Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I Am Number Four

I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

Nine were sent to Earth.

Three are dead.

I am Number Four.

I am next.

My review:

This book has been getting in equal parts mad love and crazy hatred. I think I know why. In the wake of Collins The Hunger Games, we are all searching for a book to fill the void, something to re-ignite the passion we found between the pages. I feel safe in saying we will never find it again, and anyone who is looking for the same spark in another series, just read The Hunger Games again.

This book is no Hunger Games, no book is the Hunger Games, I just want to point that out first so I can write a review based solely on the pros and cons of the first book in The Lorien Legacy’s. I am a non-compare blog. Every book has it’s merits and it’s demerits, well, except The Hunger Games. *winks*

You begin the book reading the back cover, the prologue, and the tag lines. I felt immediately immersed into this world. Even though I don’t believe in Alien’s, I felt like this story could be happening, yes, I had the same feelings while reading The Hunger Games, I was immersed in The Games books 1-3, but in I Am Number Four, this reality began to be stripped away as I read more and more. I don’t think a science-fiction book can retain that imagery of possibility and I began to think it rather absurd that the book was penned by one of the Elders, and that Pittacus is so keen on making you believe that the story is a true account. I considered several times that the author, who is using the pseudonym, Pittacus Lore, was one of those obsessed Alien-Conspiracy people and really believed what he was writing was true. It could happen.

The sci-fi elements do get a bit extreme, I think the books will make an AMAZING movie series if done well, because there is so much foreign action; it’s hard to picture parts of the battle, or the creatures fighting in it.

I really liked John, AKA, Number Four. His sadness over the loss of his planet is very profound, even though Lorien is not Earth, I felt a pity, like I had lost something as well. I could understand John’s desires for a permanent home, but I hope in the coming books John comes to accept who he is as a Legacy, instead of just wanting to be average.

I think his relationship with Sarah was a bit extreme, it felt more like John had his first mad crush, rather than finding the love of his life. I do think that was intentional, read the slightly spoilery comment below to find out what I mean.

*spoiler Alert!* (It won’t ruin any great secrets)

When Henri tells John that the greatest love he will ever have is with a Lorien, I mentally cheered. I know that tons of people are over the love-triangles, but I really want to read a love triangle between John, Sarah and Number Six (I also want Number Six to win, even though I love Sarah, her character, her personality, but Six is so kick-butt! I think John needs someone strong like that) I think a love triangle between two girls and a guy would be so different from the typical take that the idea would feel fresh.

*End of Spoiler*

This book is centered around the male perspective, and though I don’t think male’s have to curse to prove their masculinity, these two do. It’s not every page and it’s not crude, but the cursing is there and sometimes I felt it didn’t have to be. I just want to warn you.

Am I going to read the other books? Heck yes I am, but I will go in knowing the book is more action rather than emotion. That’s good too though, after all, the book is on a Mod Podge Bookshelf. The Power of Six is the next book in the series, after that come four others and the first movie comes out in 2011.

Notes on the Names: Boo. Boring names. All of them. John, Sarah, Emily, Sam, Mark. You get the picture. Henri (prn. Ahn-ree) is the french form of Henry and was the only name cool enough for these books, IMO. I get that they have to fit it, John Smith is actually cool if Lore had left it at that. How anonymous, right? But then all the other over-used names came into play and the geniusness of John Smith became redundant. I’m doing a character re-name right now. Instead of Sarah, Josephine, nn Josie. Instead of Emily, Tara. Instead of Sam, Matthew, nn Matt. Instead of Mark, Asher, nn Ash.

*slightly spoilery*

Also, if you have read the book, tell me if this bothered you: If the evacuation of Lorien was so last-minute, why don’t numbers 1-9 have real names? Six goes by Six and calls John Four. But on Lorien the characters mentioned have normal (slightly cooler) names. I think I may have just revealed a plot twist. Did the Elders know they would be invaded?

*End of spoiler*

Thoughts on the Cover: The entire design of this book is out of this world (pun intended) cool. It’s just awesome, I can wait to see the rest.

Written Post-Review, a note from me-

Since I wrote my review of I Am Number Four, it has come to the attention of the literary world that James Frey, author of the fictional memoir A Million Pieces is the master-mind behind a plot to make money off of the franchise.

I want to say something and then I will direct you to my friend, Enna Isilee’s blog, because she said it better than I will, I’m sure.

Here is what I have to say on the matter: My review clearing states that I found the book would have served better as a screenplay. I wrote the review about a month before I added this note on. Obviously, this book is not God’s gift to writing, and I enjoyed it just as much as any book. But, I will not be buying any of the set five sequels. I will see the movie, I have no moral issues against a movie off of this plot, people make movies to make money. People write books to tell stories and if fame and success come from that, wonderful! Movie, yes, book no.

I still don’t feel like there is anything ethically wrong with what Frey did. I think it’s slimy and takes storytelling away from a captive audience, that is my squak. That is why I won’t read another book, because it was never meant to be a book, it was a money-making scheme and looking back on the writing I find that to be evident.

Most of my favorite books are ones no one has heard of, some no one else would like and most of my favorites were not made into movies. Hunger Games is God’s gift to YA and so I bow to the franchise we all know is coming. Collins and Hunger Games deserves the credit. The Lorien Legacies will serve to entertain the masses, and it will be a great movie. Can’t wait to see it, but I won’t hold the same reverence as is the case for other book-to-movie translations.

I hope I have made my point clear.

Tell me your thoughts below.

Here is what Enna had to Say
This is the link to the full article

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