Sunday, April 10, 2011

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore | Review

Title: I Am Number Four
Author: Pittacus Lore [Pseudonym]
Published: August 3, 2010
Number of Pages: 440

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. [from Goodreads]



"Hope?” [Henri] says. “There is always hope, John. New developments have yet to present themselves. Not all the information is in. No. Don’t give up hope just yet. It’s the last thing to go. When you have lost hope, you have lost everything. And when you think all is lost, when all is dire and bleak, there is always hope.”

Review [My first ever... bear with me!]

When I started seeing the trailers for I Am Number Four, I was instantly interested. I didn't really plan on getting the book until my mom got it for me, though. Then it kind of lounged around on my bookshelf until I finished The Iron Fey by Julie Kagawa, and then I got around to this. I'm not usually fan of present tense books, but I don't mind them. After all, I read The Immortals... (okay, so I read the first four. The fourth one killed it for me, though.) The book gets a 4/5.

It begins with Number Three's untimely death.

The beginning kept my interest. John, Daniel at the time, is immediately put on the run for what seems like the hundredth time in his ten years on Earth while his third scar sears into his ankle. He is next in line to die. Already you're on the edge of your seat, wondering how long it's going to take for the Mogadorians to find him.

Unfortunately, you don't get much action in the beginning. At all. That was really the only downer for me in the book. It goes into a brief slump for the first two chapters or so, but there's enough mystery that forces you to keep moving along. John goes to school and immediately obtains a crush, an enemy, and a friend. A nerdy one who loves aliens, at that—ah, irony. Once Halloween arrives, that was when the book was unputdownable.

Sarah, Sam, and John are tricked onto the Halloween ride and ambushed by Mark and his friends. This is when John uses his power to its fullest in order to get revenge on the jock who thinks he can take on an alien. At school reading this, it was half tempting to start shouting out loud, "Throw him halfway across the US! Not into the water!" At his victory it makes you so excited to find out what happens next—what's Sam thinking? The alien-lover—has he figured it out?

From there on the book moves at a comfortable pace that lets you relax for a few seconds, and then jerks you onto the edge of your seat—trying to hold on when you're on the wing of an airplane. Whether it's just a small surprise or something phenomenal, you're gripped. At Henri's disappearance in Athens, I was jerking around the entire time I was reading the book. I missed an entire two hours of history and English just to figure out what John would do. His Legacies kick in, and I'm hopping up and down in my seat.

Bernie Kosar... I think he's one of my favorite characters! You immediately know there's something different about him, but it wasn't until John started his jogging sessions with Bernie Kosar that I started to suspect his true identity. I'm a sucker for any kind of animal bonding in books, and I loved Bernie Kosar. John's relationship with animals never really struck me until the end when you... well, nevermind. Read.

Anyway, two paragraphs back is when the true conflict gets going. John's relationship with Sarah and Sam intensifies, even his relationship with Henri deepens even though they've lived together for a decade. John's Legacies intensify, and the raw detail that Pittacus Lore (I love that pseudonym. I did a double take when I read it in the book) uses to describe John's progression makes you feel as if you're the one training with Henri. Learning to fight, immersed in fire. It was a very refreshing first-person view book for me.

The final conflict and the arrival of the final main character blew my socks off! The climax being staged at the school? Classic! Makes me want to go to school and see if anything epic happens to me there. Everyone comes for the final showdown—Henri, Mark, Bernie Kosar, Sarah... yes! Yes, yes! It was another one of those days where I missed two hours of class time, and then got in trouble for it. Then the finale came close to making me tear up, but I held out. I refuse to do that in school.

Seeing that this is probably long enough, I'll stop there. A bit wordy, [excuse] but it's my first review... [/excuse] It shall come with time and practice! I Am Number Four is recommended for anyone who wants a mix of high school romance, science fiction, action, and self-development.

Wait, one last thing! I Am Number Four definitely revolutionizes character development in YA unlike it's been seen for a long, long time. The Iron Fey goes through this, too—maybe that's why I loved these book so much. The last book I read that went through character development was The Book Thief. <3


Reading: Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling
Listening to: Ragnarok - Masashi Hamauzu
Quote: "You know, your mood swings are kind of giving me a whiplash." - Bella Swan / Twilight / Stephenie Meyer


  1. Hehe, congrats about the "two new friends" news. :) And I LOVE Bernie Kosar too!!