First off, thanks everyone for informing me of my bad grammar :/ I meant to say 'end my unplanned hiatus' in my last post. Anywayy, here's the second blog of my summer, chosen to give you all plenty of time to read the book before it's sequel comes out in late August. Pittacus Lore (not the author's real name, although that would be pretty awesome) gave us this gem of a book that became a movie last summer. Never saw the movie, but I can tell you that I am Number Four is a great book to read this summer. Quick, easy read that's perfect for beaching, especially if you have an e-reader instead of carrying the hardcover around.
The book, set in first person present tense (annoying, but at least it's good instead of sucking too) opens with the death of Number Three in the South American rainforests, then flashing to Number Four, John Smith in this book, receiving his fourth ankle scar. He is one of the last of an alien race who lived on the planet Lorien before it was destroyed by Mogadorians. The nine survivors are part of the Garde, and can only be killed by Mogadorians in a specific order. However, being number four, this means John is next, and he and his guardian Henri flee to the middle of nowhere, Paradise Ohio.
Tired of running, John aims to settle down in school and in life. He befriends a boy named Sam and a dog named Bernie Kosar, as well as has his first girlfriend Sarah, making an enemy of her ex boyfriend Mark. He finally embraces the idea of staying in a school longer than a few months and loathes the day he will have to flee Paradise and the Mogadorians again. It is in this town that he develops his Lorien Legacies (his supernatural powers) and begins to train to fight to survive along with the help of his companions.
Yes, this is a teen book. That unfortunately means that there is a lot of teenage angst throughout the book. There is also a lot of action and the novel is written with just the right amount of emotion. One of the only downsides to me is the first person narrative style of writing. First off, present tense isn't a great way to write a story to me, and it gets confusing. Or maybe I'm just stupid, which could definitely be the case. Anyway, the fact that it was so well written got me to look past the style of writing, and perhaps it's for the best. After all, who knows a teenager's mind better than the teen himself? I've realized a lot of books with young adult protagonists take place in first person (I am Number Four, the Hunger Games, Water for Elephants) and I'm thinking that the authors feel the same about getting the right amount of angst and emotion and about getting the reader to understand what the protagonist is going through, something that can't be done with third person novels. Hmm.. I guess I'll have to keep that in mind when I'm writing my novel. (no, that's not actually happening).
So, there you have it. Make sure you finish this book before August 23, because that's when the Power of Six, the second book in the series, comes out in hardcover. I'll be back on with another post in just a few days and most likely with a handful of posts instead of just one.