I admit, I only picked this up because Dianna Agron stars in the film and I have a slight obsession with Glee. Now that that’s out of the way, it’s down to the book review.
Fantasy / sci-fi are curious genres for the adolescent reader. It’s one which very distinctly bridges the divide between “adult” and “children’s” literature. Books which are successful (I’m thinking of a Trudi Canavan here for example), gain their success on their multi-faceted appeal to both the adult and the child reader. This bi-lateral appeal also makes fantasy / sci-fi particularly pertinent to the teenage reader; not yet adult, not child, the teen occupies a textual liminality that’s fascinating to me. Or, to put it more bluntly, they’re in between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the teen themed lit. It’s Twilight, paranormal romance or it’s adult literature all the way. There are very little “in-between” texts. Writing for children is a fine art. Writing for teenagers is a very very fine art.
I Am Number Four was fun. I actually really enjoyed it. However I do doubt I’ll be able to actively defend it on literary merit. It actually reminded me of a really well written fanfic. By this I mean the female character is very Mary-Sue in her tendencies and there’s a deus ex machina that I loved at the time but made me wince when my brain actually realised what had happened. It’s a guilty pleasure. Enjoy.