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I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

Rating: 3.75/5 Stars

Genre: Science Fiction

Release Date: August 3, 2010

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About the Book: The planet Lorien has been destroyed by a group of aliens called the Mogadorians. Nine young Lorien's escaped along with their Gardes (who are guardians of sorts) and fled to Earth. The Mogadorians are searching for the nine who have been living in hiding. A special charm makes it so the nine have to be killed in order. Three have been killed and John is number four.

John has lived his life on the run, changing names, moving from town to town. His latest move leads him to Paradise, Ohio, where he finally gets a chance to make friends and meets a girl named Sarah who he can’t stop thinking about. But the Mogadorians are after John and they're closing in-and he has to be ready to fight, no matter what.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I was very excited to read I Am Number Four because I was a huge alien and science fiction fanatic as a teen. I read Roswell High, watched the Roswell TV show, and was obsessed with X-Files and Star Trek. So this book seemed like it would be right up my alley-teen book with aliens and romance, seemed perfect right?

But I think I may have hyped the book up too much in mind. I liked it, but there were also things I didn’t enjoy. So I’m going to break this review into two parts-the pros and cons because I feel like that's the easiest way to organize my thoughts on this one.

Pros: So I liked that there was a romance, but it wasn't the main focus of the story. Sure it was there and it was important, but it wasn't what the plot hinges on. John makes friends, he has people outside of Sarah that he talks to and confides in, and I really liked that he built a support group and that his friend Sam played a pretty big role in the book and was my favorite character of the story. The story is pretty entertaining. It's a long book and there are a few parts that seem bogged down, but for the most part it's an engaging read. I like the history of Lorien and learning about the nine's legacies (special powers), the history of their planet, and more about their race. I also liked that there was a lot of action, which I think will appeal to adventure readers. There's less focus on the teen angst and more the action of the story.

Cons: I felt like it was written too simplistically. There were parts that reminded me of a story my husband wrote when he was twelve (and this happened, and then this happened and what's that-oh it's this!) I felt like the authors didn't quite understand writing for teens and writing YA. The ARC I read suggests the book for ages 14 and up, but aside from a few cuss words and the mention of a fire being started by drugs, I didn't think it was anything middle school readers couldn't read. For a 14 and up book, the writing felt more middle school. The action scenes were somewhat muddied and hard to follow, but that could just be my reading style-I like my action scenes more thought and spelled out I guess. I think the big battle at the end was somewhat odd to read because we aren't told much about the bad guys, but suddenly we're supposed to understand what these beasts are that are attacking. The book was a little long and slowed down in parts that really could have been cut. I also felt some of the things that happened were a little too convenient-oh and by the way, we have this magical power or item that we're revealing right now because it's convenient to the plot!

Overall I did enjoy I Am Number Four and I'm curious to see how the story will continue especially since there are supposed to be six books total in the series. The book reads like a movie, so I'm not surprised to see this one becoming a big blockbuster film. I do hope the writing gets better as the series goes on. I can see this one gaining a good fanbase of teens and I really think science fiction is on the rise in YA. I would expect this one to rise in popularity once the movie releases next year.

Book Pairings: These are old so may be hard to find: Roswell High by Melinda Metz, Dancing with an Alien by Mary Logue, Old Magic by Marianne Curley, Reincarnation by Suzanne Weyn

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from ARC that I picked up at ALA


  1. Oh, all the rave reviews I've read have made me look forward to this, but I'm glad you brought up the more simplistic writing. That's always what gets to me when adult writers "write down" for younger audiences. I will see how I feel about this one soon. Thanks!

  2. I just recently finished the book, and I was disappointed. I knew there was going to be a movie with Alex Pettyfer (dreamy!), so thought I should read this pronto. But like you stated, I thought it was a little slow, and simple. I couldn't get into it...took me four days to read it! Stephen Frey (liar!) is one of the writers...this is his first attempt at YA, so maybe he thought he needed to keep it simple. Huge underestimation!

  3. I liked the book but I thought it was a middle grade book rather than young adult. I would recommend it for 12-14's.

    Bernie Kosar was the best character.

  4. Funny that you just reviewed this. My daughter was just telling me about this book. She wants to read it. Since she's in middle school, hopefully she'll lie it.

  5. I've got this one on my TBR pile and have seen a good deal of middle of the road reviews for it. Not every book can be (or has to be) spectacular but I admit when reviews jumpto the middle the book migrates to that same location in my pile.

    Did you know they're already making a movie of this? Or maybe the book is based on the movie, I can't remember which is the chicken and which the egg.


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