I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies, Book 1) - Pittacus Lore Oh boy, oh boy. I feel a long and ranting review coming on. *Rubs hands together* I secretly love tearing books to shreds. Figuratively, of course. Well, okay. I suppose this book could have been (slightly) more horrendous. I was very skeptical about it because, well, the story behind this book is rather sketchy.So. Ever heard of James Frey? If not, he's an author who wrote a best-selling "memoir", A Million Little Pieces, which ultimately turned out to be fictional. So then everyone hated him and Oprah dissed him and he ran off and cried for a while. Now he has transformed into an evil villain trying to take over the teen book market. If you want to know more about this in detail, I recommend this Wall Street Journal article on it: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703805004575606393086301082.htmlBasically, this book was only written so that it could be made into a movie. No exaggeration. It's the truth. Quoting from the mentioned article, "For Mr. Frey's new venture, Full Fathom Five, the author oversees lesser-known writers as they develop fictional ideas into books that he then markets to publishers and film studios." And if that wasn't bad enough, he doesn't even give the writers credit for writing the books for him. No, no. It's in their contract that they all have to write under a pen name. And the logical, brilliant reason behind this? James Frey's answer: "Because I've always thought pen names are cool." … I want to shoot this man. He has pure evil (and stupidity) written all over him. "Cool"? Riiiight. The more likely reason is, you don't want people to know that you are associated with this book, but you don't want to give your lowly ghost writers credit because this is your idea, dammit. And why the YA market? "Someone is going to replace Harry Potter. Maybe it'll be me." *About to explode* Arrrghhh ARRRGGHHH. NO. NO NO NO. THAT IS NOT THE REASON YOU WRITE A BOOK. THAT IS NOT EVEN THE REASON YOU FORCE SOMEONE TO WRITE A BOOK FOR YOU. As a writer, I am deeply offended by this. You do not write to make money. Yes, money is great. But writing is supposed to be from the heart. It's a passion. It's a freaking art, for god's sake."Mr. Frey imagined a literary version of an artist's workshop, where one person with a vision employs others to execute it. 'I have too many ideas,' he says."Oh, give me a break. Poor Mr. Frey has too many ideas. *sniffles* :( Okay I can tell you, I have far too many ideas too. It would be great if all of my books could just magically write themselves, right? No, not really. If you're a true writer … well, you write. Otherwise, there is no love in your stories. When there's no love in a book, the book has no soul. The book does not inspire or enlighten readers. Sure, it might excite some little thirteen year old boys (YAAYYY EXPLOSIONS! ALIENS!). But ultimately, this book is going to be forgotten within a few years. What a sad waste of paper. And authors with wild popularity such as J.K. Rowling did not set out to write bestsellers. They had stories in them that they loved, and they wrote their own books. And you can tell when an author puts his/her heart into a book, versus when some idiot tells some untalented ghostwriter to write a book for him/her. >:( Grrr.*Takes a deep breath* Oh, wow. I have already ranted for quite some time, and I haven't even gotten into the actual review yet. Wonderful. Well, even though this book barely deserves a review, I'll do it. Although by now I can tell you, DON'T BOTHER. THIS BOOK IS BASICALLY JUST AN EVIL PLOT TO STEAL YOUR BRAIN AND YOUR MONEY. SO YOU SHOULD JUST KEEP READING MY WONDERFUL REVIEW NOW. ****SPOILERS MAY FOLLOW******So, I Am Number Four is a clichéd sci-fi. It's about a bunch of aliens who come down to Earth because their home planet has been taken over by … other aliens. There are 9 of these aliens. And for some odd reason (explained vaguely as a "charm") these 9 aliens can only be killed in order. Our protagonist is Number Four (hence the title … duh). Each time one of the aliens is killed, the rest receive a magical tattoo on their ankle. So once Number Four gets a third tattoo on his ankle … "OH SHIT. YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS? I'M NEXXXTTT." Alright, it's not the worst premise in the world––could use some tightening, some more explanation as to why they all have to be killed in order. Also, the 9 aliens are all supposed to find each other, yet they all split up in the first place which makes no sense to me. But nonetheless, it sounds exciting. I like aliens. ("ROSWELL" = GREAT SHOW. ANYONE? ANYONE?) And I like a good adventure/thriller book. So what I'm expecting is, you know, the main character getting chased around by giant evil creatures who are trying to murder him. Or even better, maybe some evil aliens disguised as people. So they could be anywheeere!!! *shifty eyes*Hmm … Well. When it boils down to it, this book is just … a huge bore. You basically have 350 pages of sappy teen drama, with the occasional supernatural occurrence (eh, the main character's hands magically glowing … exciting!) and then repetitive, mediocre action for the last 100 pages or so.First of all, the main character chooses the oh-so-inconspicuous name John Smith for himself. … Really? Well … okay. I guess I could excuse this extreme lameness if all the other characters hadn't happened to have equally lame names. Sarah. Mark. Sam. … *snore* COULD WE BE A LITTLE CREATIVE HERE, PLEASE? But the worst part about the characters wasn't their names. It was their personalities––or lack thereof, rather. There's nothing exciting about any of these characters at all. They are all clichéd cardboard cutouts that I don't give a damn about. John is the stereotypical supernatural-dude-pretending-badly-to-be-human. Sarah is the stereotypical flawless, cute-girl love interest, who loves photography and building animal shelters! How adorable! Mark is the typical football-playing, jealous ex-boyfriend. Sam is the typical nerd. Oh, you get the idea. Most of the book is focused on John and Sarah's very boring romance, which seemed to have no purpose to the plot whatsoever. Not that alien/human romances can't be awesome or anything … (*refrains from mentioning "Roswell" again*) But, really. THERE ARE EVIL ALIENS COMING TO KILL YOU. I DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR BORING GIRLFRIEND. (But then again, I don't really care about you either.) Basically, it's a whole love at first sight thing. Yada yada. They meet and "Omg, she is the most beautiful girl I have ever seeeeen!" Then they get together, they make out a bunch of times and stare lovingly into each other's eyes, they never have a single argument or minor disagreement or anything like any normal couple would. Because they're SOUL MATES, of course! So then it's perfectly logical for them to claim that they "love" each other after not knowing each other than for more than a month or two … Really. This makes me soooo freaking mad. I am so sick of all these horrible teenage romances out there. Like, what is this telling teenagers about love? You're supposed to wait for someone to (literally) fall out of the sky? You have to wait for someone who is never going to disagree with you, who's going to lay eyes on you and instantly be in love? IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. I'm not being pessimistic here, mind you, just REALISTIC. I have no problem with romance in books. I love romance, as long as it is executed well. If the two characters end up together in the end––YAY! AWESOME! But I need to see some development, for crying out loud. When two characters just "fall in love" in the blink of an eye, it's just not compelling. At all.And then when it FINALLY gets into the action … meh. Anti-climatic. It just didn't even make any sense. The evil aliens show up. A giant fire-breathing head comes out of the sky (WHAT THE F***?) The dog turns out to be an alien too (Again … WTF?). There are a bunch of giant alien creature things that try to kill John. And they don't succeed because … he is just so badass like that. Someone dies. It's mildly sad. Not to mention the writing style. The writing is just terrible. No emotion. Repetitive. Choppy. Filled with horrendous typos (One time the author wrote "bxlew" instead of "blew". HAHA.) Alright, so just THINKING about this stupid book is boring me to tears. And I don't want to bore you. I just want to warn you. DON'T READ THIS. IT IS A SAD, SAD WASTE OF TIME. IT'S NOT EVEN MEANT TO BE A BOOK, IT'S MEANT TO BE A PILE OF MONEY AT THE FEET OF A DISHONEST AND GREEDY MAN. SO DON'T BOTHER.