John was able to have a friend for the first time, Sam. 

Eventually, Sarah and John fell in love. John doesn’t know how he can tell Sarah his true identity, nor does he know what to do when the Mogadorians are concerned. He needed to make his decision, to leave or not to. 

I am not going to narrate everything anymore although I am so much tempted. I know that I have somehow cut the plot so abruptly. I just don’t want to give out the story to those who haven’t read the book or watched the movie. 

I have to say that I really liked the book. I like how it was written as I was able to connect with the main character. In the movie, you get to see how the characters were reacting based on, well, their reactions, BUT, the book gave me the opportunity to really understand how John is truly feeling. I get to appreciate him more. I get to feel how much he loves Sarah and will do anything to protect her. I get to feel how he appreciates Henri and how much he considers him as a father. 

Although, the book in its entirety is not action packed as I hoped it would be, it would still suffice me. The history of Lorien was beautifully written through flashbacks. The action scenes, which started slowly, were building up until its climax. The ending gave me something to look forward to and left questions hanging, hopefully to be answered in its sequel. All in all, I am recommending this to everyone and I am so looking forward to its sequel, The Power of Six, to be released on August 23rd 2011.

Here's the book trailer:


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Thanks for the great review! I'm so glad this one hooked you though it does stink that there wasn't as much action as you anticipated. I can't wait to get to this one in my tbr stack!

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