Saturday, January 15, 2011

I AM NUMBER FOUR by Pittacus Lore

Title: I AM NUMBER FOUR (Lorien Legacies #1)
Author: Pittacus Lore
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: August 3, 2010
Number of Pages: 440
How I Got It: Bought it at the local indie at another author event
Movie Releasing: February 18, 2011

Goodreads 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 Mogadorians. 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 Mogadorians 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 loved this book - it made me hope, it made me think, it made me cheer, it made me worry, it made me love, it made me cry(!), it made me want to analyze my own life and be a better person, it made me want to keep reading and not stop. The writing is constructed in an interesting way because it really highlights the tension and builds the urgency of the plot with short and to-the-point sentences in the beginning. The book sets up the background premise clearly and engagingly, and then allows the reader to get settled in with John as he makes friends, all the while building the suspense in knowing that something bad will have to happen, he will have to be found, but he's not yet trained and ready. Yet, the background is revealed little bits at a time so the reader discovers it as John does, allowing us to grow along with him as we learn what happened between the Loric and the Morgadorians back on Lorien. This book is packed with action, and if you've read my reviews you know I don't like creepy or scary, and although this deals with aliens and this battle for taking over Earth, I didn't think it crossed the line into too scary or creepy for me at all. It keeps the story moving forward with the tension that is brought from not knowing what is going to happen.

The characters were well-written, although at first a few seemed stereotypical high school roles, as they developed through the story and the events they were pulled in to, I learned about them and liked them all. I cared about them and what was going to happen to them, and loved how the relationships developed and deepened through the events in the story. They seem like honest, real teenager feelings and interactions with the primary and secondary characters. Ultimately, the end is exciting, tense, heart-breaking, and hopeful all in one, and sets up the story nicely for the sequel to come. One of my favorite things about the book was some of the deep thoughts about life; and hope; and love; and will; and goodness; and courage; and trust; and being and standing up for oneself that came clear throughout. It's a smart book and a good book and an exciting book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading (it gains a few bonus points for setting a pivotal part of the story in Athens, Ohio where I went to college at Ohio University and even referencing Court Street, so there was a bit of a nostalgia quotient for me during that part of the story). I can't wait to revisit these characters in the sequel and see how they progress in their battle.
 
4 1/2 STARS for I AM NUMBER FOUR
Sequel is THE POWER OF SIX releasing in August, 2011, and I'll definitely be reading it!

If you like Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson books, I think you'll like the Lorien Legacies as well.

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