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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Nine of us came here. We look like you. We talk like you. We live among you. But we are not you. We can do things you dream of doing. We have powers you dream of having. We are stronger and faster than anything you have ever seen. We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books—but we are real. Our plan was to grow, and train, and become strong, and become one, and fight them. But they found us and started hunting us first. Now all of us are running. Spending our lives in shadows, in places where no one would look, blending in. we have lived among you without you knowing. But they know. They caught Number One in Malaysia. Number Two in England. And Number Three in Kenya. They killed them all. I am Number Four. I am next.…

I Am Number Four

by Pittacus Lore

Overall Book Review:

I Am Number Four is an action-packed book whose primary message is one of determination, courage, and above all else, hope.  The action starts right from the beginning and was enjoyable and at times, emotional.  Just when we think the characters have a chance to slow down and relax, tragedy and excitement keep us absorbed to the end.  Being a secret alien race, magic isn’t the source of their powers.  They are born with talents we could only dream of having. 

This book is written from the point of view of a 16-year-old boy who is fighting for normalcy.  Surrounding him are his school mates and the typical drama that goes with high school.  The good guys are honest and dependable, while the bad guys are gruesome and underhanded.  A romance runs through the story, but this thread also is a good lesson on how being with the right person will help you become a better version of yourself.  Because of the age of the primary protagonists, this story would be a good read for both the young and the young at heart.  I Am Number Four was a fantastic read and had me hooked to the end.  Thankfully, this is number one in a series of seven books.

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  2 religious exclamations; 55 mild obscenities; 2 derogatory names; 15 scatological words; 11 anatomical terms.

Violence/Gore: Descriptive and extended visions of war, screams, massacre of men, women and children including death of family members, piles of bodies, blood; family on the run for 10 years; mention of death of adult care giver two times; threatening messages sent via electronic devices; teen runs into a burning house to save another teen and pets, gets cuts and injuries while escaping, blood and wounds mentioned; teen jumps through glass window, blood and wounds mentioned; multiple freaky scenes at school filled with fearful suspense; frightening characters who are intent to kill and enjoy killing; small freaky animals that attack and are violently killed; teens grabbed from behind by another teen and held; teens threaten violence to another teen; teens beaten up by another teen, detailed imagery, blood and injuries mentioned; multiple detailed descriptions of destruction of school by characters and enormous beasts with intent to kill characters, suspenseful and freaky; multiple extended descriptive murders of dozens of evil characters by variety of weapons (knives, shotgun, alien powers) by teens and adult, self-defense but blood mentioned: blood squirting from bodies, death, decapitation; evil characters incinerated when killed; destruction of several vehicles; teen thrown through glass window, blood mentioned; teens hurt multiple times with weapons (guns and non-guns), extended descriptions, blood mentioned; dog attacks terrifying beast with intent to kill; teen lifted by neck by evil character, thrown; attempted killing of teen by sword, when hit, electrocuted, non-deadly; teen attacks evil character, throws punches and slams body; life sucked from trees by weapons, trees destroyed and reduced to nothing; explosion sends teen flying, non-life threatening; teen happy at killing evil character, hopes for more opportunities of revenge; gruesome descriptions of evil characters; storm that seems to come alive created by character, causes enormous blast that topples and uproots numerous trees, no blood or death mentioned; teen character stabbed in back, non-bloody description; evil character bitten in half by enormous freaky beast, extremely descriptive but non-bloody; one page description of fearsome beast with claws like switchblades and teeth like long swords dripping with blood; six page detailed description of pet changing into another form; pet battles with gigantic beast: blood, tearing hide, broken bones, throat biting, brains splattered, death and disintegration; description of adult who is bloody and has many injuries; descriptive scene with soldiers and beast, death imminent to characters; character encourages beast to annihilate evil characters; three page descriptive conversation between character and beast who has been caged and mistreated with intent to turn beast evil, descriptions of harm done to beast; beast turns on its captors and seeks revenge, non-bloody but death of many evil characters is implied; two page emotional description of death of parent figure, non-bloody; half-page description of one character’s intent on murder who is then stabbed in the back with a large kitchen knife by teen (in defense of another).

Sex/Nudity:  Flirtatious behavior; multiple kissing/touching scenes; cuddling.

Mature Subject Matter:

Tattoos, charms/spells, telekinesis, extreme disobedience by teen to parent figure, evolution, war, guns, family on the run, fire, home burned, conspiracy theories.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Beer is consumed by teens at a party.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

Reading a good adventure story has always been a vacation in the theater of my mind. When I’m stressed or just need to get away for a few minutes, I love the opportunity to climb into somebody else’s world. I didn’t enjoy reading until I was in the Air Force and building bombs in Korea; it was a wonderful distraction from the real world. (I tried bull riding, but it wasn’t exciting enough.)