Book and movie review: “I am Number Four” by Pittacus Lore

I’ve wanted to read I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore ever since the movie came out (starring Alex Pettyfer and Dianna Agron) but never had the chance to because of a lack of time. Finally read the book while doing work in the lab that needed lots of downtime between runs πŸ˜›

Synopsis:

Number Four AKA John Smith is a member of the Garde from the planet Lorien, sent to Earth (with eight other children) to hide from the Mogadorians, the evil species that attacked Lorien and decimated it. The nine children were supposed to grow up, discover their powers (called Legacies), train with the help of their Cepan guardians, and eventually fight the Mogadorians and save Lorien. Unfortunately, the Mogs found them first and started killing them off. The children are protected by a Loric charm so that they can only be killed in order. The first three are dead. Now they’re hunting Number Four.

John and Henri (his Cepan) move from Florida to Paradise, Ohio after Number Three is killed. John meets Sarah Hart, his love interest for the rest of the book. There’s also Sam Goode, a dorky kid who believes that his dad was abducted by extra-terrestrials. Mark James is Sarah’s asshole quarterback ex-boyfriend, who picks on John starting Day 1. Bernie Kosar is Four’s adopted beagle.

The review (spoilers ahead!):

The book is okay. That’s the strongest word I can muster up for it – okay. It’s not amazingly good but it’s not complete trash either. Having powers because you’re an alien as opposed to being a mutant/vampire/werewolf/angel/demon already gets plus points from me.

The adventure parts were good. I liked how Lore described the big battle at the end of the book, as well as the training scenes. How Four learns to control his telekinesis while on fire was pretty cool.

The major not-so-good part: character development. While Four, Henri, and Sam are fleshed out, Sarah and Mark are cookie-cutter stereotypes. Mark does redeem himself in the end by saving Four during the battle but his road to redemption is short, full of potholes, and not that believable. The only things we know about Sarah is that 1) she’s SO PRETTY, radiant, beautiful, etc., 2) loves photography, and 3) has a nice family. In short, she’s very pretty and bland. Since those are her only characteristics, I’m not surprised they cast Dianna Agron as Sarah. I liked how they introduced Number Six in all her glory. Finally, a female character I can root for!

The romantic scenes between Four and Sarah weren’t that good either. I found myself flipping through those parts.

In summary: 3/5 stars.

Incidentally, my brother is giving my other brother The Power of Six for Christmas. I chose the book πŸ˜› Another book to read for 2012!

The movie:

The movie’s also okay. Alex Pettyfer is the requisite eye candy but I wish he were a better actor. Dianna Agron fits Sarah perfectly. Timothy Olyphant plays Henri very well, while Callan McAuliffe was cute as Sam. What is it about Jake Abel and portraying assholes? πŸ˜› Even though Teresa Palmer was badass as Number Six, I wish they cast someone that fit the book description instead of another white person. Sigh. The final battle in the school was excellent.

What I didn’t like: messing with the Legacies. Four’s Lumen is about producing light from his hands and being resistant to fire and heat. It is NOT an energy boost nor something that produces heat. I cringed at the scenes where Four gives Six an energy boost ( though funny in itself, the line “Red Bull is for pussies” elicited an eyeroll) and when Four overheats the Mogadorian Commander’s energy grenades. Six’s Legacies are invisibility and controlling the elements (earth, fire, wind, and water). They are NOT being fireproof (that’s Four’s specialty) and teleportation. The teleportation looks amazing onscreen but just makes her overpowered.

Something I hated: Four left Bernie Kosar to die in the school. WTF is that?! In the book, Four picks up Bernie after Bernie is almost killed while saving Four’s ass from a Mog beast and brings him to Sam’s truck to rest. In the movie, Bernie almost bleeds to death alone in the showers after killing the beast. He has to limp out on his own and track Four and the gang to the cemetery where they’re regrouping prior to leaving Paradise just so they don’t leave him behind. Four isn’t even emotionally overwhelmed at seeing his faithful protector again >_<

2 Replies to “Book and movie review: “I am Number Four” by Pittacus Lore”

  1. I felt the same after watching the movie version. Really wanted to read the book, really wasn’t overly impressed. I actually didn’t finish the book so I PROBABLY have no room to talk. It just didn’t hold my interest for very long. Maybe I’ll try again some day soon!

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