Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship}'s Reviews > I Am Number Four

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
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May 07, 2015

did not like it
bookshelves: young-adult, sci-fi, male-authors, 1st-in-series, stage-and-screen, read-in-2011, aliens, libricide, series-abandoned, dtb, bye-bye
Read from February 06 to 09, 2011

You must turn off your brain and ask no questions when reading this book. It’s a requirement to enjoy it. I failed miserably. It may be readable but I Am Number Four is predictable and clichéd with inaccurate and vague descriptions and explanations.

For the most part I Am Number Four is an easy read although the language at times struck me as amateurish and clunky. Perhaps I expected too much after all this is YA but Lorien, it’s inhabitants and culture were too simple or too similar to that of Earth and humans. I was hoping for a bit more alieness than just boy-with-powers and shapeshifting animals. I expected a new spin on this cliché of a story but it was an incompetent rehash of old formulas.

A lot of “how” questions kept popping into my head in relation to unrealistic circumstances. A major one:

From what I understand 19 Loriens made it to Earth. The rest are dead. Those 19 have to repopulate Lorien when the time comes. Henri tries to dissuade John from procreating with humans because he’ll need a Lorien partner to produce pure children.

Erm...are you serious? How would this work? You need many more individuals for a species to prosper. Reproduction would eventually become incestuous with the result of such unions suffering the disorders (deformities + genetic disease + infertility = extinction ) associated with inbreeding due to little genetic diversity in such a small gene pool making it impossible to adapt, evolve and therefore survive and prosper. A tad scientific but this is science fiction, emphasis on the science. I learned the above in high school biology and this is aimed at that age group -I’m just sayin’.

Other “how” questions:
--> How could John’s girlfriend, Sarah so easily accept his alien status without much proof?
--> How did Mark come by the message that brought him to John’s home and into the fight?
--> How did Henri explain what was going on to Mark?
--> How did Six survive her many serious wounds?
--> How can a book with so many illogical errors not only make it to publication but be turned into a movie when there are so many better ones out there?

Why is the book by Pittacus Lore? It doesn’t make sense. Didn’t he die 10 years ago with the rest of his people? There was something about the elders disappearing during the ultimate battle on Lorien so there’s a small possibility he still lives, however the book is in first person from John’s POV. WTH?!

Small sidenote: I don’t know about other countries but here in the UK “spastically” is controversial and considered highly offensive if not used in a medical context. I was very surprised to see it here but I’ll put it down to cultural difference and move on.

The final battle didn’t interest me. I skimmed. There were moments throughout the book that gripped me. That were exciting. I liked Henri, John and his dog they made a good team but it seems they’re fighting a losing battle. Henri encourages us to have hope even when the task ahead appears impossible but 6 kids with powers versus a whole race –I’m not optimistic. No matter how many abilities these superhero kids develop.

In some ways this reminds me of The Lightning Thief with the godlike powers, beasts and the run-for-your-life theme. That was targeted at 9-12 year olds and I think this should be too. I think they’d have a better time with it than I did.

The movie, released next week, looks spiffy and exciting. Hopefully it will be better than the book it’s based on because this was just terrible.

ETA Mar 2, 2011: The movie changed almost everything I had a problem with in the book. It was also 100x more entertaining so I encourage you all to see the movie and burn the book!
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Reading Progress

02/06 page 17
5.0% "I hate this cover. Why couldn't I get one of the pretty ones."
02/07 page 91
25.0% "Easy to read but clichéd and slightly disappointing after an interesting start."
05/28 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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message 1: by Nelly (new) - added it

Nelly just for final clearance, should i get this book or not, because if i get it i want it to be just as good or better than the movie ?

Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship} The book isn't as good as the movie, Nelly. I wouldn't bother with the book at all but that's just my opinion.

message 3: by Kim (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kim I had all the same questions that you had Amy, and the same comparisons such as it resembling Percy Jackson. I was excited to read it but it just let me down. The movie does look good though. I haven't seen it yet but I'm looking forward to it. I do wonder if Power of Six is any better though... Only one way to find out I guess.

Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship} Kim, I won't be reading the next book but I might go see the movie since they did such a good job with the first. Besides, I have an issue with the guy who claimed to write this book (James Frey) and I don't want to be putting more money in his pocket.

message 5: by Luna Rose (last edited May 11, 2012 05:49AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Luna Rose Nelly wrote: "just for final clearance, should i get this book or not, because if i get it i want it to be just as good or better than the movie ?"

I think that there are much better sci-fi books out there. I didn't like it. If you want something like Percy Jackson, check out "The Lost Hero" or "The Red Pyramid" which is amazing and by the same author and have already have sequels out. ENJOY!

Hanna Totally agree with your observations about the lack of logic. It's a book for teens though...

Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship} Hannah wrote: "Totally agree with your observations about the lack of logic. It's a book for teens though..."

That's no excuse, in my opinion. I think especially because it's aimed at teens it needs to be as logical, scientific and realistic as possible otherwise you're teaching them lies, which does them no favours.

Hanna Absolutely true! I find myself continuing to [listen] because I want to know what happens. I think you are right, this one is better as a film (where the inconsistencies and lack of logic can be edited out). Plus, superpower looks cooler on screen than on paper....

Patty I agree with the turning off your brain to read it, but that was almost part of the appeal to me. It was quick, somewhat entertaining, and it didn't take any thought at all to read. I think as far as books for jr. high age group, maybe high school, it is a decent read. Definitely not a book with much substance, though.

message 10: by Rachel (new)

Rachel The word “spastically" isn't offensive in the U.S.A. They should have changed it for other editions.

Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship} Qwjyaj wrote: "I believe you have no sense of imagination what-so-ever. You are terrible at writing reviews on books and should go to hell. You are just a simple minded butt hole who don't know what good literatu..."

Thank you for your opinion. I have flagged your comment for its attacking nature. Your account has been open for what...30 minutes and one of the first things you do is attack me. Ugh.

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