Monday, October 10, 2011

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
Harper Collins, August 2010

Summary from Goodreads:
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. 
Note: this is not going to be a typical book review, because, really, who hasn't heard of this book by now?

I really, really never wanted to read this novel, after learning that it was written by someone who had signed their soul over to the devil James Frey as part of Frey's fiction factory. In addition, the premise of this book is not one that I usually gravitate towards in a novel. I could have lived my life without reading this novel and feel I lived a good life.

But. While planning a "Read a Movie" program with my teens at the library, I discovered that our library does not, in fact, own sufficient copies of that many books that were made into movies to hold a successful book discussion. The ones we do own enough of--The Lovely Bones, My Sister's Keeper, etc.--were not at all appealing to the boys in my group. And so, with a short list of contenders (I can't remember any others but Coraline), the group decided to read I Am Number Four, and then watch the movie. So under duress (and only a day before our book discussion, I might add), I started reading.

And. While there were many things I didn't like about this book, it was not as wretched as I'd hoped thought it would be. The story was actually interesting and I thought John/#4 
was an interesting character.

Having said that, I have to say that I drifted, like my-eyes-are-heavy-and-I'm-fallings-asleep-drifted during what was supposed to be the most pivotal moment in the book. Bo-ring, says I. I thought overall the writing reeked of amateur (which could be explained by the Jobie Hughes part but does nothing to validate James Frey as a good writer), the language was oftentimes stilted and confusing. Will I be putting The Power of Six on hold at the library? Sigh, probably yes. One of my teens has already read it and he said it was amazing. I will take solace in the fact that by borrowing the books (and movie) from the library, I, personally, am not handing any money over to the evilness that is James Frey.  

I'm writing this before watching the movie, though, and I'm wondering how Alex Pettyfer will carry off being 15 years old. I would rate the book at 2 out of 5 stars, that's how much I didn't like it. I hope the movie is better. I'll be posting a review of our "Read a Movie" program soon!

Borrowed book from the library.
Enjoy your reading!

1 comment:

  1. Dear Cosmic Twin,
    I am having the same program in December, and came upon the same challenge. Sigh. I am giving them the choice between Beastly and this. I wish I just had a secret pile of money so that I could buy copies of paperbacks of whatever the book club really wants to read! Know what I want to read? Trapped: the true story of the miners. Know how many copies I have (in the ENTIRE system)? 2
    It sucks, but we must do the best we can.


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