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Book Review: I Am Number Four

Review By: Fatyma Mazhar

“I Am Number Four” is the first book in the “Lorien Legacies” series written by James Frey and Jobie Hughes under the pen name “Pittacus Lore.”

The plot of this young adult science fiction book centers on John Smith, a teenage alien from the planet Lorien who is one of nine survivors from his home planet who possess extraordinary powers known as Garde. The story is told from John’s point of view as he tries to lead a normal life on Earth and must constantly move to stay away from the Mogadorians, who are ruthlessly pursuing the nine Lorien survivors. He makes friends with a group of teenagers in a small Ohio town, including the mysterious Sam and the assertive Sarah, as he attempts to fit in. John starts to realize his abilities and his role as Earth’s defender. Every one of the nine Garde has unique and interesting abilities. The fact that John has abilities to control the elements—like controlling fire, for example—adds excitement to the narrative.

The central conflict of “I Am Number Four” is John’s internal battle to strike a balance between his normal life and his extraordinary abilities. The characters are pleasant and well-developed. The novel’s relationships and friendships grow throughout, giving the story depth. John and Sarah’s romantic subplot also adds another level of complexity. Although the book is primarily classified as science fiction, it also examines the difficulties of going to high school and resolving common issues. This blending of realistic real-life scenarios with science fiction elements makes the story more approachable and appealing to a wider range of readers.

The world-building in the book is one of its strong points. In order to give the overall plot more depth and intrigue, the author introduces readers to the tales and history of the planet Lorien as well as the conflict with the Mogadorians. A major theme is John’s battle with his identity as an alien living on Earth and his desire for a sense of community. The idea of feeling alienated or having a hard time fitting in is something that many readers can identify with. The narrative highlights the value of friendship and resilience in the face of difficulty. The story revolves around John’s commitment to his friends and his will to keep the people he loves safe.

All things considered, “I Am Number Four” is a book that skillfully blends science fiction, drama for young adults, and adventure. Although some readers might find the plot formulaic in places, the book excels because of its compelling characters, creative worldbuilding, and thrilling journey of survival and self-discovery. For young readers seeking an exciting and realistic science fiction adventure, this book is a fantastic option.

Science fiction books usually don’t excite me but this one was an exception. The characters are developed by the author so well and the story has been presented in such a unique way that it makes the reader so drawn to it. The 2011 film adaptation of “I Am Number Four” was directed by D.J. Caruso. The story was adapted for the big screen and made more widely known by the movie. Even though the film sparked conflicting reviews, it increased curiosity about the series.

In summary, “I Am Number Four” is a pressing read for young adult readers because it successfully combines science fiction, action, and coming-of-age themes. It looks at identity, unity, and having the guts to face hardship head-on. The series’ unique take on the “chosen one” story, appealing world-building, and character development have all helped to make it popular with its intended audience.

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