Wednesday 16 February 2011

I Am Number Four Review

In the beginning we were a group of nine.
There are six of us left.
The first three were killed in the order of their numbers.
They won’t stop until they’ve killed us all.

I Am Number Four.

I know that I am next.

I never thought this book would make me cry but it did. I’ve been meaning to read I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore (a pseudonym for James Frey and Jobie Hughes) for some time now and it is only because the movie release is imminent that I picked it up now. I wanted to make sure that I read the book before I saw the movie. I don’t know why because I’ve seen plenty of movies and THEN read the book but for some reason I wanted to read the book first in this case. When I first heard about the book, I got excited about the storyline and couldn’t wait to read it. A book about aliens would be a nice change in the midst of vampire, angels, werewolves, insert other paranormal creature here. I’m pleased to say that I really enjoyed the book (I think the crying part probably gave that away) and now I’m really looking forward to seeing how the book will translate on screen.

So what’s the story about? I Am Number Four is about six teenage aliens and their guardians that escape to earth from the planet Lorien which has been destroyed by the Mogadorian. The Mogadorian race have used up all the resources on their own planet and seek out new planets to use up and ultimately destroy, Lorien being one of them and earth is next. The Loric survivors are the only ones who can stop this from happening and so the Mogadorian have come to earth to kill them. But it’s not THAT easy. The Loric were born with special powers called Legacies and they are just starting to develop them. If the Mogadorian don’t kill them before the legacies develop then it will be that much harder and because of a charm put on the Loric survivors, they can only be killed in a particular order. The first three are dead and number four is next.

Well, I’m sure it will come as no surprise to you that this book reads like a movie. It was pretty much crying out for it to be made into one. I saw everything so clearly in my head, even imagining the special effects and I definitely felt the tension leading up the climactic end. Because I read this after finding out about the movie, I had no problem picturing Alex Pettyfer and Diana Agron in the main roles. I was a little surprise when I found out who was playing Henri though as I had a completely different person in mind. But I’ll talk more about that when I review the movie.

This is a plot based novel and it was nice that the romance wasn’t the main feature of it, merely an addition to the main story but one that was completely necessary. Number four or John Smith as he prefers to be called is tired of having no attachments besides Henri. He’s tired of moving from place to place at short notice and longs to be “normal”. So you see, just because he’s an alien HE’S STILL A TEENAGER!

I sometimes thought Sarah was a little too forward with John considering she is supposed to be a loner and I have to wonder if she was only attracted to him because he was “the new guy”. I have to admit to rolling my eyes at certain parts but thankfully it didn’t detract from the main storyline.

I really enjoyed Sam as a secondary character and token sci fi geek whose head is often buried in underground publications about the existence of aliens. It makes me laugh to think what he’s got himself involved in as he’s only ever read about this stuff in books.

Character wise, the little dog stole the show for me. I absolutely LOVE Bernie Kosar with Henri coming a close second. I can’t say much about Bernie apart from the fact that he is a clever little dog. Henri came across as a bit of a tortured soul with a strong sense of duty that dominated his every action. He took his responsibilities VERY seriously and never deviated from protecting John at all costs. And these were high.

I Am Number Four is a fast paced, action packed novel with a little bit of romance thrown in for good measure. I think it has fantastic cross-over appeal which is probably why there is both an adult and YA cover for the book (although I’m not sure why they felt the need to do this). The ending was of course left open, paving the way for a sequel entitled “The Power of Six” and this will be released in August, 2011.

Now bear in mind that I bought the book before I learnt about the controversy surrounding it. I’m not going to explain it here, especially as a lot of other people have already done so and a lot more eloquently than I ever could. If you haven’t heard about it then click here to find out more information. Despite the controversy (and I’m not saying I agree with James Frey in the slightest) I do think that the book deserves recognition. It’s just a shame that the royalties will be going into the wrong pocket. I know a lot of people who are not buying this book on principle alone but isn’t that a disservice to the other writer behind the series? After all, surely the worst thing for a writer is that their words will not be read. Food for thought.

I am really excited to tell you that I recently won two tickets to a preview screening of the movie next week! I’m ecstatic that I won and I’m sure this is one movie the boyfriend won’t mind being dragged along to. I can’t wait to see the special effects and how the story is translated on screen. I’m going to be writing a special post for it so be sure to look out for it.

Click here to visit the official site for I Am Number Four.


  1. I loved this book! I feel bad about the controversy surrounding it, but I still believe it should be read, as it is a fantastic book. I can't wait for the second one. I loved the dog too!

  2. I read the book as well before I heard about the whole "James Frey" thing because...well it's about aliens and that is kind of my thing. I thought the writing was simple, but I couldn't but be drawn into it. My husband even enjoyed the book, maybe even more than I did! I'm really glad that you finally read it and enjoyed it!

  3. i loved this book and have since lent it to loads of other people who have also loved it. Looking forward to the film loads!

  4. I so want to get a dog and name him Bernie Kosar. :-D

  5. Vivienne - I totally agree

    Magan - Exactly, I've heard that boys are picking up this book and anything that gets people reading has got to be good.

    Kirsty - me too!

    Katie - LOL what a fab idea, I'd love to do this! :)

  6. Glad you read and reviewed it despite the controversy!!

  7. Glad you enjoyed it. I had no idea James Frey co-wrote this book!

  8. Interesting - thanks for the review.

  9. I still haven't read this! I'm determined to before I see the film, despite all the controversy. Thanks for the review, and glad you liked it!

  10. Liz - having just seen the movie, I can say that whilst it was enjoyable, the book is definitely better!

    Thanks for all your comments guys :)