A quick warning: I am in a little bit of a grouchy mood today, so this review may be a little harsher than I usually am on books. I did enjoy this book, but I just seem to be a little negative for some reason.
It's a pretty complicated storyline, so I don't know how well I can summarize it. But here's my best shot. I hope that you'll read both my summary and the Goodreads blurb to get a better idea of the plot.
Four has never had a permanent home. He's never had a real friend. In fact, he's never kept the same name for more than a few months. Henri, his caretaker, and Four have been on the run, always hiding from the Mogadorian, a destructive alien race that seeks to kill the last of the Lorien race.
Four and Henri settle in Ohio. Four takes the name John, and for the first time, he's beginning to have a life with real friends. But it can't last. Three has been killed, just like One and Two. The Mogadorian are closing in. And only one thing is certain: Four is next.
Goodreads tell us:
The Mogadorian caught Number One in Malaysia, Number Two in England, and Number Three in Kenya. All of them were killed. John Smith, of Paradise, Ohio, is Number Four. He knows that he is next.
I AM NUMBER FOUR is the thrilling launch of a series about an exceptional group of teens as they struggle to outrun their past, discover their future—and live a normal life on Earth.
When I first picked this book up, I had no idea that they had made a movie. That changed quickly over the first twenty-four hours. Two people came up to me when I was reading it in a cafe and told me that it was a good book. A few coworkers who also saw me reading it also offered me their take on I AM NUMBER FOUR.
What really attracted my attention was the concept. The storyline instantly grabbed my attention. I have the paperback version, and the little blurb on the back was amazing. I AM NUMBER FOUR has such a cool concept, and I have a special place in my heart for teenagers-with-supernatural-powers books. It could have been perfect.
But it wasn't.
There were a few things that I didn't understand that ended up being important later in the story. I wish those points had been clarified. I also found some of the characters lacking, especially Mark. He changed too fast. I expected there to be something at some point, but nada.
There are also some major "surprises" that failed to amaze me. I figured them out before they even settled in Ohio, and the ending lost some of its power as a result.
Because of the content, I decided to label this book YA rather than MG, but I wasn't sure. The writing was very simple and did not have difficult language. However, the content does swing I AM NUMBER FOUR to the YA side. The characters utilize curse words often, and at one point the characters go to a high school party with alcohol and drugs. Romance also drives the story at one point, and the romance in I AM NUMBER FOUR is more YA than MG.
I was a little disappointed by this odd line this book walked. I usually like my YA with a more complex writing style and richer vocabulary.
HOWEVER...there are some good things about I AM NUMBER FOUR.
I did really enjoy the storyline. It was such an interesting concept. I wanted to learn more about the Lorien culture. Lore gets a sticker for his world building.
There are some really great moments between Henri and Four/John. I found myself emotional involved in I AM NUMBER FOUR, and the fact that it had me getting angry at Four/John in the I-care-about-you-and-I-only-want-what's-best-for-you way proves that Lore captured my emotions.
I think I would give it a 3.5 stars out of 5.
I'm not really sure if I'm going to continue the series. I AM NUMBER FOUR wasn't bad, but it didn't blow my socks off. I have a lot to read, so I'm not sure if I want to spend the itty-bitty time I do have on this series. I'm open to hearing your thoughts on the matter, so please let me know in the comments section below.