Skip to content

Tag: I Am Number Four

31 Days of Authors: an interview with Pittacus Lore, author of I Am Number Four (a 2011 Teens’ Top Ten winner)

Teen Read Week was October 16th through the 22nd, but here at The Hub, we’re celebrating all month long with 31 Days of Authors. On each day in October, we’ll bring you exclusive author interviews and profiles plus reflections on what YALSA-recognized books have meant to us. Today we feature an interview with Pittacus Lore, whose book I Am Number Four is #4 (of course!) on this year’s Teens’ Top Ten list.

Can you tell us about your own life on Lorien before its destruction? Were you a writer then, as well?

I was the ruling Elder of the planet, its political and military leader. We led a very peaceful existence. Our planet was healthy and flourished environmentally. Our people lived simple, beautiful lives, absent of hunger and war. I never expected the Mogadorian War, and I never expected to be fighting that war on earth, and documenting it in a series of books.

Is it hard to write and work with a publisher when you’re constantly on the run from the Mogadorians?

2 Comments

31 Days of Authors: I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore (a 2011 Teens’ Top Ten winner)

Teen Read Week was October 16th through the 22nd, but here at The Hub, we’re celebrating all month long with 31 Days of Authors. On each day in October, we’ll bring you exclusive author interviews and profiles plus reflections on what YALSA-recognized books have meant to us. Today we feature Pittacus Lore, whose book I Am Number Four is #4 (of course!) on this year’s Teens’ Top Ten list.

The Teens’ Top Ten is all about popularity, and I Am Number Four, the first book in the Lorien Legacies series, has certainly been in high demand at my library. The book tells the story of John Smith (not his real name!), an alien from the planet Lorien who’s on the run from the Mogadorians, a race of evil aliens who destroyed Lorien. John is accompanied and protected by his Cêpan, an adult from Lorien tasked with protecting John. There are eight other Lorien teens on earth, and the Mogadorians are required to hunt them in order. Numbers One, Two, and Three are dead–and John is Number Four. It’s no wonder that the book is popular: the story is high-action, the villains are ruthless, and who doesn’t wish they’d develop superpowers?

Adding to the book’s popularity is the movie based on it, which came out six months after the book was published. Starring Alex Pettyfer as Number Four, it stays true to the fast-paced, action-based nature of the book. What I thought was especially neat about the movie is that teachers and recent graduates from the school where the movie was filmed were used as extras–how cool would it be to be part of a movie being shot at your own school!

1 Comment

I Am Number Four review & bonus movie news!

Last week I tried to plow through all 440 pages of I Am Number Four so I could have it read before I saw the movie. I didn’t manage to finish it by last Friday, but I’ve finished since. Here’s my spoiler-light take on the book and movie (with bonus YA movie news at the end!) 

The plot:
John Smith looks like any other fifteen year old boy, and has a lot of the same worries – girls, friends, avoiding confrontation with the school bully- but he’s no ordinary teenager. John Smith is actually an alien, one of nine children with special powers who, along with their guardians, escaped from their home planet Lorien during a devastating invasion. The invading aliens, the Mogadorians, are hunting down the survivors and killing them off in order. Numbers one through three are dead, and John is Number Four. He and his guardian Henri need to evade discovery while John develops his powers, and then, hopefully, they will unite with the rest of the Lorien survivors to defeat the Mogadorians.

The Book:
I Am Number Four reads like the first draft of what could be a fun, fast-paced YA sci-fi novel. Unfortunately, the key to that sentence is “first draft.” John Smith narrates, and his voice is incredibly uneven – it’s hard to tell if he’s supposed to sound like a fifteen year old boy, or like a wise-beyond-his-years alien. The other characters are equally under-developed. I couldn’t get a handle on John’s relationship with Henri, his guardian and father-figure, and Sarah, his blonde and blue-eyed love interest, seems to be notable mostly for being pretty and taking pictures. Bernie Kosar, John’s rather mysterious dog, is the book’s most lovable character by far.

Because the characters are lackluster, it’s hard to get involved in the action, although some of the action sequences are pretty cool (and the high point of the movie – see below!). I did enjoy the sequences where John and Henri practice developing Henri’s powers, and it was fun to witness John’s friend Sam’s reaction to John’s growing abilities. Overall, however, the writing is rough. There’s much more “telling” than “showing.” The plot is unnecessarily complex, and important details are glossed over in favor of unnecessary descriptions (do we really need to know, for example, the layout of Sarah’s house?) The novel could have easily been a hundred pages shorter, and might have been a fun read if it were.

1 Comment

Upcoming YA film adaptations

When the movie version of a YA book is released, it’s common for the book to get a big spike in circulation (yay, free publicity!) It’s important to be up-to-date on movie releases so you can make sure you have enough copies available for your patrons! It can also be a great excuse to host a book/movie-themed event. With that in mind, here are some big book-to-movie adaptations to look out for in upcoming months (this post covers February – June, which means no Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 or Breaking Dawn Part I; look for another post on the second part of the year closer to summer).

4 Comments