Title: I Am Number Four
Author: Pittacus Lore
Publisher: Razor Bill/Penguin
Published: Feb 2011
The cover on this is eye catching, large font with silver flecks and swirls with yellow and black detail.
I fell in love with the way this was written. I love this kind of subject anyway, especially when it's well done as this one is. I used to love watching Dark Angel when it was on tv, starring Jessica Alba. I Am Number Four kind of reminds of that...alien lifeforms integrating into society, trying to keep hidden from those who seek them whilst trying to find others of their kind.
I Am Number Four is non stop adventure all the way. It's a book I read in almost a day as I couldn't get enough of it, so certainly a page turner. Four (John) comes across as vulnerable in places. He gets settled in a town and doesn't want to have to run yet again from those tracking him. He knows he is next on their hit list. Being told from a male point of view was interesting. We get to see his strength and see John develop as he relaxes and makes friends. I was surprised that I got one of the hidden secrets before the story got to it...unusual for me!...And such a cute development!
The only thing I would like to have seen added was an outcome for Sam, who's father disappeared one day never to return. It's unclear if he left of his own free will, or if he was part of an alien conspiracy. Whatever the reason, it had enough impact on Sam for him to be fanatical about aliens and therefore open minded enough to be accepting and a great friend to John ultimately.
My favourite quote from I Am Number Four is:
"Hope?" he says. "There is always hope, John. New developments have yet to present themselves. Not all the information is in. No. Don't give up hope just yet. It's the last thing to go. When you have lost hope, you have lost everything. And when you think all is lost, when all is dire and bleak, there is always hope."
John's relationship with Sarah is really sweet, and the annoyance of Mark and his pack of half wit friends is an additional bonus which sees sparks fly. Bullies do get what they deserve in this, and one of them transforms into a acquaintance rather than enemy.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it did make me cry in places. It really is made for film and I think it will jump onto the screen without too much problem, I found it very easy to visualise the whole book as I was reading it. I can't wait for the next in the series which is out in August.
Source - Many thanks to the team at Penguin. After having a very enjoyable presentation, this was one of the books I choose to take away to read from the Children's Publicity event last month.