By Lisa T. Bergren

I’m on a YA reading kick, given my new River of Time Series and my passion for the teenage audience. I picked up I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore, hoping to get it read before I see the movie. And I ended up reading it in about three days (which is fast, for me).

This is a super-charged, chase-driven story, about a boy from Lorien, a distant planet like Earth, who is a refugee of sorts, waiting to come into his powers so he can go back to fight the dark forces that have decimated his home planet and now threaten Earth too. It’s also about cherishing things that we humans cherish too—friendship, love, peace, courage, life.

John Smith (an alias for Number Four) is one of Nine, the last of the garde who can save Lorien…and really, Earth too. It’s not a Christian novel, and there is some profanity and eco-blah-blah in it, but the romance is chaste and the plot evocative of some good questions for adults and teens to ponder alike:

  • What am I willing to fight for? Die for?
  • How do I discover my purpose? Why I’ve been put on Earth?
  • Who is important to me? Family? Friends?

Themes like you might find in Waterfall. I loved the story, and the characters, and can’t wait for Book 2, as well as the movie.