Author: Pittacus Lore
Published: August 3, 2010 by HarperCollins
Series: Lorien Legacies #1
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 NUMBER FOUR.
I AM NEXT.
I AM NEXT.
My thoughts: I've read some extremely mixed reviews on this one. Most of the people I know either loved this book or hated. Well, at first I kind of hated it, mostly because the writing is simplistic and the slow beginning bored me. But about 100 pages in, I started loving I Am Number Four; the characters were well-developed, but the real reason this book was so good was because of the story line. It was really original and super entertaining. Number Four, or as he is known to his human friends, John, was sweet and cute, and the only thing I didn't really like was that he talked really strangely. Not like a teenager at all. If anything, it seemed like Lore was trying to sound like a teenager but failed. I mean, all of the characters all said is and perhaps and never left any g's out of their words. That was the major downfall of this book for me; the writing was really meticulous, like an essay instead of a teenager's account of their life.
My favorite character was Henri, who was brave, strong, and totally loyal and caring of John. No matter what John does, or how he screws things up, Henri's always there and ready to save the day. I just really liked his characteristics and his responses to the life-threatening scenarios. John, or Number Four, was a nice character: easily likeable, caring, and of course, running for his life. He wasn't all that relatable though; you might say that was because he was an alien and all, but i connected well with Henri, so I don't know. He just felt kind of contrived. Sarah was sweet and cute, and while I know a lot of people didn't like her because she was kind of plain, I liked her character; sometimes, especially in action-adventure novels, you need a light, fluffy romance thrown in the mix, and she was good at being the loving girlfriend. Sam was funny and a great character in my opinion. I liked how he was so wimpy and yet really strong in the end. Don't ask me about Mark; he was annoying and a dick, no matter how many lives he saved at the end. In fact, I still haven't worked out why Henri was so trusting of him in the first place. It came out of nowhere.
Okay, now because I just loved Number Six so dang much, she gets her own paragraph. She wasn't my favorite character, but I could totally see her becoming my favorite character (especially considering the ending). She was kick-ass, smart, strong, and obviously complicated. I think she was the best-developed character, which is impressive since she was only in the last quarter of the novel. I can't wait to see more of her.
The best asset of this novel was the story. It was strange, out-there, chilling, and ominous. I'm not a huge alien fan, much less a fanatic, but I really loved the backstory of Lorien and how their planet works. I also loved the Mogadorians. At first I was all, that's all they've got? But then they got really creepy and super-strong and I just loved how Lore described them. That being said, the ending really bummed me out. Okay, don't read on if you haven't read the novel. Skip to the next paragraph. As I before mentioned, Henri was an awesome character and my favorite; I thought he could've added a ton to the big picture. But then Lore had to go and kill him off. Where did that come from? I think it was total loss to the story line and I was immensly disappointed. I think I even threw down the book (on my bed. I would never throw a book on *gasp* the floor.) after I read that they even cremated him. Now there's no hope it was just a fluke and he really did survive. Maybe it was a good development in the story line; I just didn't like it for obvious reasons.
I Am Number Four is primarily an action book, and it definitely was action-packed. Aside from not-the-greatest writing and characters that were a little contrived, it was a great novel. The action was heavy and intense and well-written. The pacing was great and added to the plot. And the backstory was great. Overall, it was a great story with good characters and moderate writing.
Cover: 5 stars
Characters: 4 stars
Plot: 5 stars
Writing: 3 stars
Overall rating: 4 stars