Saturday, August 18, 2012

Cinema Saturday (& Book Reviews) + Giveaway Link

I Am Number Four
Touchstone Pictures/Dreamworks
May 24, 2011
PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and for language; 109 minutes
with Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Dianna Agron
info on IMDb/DVD/Blu-Ray on Amazon

Extraordinary teen John Smith (Pettyfer) is a fugitive on the run from ruthless enemies sent to destroy him. Changing his identity, moving from town to town with his guardian Henri (Olyphant), John is always the new kid with no ties to his past. In the small Ohio town he now calls home, John encounters unexpected, life-changing events-his first love (Agron), powerful new abilities and a connection to the others who share his incredible destiny.
(Written by Walt Disney Pictures, found on IMDb)

Aliens were sent to Earth as children when other aliens ravaged their planet. Alone, with only their guardians for protection, they've been in hiding all these years.

The Mogadorians, the aliens who forced them to leave Lorien to being with, are now hunting John and the others on Earth. There's one catch, though, the Lorien children can only be killed in numerical order.

One through Three are dead . . . John is Four.

I Am Number Four is based on the YA book series by Pittacus Lore (a pseudonym), the first book released by Harper in the summer of 2010 and the third coming this week. (My mini-reviews later in this post.) While I Am Number Four most closely follows the story line of the first book, whose title it shares, it also pulls some plot points from the second novel.

As the book came out in August and the film (to threatres) in February, I'm not sure which was, precisely, all of that worked, but the movie's almost spoilery for The Power of Six in a few points.

Even if you've read the book, regardless of how you felt about it, I would recommend seeing I Am Number Four. It's quick, fun, teen action movie. Interestingly, though the parts I liked more in the book seemed to be taken out, I believe I liked the movie better. I also don't think you need to have read the book to enjoy the movie - and can even like the movie if you didn't like the book.

Some differences between the novel and the movie:
  • Some of the more complex plot with Sam and John was simplified from the book. I missed some of Sam's story. His story was also changed and actually almost remedied a question the book seemed to present.
  • The relationship between Sarah and John was much stronger than in the book. Part of it may have been seeing them, but they also had more interaction and there was more development in the relationship. It wasn't so 'insta.'
  • Something that isn't revealed until almost the very end of the book is revealed before the first 15 minutes of the movie are done. (For anyone planning to read the book first, I'll not mention it - but it was interesting to see that switch.)
  • If you listen to any of the audiobooks, the pronunciations are different - namely Henri is Henry not the French pronunciation and  Mogadorian is different - Mawgs not Moegs
The movie did do a very good job of keeping the larger elements from the book incorporated, however. The big things that would really impact the characters so that, in the end, both the book and the movie characters ended up in the same place - and logically so.

(I do have to say, I kind of love Six from the movie)

DVD & The Lorien Legacies/I Am Number Four series:

synopses for all three novels (and one novella collection) - my reviews & giveaway link under the break

(jump down to the end for my reviews & link to The Rise of Nine giveaway)

I Am Number Four: (Goodreads)

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.

The Power of Six (Goodreads)
I've seen him on the news. Followed the stories about what happened in Ohio. John Smith, out there, on the run. To the world, he's a mystery. But to me . . . he's one of us.

Nine of us came here, but sometimes I wonder if time has changed us—if we all still believe in our mission. How can I know? There are six of us left. We're hiding, blending in, avoiding contact with one another . . . but our Legacies are developing, and soon we'll be equipped to fight. Is John Number Four, and is his appearance the sign I've been waiting for? And what about Number Five and Six? Could one of them be the raven-haired girl with the stormy eyes from my dreams? The girl with powers that are beyond anything I could ever imagine? The girl who may be strong enough to bring the six of us together?

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They tried to catch Number Four in Ohio—and failed.

I am Number Seven. One of six still alive.

And I'm ready to fight.

Released in July, I Am Number Four: The Lost Files: The Legacies is a collection of three novellas now together in one edition (Goodreads)

I Am Number Four: The Lost Files: The Legacies contains three action-packed novellas that give the heart-pounding backstories of some of your favorite Loriens. Originally published as the e-novellas Six's Legacy, Nine's Legacy, and The Fallen Legacies, now, for the first time ever, their backstories are together in one volume.

You know we're out there, living among you.
You know we're waiting for our day to come.
You have seen the power of our legacies.
You know this is why they hunt us.

You may think you know our stories.
You are wrong.
We each have our own story.
We know the time has come to share them with you.
Our legacies are your only hope.

and releasing next week is the newest, full-length book, in the series:

The Rise of Nine
: (Goodreads)
Until the day I met John Smith, Number Four, I'd been on the run alone, hiding and fighting to stay alive.

Together, we are much more powerful. But it could only last so long before we had to separate to find the others. . . .

I went to Spain to find Seven, and I found even more, including a tenth member of the Garde who escaped from Lorien alive. Ella is younger than the rest of us, but just as brave. Now we're looking for the others--including John.

But so are they.

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They caught me in New York--but I escaped.
I am Number Six.
They want to finish what they started.
But they'll have to fight us first.

THE RISE OF NINE's trailer:



This first book in the series was okay for me. It did a good job of introducing us to John and his want of a normal life (at least now) despite the danger of staying in one place for too long. We get to see his legacies being to develop and for that to be awkward and some cool story bro thing later on because there was no real drama, he needs to be in high school. He needs to be attempting a normal life.

Yet, that's also where I think I Am Number Four is its weakest. It's battling between making John a secret alien coming into his powers while on the run from evil aliens out to kill him . . . and a lovestruck high school student who's the new guy who just wants the pretty girl. Neither side quite won out for me.

John and Sarah's relationship really fell flat for me (in the book, in the movie I liked it). I felt as if they were being drawn to each other just because they were. It was a tell and not show romance.

All of that said, I Am Number Four did leave me curious where the story and the characters were going. Sam, especially - and Six after I had Teresa Palmer's film portrayal of her in my head.

Rating: 6/10


If you've seen the 'I Am Number Four' movie prior to reading this one, it'll be interesting - there are a few things that pop-up in this second book, that were actually part of the movie version of I Am Number Four.

Starting out with a new narrator, a girl living in a convent-slash-orphanage in Spain. I found this opening, with the new character to be much stronger. Marina is a much more relatable character and draws you into the story more quickly.

John is still a bit strange, but better this book. The lack of a structured environment seems to fit the characters well. I miss Henri crazily because I thought he was a great addition but the characters on their own seems to work better for the 'teen aliens on the run from bad guys and finding the other good guys' model.

(Sam's mother is - thankfully - mentioned again. I was worried his disappearance and her reaction would be brushed aside.)

Marina's part of the story is a nice balance. Her introduction is much more relaxed than Four's was. We learn a lot about her, her every day life, those around her and gradually the Lorien aspects come into her story - they aren't as overpowering as they felt (to me) in Four's.

The dual narration was a brilliant way to go with The Power of Six and brought things to an end that will leave you absurdly curious what's about to happen in The Rise of Nine.

(The novella 'Six's Legacy' may be summarized in The Power of Six, if you want to read that completely spoiler-free, perhaps read it first?)

Rating: 8/10

Get a peak at The Rise of Nine with the first five chapters here and/or enter my giveaway to win one of three copies of the book here


  1. I haven't read the books, yet, but I do love the movie. I'll definitely have to read them!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I saw the movie and loved it. If the book is half as good (and I know it will be) then I'm in for a treat.

    Lisa Richards( Rafflecopter entry)

    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

  4. I would love to continue reading this series. The movie rocked!

  5. I really enjoyed the movie it was really good. I have read the first book in the series couple of months ago, and I am 50/50 about which one I liked more.

  6. YES! Gah, I love this series so much. It's seriously my favorite. The movie was so awesome. And YES! Six was freaking bad a** with her mad skills (legacies). I hope beyond hope that they make a sequel. I could totally watch more "John" on the big screen! Eek!

    1. Oh, and I'm Victoria Scott on rafflecopter as well. :)

  7. Nice little movie review! I enjoyed I Am Number Four though the movie passed by so quickly! Six was quite bad-ass ;)

    I'm either Jennifer or Jennifer V. in the Rafflecopter. :D

  8. So excited for this one. I have such a girl-crush on number six!

    I'm probably kelly oram on rafflecopter!


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