Newest Review: ... and this allows the book to appeal even more greatly to teenagers, on another level, as well as being an exciting science fiction ... more
"In the beginning we were a group of nine, three are dead, I am number four"
I Am Number Four - Pittacus Lore
Member Name: ScrivSheep
I Am Number Four - Pittacus Lore
Advantages: Superpowers, giant alien beasts mixed with teenage love, friendship. Strange but it works.
Disadvantages: You'll get jealous of all the superpowers!
I first read I Am Number Four after watching the film, and I'm glad it was this way round, because although I knew the storyline, the book completely blew the film out of the water, as they usually do. I quite enjoyed the film so I'm glad I could enjoy it before the book made this impossible!
The book follows a completely original storyline, and is a mix between a teenage romance and science fiction. With first love and superpowers mixed together, the results are surprisingly surreal. The use of first person and present tense gives a very personal and immediate effect which allows you to become more involved with the book, taking incidences to heart, and putting you almost directly in Number Four's shoes. The effect is so powerful I found myself thrilled when I, not Number Four, finally developed telekinesis! Sad I know... It also allows secrets to be kept from the reader, if Number Four doesn't know it, neither do you and when he misinterprets other people, so do you. It lends itself to interesting and sometimes funny consequences!
The storyline follows many typical teenage subjects, and this allows the book to appeal even more greatly to teenagers, on another level, as well as being an exciting science fiction novel. Friendship is one of them, which is a new and frightening thing for Number Four, who has never been in one place long enough, or even been allowed to have friends. You could say this represents a teenagers feelings of isolation when it comes to making new friends. Usually children make and keep friends until their teenage years, when through a variety of circumstances, sometimes through moving schools or changes in interests or personalities, they find themselves needing to make new friends, and find this difficult to start with, given that they may not have made new friends in years. A similarity between Number Four and the reader is made, which makes the book more personal, and overall more enjoyable.
First love is another teenage subject presented in this book. When Number Four falls for Sarah we are shown their first date, how his feelings for her develop, how miserable he is when she goes away, and how he hates to leave her. This again parallels with normal teenage life. First loves can be terrifying and exhilarating at the same time, as well as possibly causing conflict with any ex boyfriends or ex girlfriends (Mark James, Sarah's ex). First loves are usually perfect as well. Sarah is presented as a blonde hair blue eyes beauty, Number Four as a strong independent man/boy. This represents a typical teenagers feelings towards a first love (certainly mine anyway), who is usually seen as perfect or ideal, despite any flaws. This appeals to many people because of the similarity between Number Four's love, and their own love, whether past, present, or desired for the future. It is commonly seen however that first loves can also be over dramatic, and obsessive. It is completely a matter of opinion as to whether Number Four and Sarah are genuinely in love, or if events in the sequel, The Power Of Six, prove that their relationship represents the frivolity of teenage love. This parallel of teen love is conveyed extremely well in the book, and takes advantage of the wishes of every teenage boy and girl who is searching for a first love, in order to add interest to the novel.
Number Four also has many conflicts with Henri, his CÍpan (protector, carer or father like figure) throughout the book. This can be seen as a imitation of teenage arguments with parents.
The parallels presented create a very personal book for teens. It puts a character in their position, one who has all their insecurities, thoughts and everyday arguments, as well as one who has or gains all their desires, such as finding friendship and love.
The other side to this story is obviously the science fiction. The storyline is incredibly individual, I struggle to think of anything similar, and is well put together. It will leave you ordering the sequel, and in my case, wishing the author would write faster! Typical superpowers (desired by us all, even if secretly), owned by attractive teen human-like-aliens, transforming pets, giant alien beasts, treasure chests and artefacts, as well as visions of another planet, all mean that even if you don't like sci-fi, you'll love this!
I Am Number Four has made it into my 'favourite books' section on my bookcase, which is hard to get to by the way. The fast pace thrill and 'leave you wanting even more' sci-fi nature of the book, combined with the the clever parallels to teenage fears and desires make this an awesome read.
Summary: Fantastic for teens, can be great for adults.