Saturday, July 16, 2011

i am number four by pittacus lore

The premise is exciting: 15 year-old John Smith (his most recent name in a series of created identities) is one of nine members of the Garde, a group of super-powered aliens from the planet Lorien, hiding out on earth from the dread Mogadorians, who are out to exterminate them. The plot is less thrilling: after number four Garde member John moves with Henri, his Cepan (essentially a father figure/mentor from Lorien), to a small rural town in Ohio to evade detection by the Mogadorians, he makes a friend, meets a girl, and stands up to the bullies at his new high school, all while honing his superpowers. The real problem I had with IANF is the author's willingness to throw just about anything into the story at anytime, with seemingly little thought for the reader's intelligence or critical thinking skills. Writing YA lit doesn't mean you can just make stuff up as you go along - which is what the second half of IANF felt like. Read Patrick Ness's Guardian review here. Grade 6+