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#4. I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore


In the beginning, we were a group of nine. Three are gone, dead. There are six of us left. They are hunting us, and they won't stop until they've killed us all. I am Number Four. I know that I am next.
I didn't plan to read I Am Number Four as my fourth 11 in 2011 book... I actually didn't plan on reading it at all. At the year's start, I didn't even know it was a book; I had only seen previews of a (sort of lame?) looking movie. The trailers were short and really didn't do much to tell you what the movie was about but... it showed enough. A bunch of young kids with super powers, some bad guys, and hey teen love, Twilight style.

No thank you.

But then Nonna read it, and seemed to like it, so I figured I'd check it out. After all, I was strapped as for what to read for my fourth book. Nothing else seemed interesting.

WHAT'S BAD: 


THE WRITING STYLE. Oh my heck... there are a few things wrong with this book: the love interest is uninteresting, the characters seem to make really stupid decisions that put them in situations where the only purpose is to add some sort of drama to the story, and no one seems to ever see the obvious... but all of that pales in comparison to the style of writing. It's just... not as great as I'm used to, I guess. And, to be fair, it's a young adult novel, I believe, and I don't read too many of those, so I don't know. It might be good for a YA. But compared to what I'm used to reading, it's not great.. and being a YA shouldn't be an excuse. Coraline, for instance, is a children's book, but is written exquisitely. It also may be a taste thing, because most of the things that bothered me about the writing were little things that I found annoying, and that happened over and over again. I don't know what's considered good writing on Lorien, but I don't think it's the same as here. I find it hard to believe a 10,000 year old Elder couldn't manage to master the craft.

The other larger problem for me was that I couldn't really connect with the main character, Four. I was able to connect with his Cepan, and I was able to bond with Sam, and I am proud to admit I'm a Six fangirl... I even felt for Mark James at some point. But as far as Four went, I just could not get on board. He struck me as whiny, selfish, reckless, and stupid. For someone who's supposed to be far more intelligent than humans, he was very stupid.

WHAT'S GOOD: 


As much as the writing style annoyed me, the story was good. Very good. Basically, the planet of Lorien (a life sustaining planet like Earth, but half the size or something) was attacked by a vicious alien race known as the Mogadoriens, the reasons of which are as of yet to be revealed. A ship with 9 Loric children and their protectors managed to escape before the planet was completely destroyed, and they are now being raised on Earth, until such a time as they can fight the Mogs. Before they left, a Loric charm was put on them, so that they could only be killed in order of their assigned numbers; if any Mog attacked one of the 9 before it was their turn, the attack would be doubled back on them... like a Reflect spell. When the story picks up, Lorics 1-3 have been killed, and the Mogs are after Four. He's at an advantage, because he's begun to develop his legacies (powers that all Garde possess), but at a disadvantage because he's begun to build relationships in the town they're in... and he's not so willing to give them up.

It's just a really good set up, and for the most part it's handled well. There is a lot of secrecy, which is frustrating, but as things are revealed, it's actually quite enthralling. Not all of the mysteries are solved, but enough are that it's not discouraging.

Another thing was, while there were characters I didn't like, there were more characters that I did. My favorite was easily Henri, Four's Cepan. He's an older Loric that lost his family in the Mogadorian attack, and he's a great way to look into the life everyone had on Lorien. And as the story progresses, you learn more and more about him, and it's impossible to not fall completely in love with him... save for one moment where you want to slap him because of his stupidity. He has this air of nobleness about him; there's this loyalty that is just so endearing.

And finally, the ending was quite magnificent. I won't say too much, but just know... it was a pretty good one.

CONCLUSION:


Worth the read, quite honestly... despite its more annoying bits. It triggers your emotions which, in my opinion, is a sign of a good book. And it's just plain fun, especially since it's being played off as "real". It's a cute little escape from reality. Good read, worth your time.

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