That’s the first sentence of I Am Number Four. Before I say anything else, I have to say that I think it’s a pretty cool to begin a work of fiction (or at least I think it’s fiction…).
I bought this book in an airport with my plane due to leave extremely soon. I was standing in front of the YA section of the airport bookstore, knowing I didn’t have time to read any back covers, or even glance at any front covers. I’d heard of I Am Number Four and, with the metaphorical buzzer going off, I grabbed it.
I Am Number Four is pretty awesome when it comes to the whole grab-you-right-away-and-don’t-let-go thing. I’m always intrigued by books about teenagers pretending to be something other than what they really are, because sometimes it seems like that that’s what adolescence is all about. But this mission gets complicated when you’re an alien. And when you’re one of the last survivors of a decimated planet. And when you’re on a list of Most Wanted by a horrific enemy (also alien) species. And you’re Number Four on that list. And numbers One, Two, and Three are dead.
So yah, Number Four’s got some problems. And that’s besides just navigating high school with injustice coming at you from both the football playing bullies and a buffoon principal. But if you get to hang out with the prettiest girl, and she actually likes you too, things seem a little more manageable. Throw in an alien-conspiracy-theorist buddy, and maybe being a hunted alien going to high school on planet earth isn’t so bad. Until the bad guys show up. Not the bullies or the principals. The alien bad guys. You know, the ones with superpowers.
I’d say this is a great book for readers who love action and aliens and, before the action starts, the anticipation and suspense of some lurking Big Time Problems (the kind that might kill you, and also destroy the earth). Once the battle really gets going, it’s fast and sometimes a little gory and quite cinematic. Actually, I kept thinking about the movie-version as I read, and I haven’t even seen the movie version (though now I’m curious). In the end, this was a quick read that moved fast and was pretty darn fun along the way.