Sunday, November 7, 2010

I AM NUMBER FOUR Read Along Discussion #1 [Read Along]

Welcome to discussion 1 of I Am Number Four!

Here's the deal.  You do NOT have to answer all of the questions.  You can if you want, or you can just comment on one or two of them.  The goal is for the discussion part not to take a whole hour out of your day if you don't want it to.  Sound fair?  Hope so.  K.  Let's get started!

Plot Summary:  Number Four is from the planet Lorien.  The Garde from Lorien that escaped to earth have to be killed in order (because these Loriens have magic charms too in addition to their powers).  They traveled to earth, and each has a Guardian or Cêpan who watches their backs.  Dude we're following is Number Four.  He was Daniel Jones in Florida, but he's left the Keys and moved to Paradise, Ohio.  He goes to school so that he doesn't have to do cleaning or chores with Henri, his Cêpan.  He has a survival pack as a backpack.  He gets lectured from Henri about not standing out, not showing his physical superiority or his intellectual superiority, and to contact Henri immediately if anything out of the ordinary happens because he should be coming into his Legacies, aka special Lorien-defending powers, soon.  He goes to school, gets picked on by Mark, meets the really cute Sarah, the daughter of his and Henri's real estate agent and Mark's ex-girlfriend, and almost immediately comes into his first Legacy, Lumen.  He goes and locks himself in the dark room so that people can't see his glowing hands, and Henri comes to rescue him and takes him home.  They debate leaving, but Four doesn't want to, so he goes back to school the next day donning gloves and eager to find his missing cell phone.  He accuses Mark, and they almost throw down in the hall, but they don't.  Then there's a fun scene in home ec with Sarah and Mark and after ninth period American History, Sarah gives Four his phone and he doesn't fight Mark.  End Chapter Seven.

The Questions:

  1. First of all, did anyone else get confused and think they were in Maine when they were really in Florida at the beginning?
  2. And, another confused point for me - and I'm hoping one of you can explain it...  Four told Henri that he kept his fists closed once he realized they were glowing, but that was a total lie because Sarah totally helped him up off of the ground after Mark pushed him...  so I was confused about that.  Do you think it'll come back and bite him?  The fact that he let Sarah help him?
  3. I'm also super curious about why they've kept themselves to the USA.  It seems as though they would have more success in a larger number of countries, what do you think about that? (not that they haven't been successful)
  4. Do you agree with Henri and John's survival decisions so far?  Would you have done anything differently?
  5. If you got to pick a brand new first and last name what would it be?  Why?


Mrs. DeRaps said...

This is going to be difficult for me, because I've read the entire book. Don't want to say anything that will jeopardize the readings of others who are not yet finished the book. But, I'd like to talk about question #4.

I feel like Henri and John are at such different places in their lives and in their connection to their former home planet. John is a fairly typical teen in that he wants to fit in, feel connected to a place for more than just a few months, and wants to fall in love.

Henri is a typical grown-up in that he sees a much larger picture than John. Henri understands that there is more at stake than a missed opportunity for a teen romance in staying at an unsafe location. He also feels a deep connection to Lorien because he was born and raised there.

John is essentially becoming more American than Lorien, it seems. The two places don't exactly seem to have the same philosophies. Lorien seems like a much more peaceful place, and America is full of mark-like guys who will try and show their manhood by fighting/ egging other guys on to fight.

I love Henri so very much! He is such a great guy and has really sacrificed so much for John and for Lorien. He has taken on such a hugely impossible mission and has to make huge decisions that could either save or kill them both any second. And, there are no do-overs. I cannot imagine having the stress that Henri has. Which is why John annoys me a little in these first few chapters. I want him to appreciate Henri's experience and knowledge more, but then John wouldn't be a teen and there wouldn't be an exciting story. So there's that.

Thanks for hosting this discussion! I can't wait to see what others have to say.

elizabeth said...

1. I definitely thought they were in Maine, but then they said they were really in Florida. I was kind of confused about that.
2. About your second question. I think Four said his right hand was glowing, but his left hand was bright maybe Sarah only grabbed his left hand? A
3. I found that they have only stayed in the U.S. curious, too. Maybe it is because it is easier just to get in a car and drive, so they don't have to deal with planes. You don't really have anywhere you can go while you are on a plane.
4. I think that Henri and John are doing pretty good so far with survival decisions. John probably should not have stood up to Mark, though.
5. If I got to pick a new name, I would choose Libby Davenport just because it sounds cool.

JaevenStar said...

Here is a link to the blog I posted for our first assignment:

Here are my responses to the questions:
1. I guess I didn’t get confused. I LOVED the beginning. Talk about being thrown into the action!!!

2. Most definitely it will come back to bite him. Throughout the first few chapters, over and over again Four is reminded that he is NOT to get involved or attached to anyone…and to remain under the radar. This bonding that is happening between him and Sarah is not going to end well.

3. I think I am more curious about why they are staying in small towns when they want to stay under the radar. Having spent a lot of time in a small town myself, it is nearly impossible to go unnoticed in a small town. EVERYONE knows what everyone else is doing all the time! If anything, I would think they would choose to get lost in a huge city like LA or New York.

4. I am fascinated by Henri and John’s survival! I cannot wait to learn more! I LOVE how the author has thrown us into the fire, basically starting the story out with this sense of panic! He IS number four and the first three are dead… he is next and survival is critical. I do think, however, that Four is making silly choices as a result of his boggled love-struck brain!

5. LOL Who says I haven’t already done that! *wink*

I can't wait to read the rest of this book! I am totally hooked!

elizabeth said...

I think they stay in small towns because it would be easier to tell when the bad guys come into town.

On another note...what is with the dog? I think he is going to play a role later in the book.

I Heart Monster said...

Dude, elizabeth. Totally. The dog. I can't help but wonder if he's a Mogodarian in disguise!

@Mrs DeRaps ... I totally am relating to what you're saying about John only acting the way he does to fill a need in the story. It bugs me too.

Here are my answers:

1. Obviously I was confused. ;op I had to go back and reread it.

2. I'm still on the fence as to whether or not he lied to Henri. I may have to go back and reread to see.

3. I'm hoping we find out the reason for this later in the story and that it's not just a convenience for the author.

4. I think it's smart to always be prepared. What I'm not understanding here is why all of the sudden Four develops a third ring on his ankle, and decides to go rogue. It seems as though he should be super careful, and he's being super careless. If not only my life, but the fate of my people depended on me staying alive, I think I'd do a little more to survive. I think Henri is doing the best he can and that his philosophy has worked out well so far, but yeah, I'm wondering if Four's acting out of character is just a convenience, but am hoping it gets tied into him almost developing his Legacies.

5. I'd be an Amy for sure. I have such a different first name, that I'm almost 100% positive that I'd change it to something run-of-the-mill and easy to spell. As for a last name, I'd probably grab Potter... yes... in honor of Harry.

Cass (Words on Paper) said...

I just finished reading the first 7 chapters. :)

1. I wasn't so stuck on LOCATION. The beginning was just so action-packed and heart-racing. Loved it!

2. I didn't notice until you pointed it out, to be honest. XD But yes, the friendship that is beginning to form between him and Sarah will DEFINITELY be the basis for whatever chaos that will ensue in the future.

3. Probably because the author didn't want to research other countries? XD I dunno. As an Australian, I'm just going to say, "America is the centre of the universe for SOME Americans."

4. I trust Henri's decisions; he seems like such a wise perso-er, alien. I think they're doing okay so far.

5. Ogden Jepladen. :) No one will find me! *shifty eyes*

elizabeth said...

@Cass I don't think that's the case. The prologue was set in Africa, right?

I Heart Monster said...

Speaking of the prologue, Who do you think that was?

Cass is right in some regards. SOME Americans do think America is the center of the universe (as evidenced by my spelling of center, right?) But elizabeth is right too in that the prologue is set in some other part of the world.

I wonder if it has to do with instructions that Henri was given?

And, Cass - just curious, as an Australian, do you have to refer to a map of the US for the states? I mean, I have a general knowledge of Australia and where its major cities are, but other than that, I'm pretty clueless.

Tawnya said...

1. I think I figured out location when they were talking Gulf of Mexico. I was more confused on his age. He was 9, then did lots of moving around, had a decent two years... how is this adding up. Finally figured it out when Sarah called him a sophmore.
2. Ok, so he was pretty out of it when Sarah helped him up, so he could just be forgetting that part. But hello, does anyone else think that perhaps Sarah is the trigger to his first Legacy? He sees her, gets all flustered, she said his hands were fever hot... Sarah is totally going to be at the center of this. And I'm thinking that NASA boy Sam is going to be right there too. NASA, marshian doodles, trying to give advice - insert overly helpful, slightly nerdy, new bff.
3. I guess I didn't think about that until you brought it up, but part of it could be the master plan - to not have too many too close together - giving them more warning time when one is lost to relocate & hide. Another may be the ease of travel within the US - I'm thinking Europe here, and all the fake passports & papers. Harder to run at a moment's notice when you have to make new papers before you can.
4. I am a little surprised that Henri didn't pick up and leave when there was an inkling of trouble, especially since it is so out of character for John. They are on high alert now & if he hadn't been so tired Henri might have just left. Although if John's powers are developing and they might have to leave soon because someone sees too much - they might as well stay until they really have a reason to leave.
5. Interesting, IHM, I too have used the false name of Aimee - but not for simplicity purposes, more as a don't-care-to-give-you-my-real-name alternative. (I'm not really a snob, just some people creep me out) Though it does come in handy when people can't spell & when you're putting your name down for lunch when you & your friend have semi difficult names.

elizabeth said...

@Tawnya: That is brilliant! Sarah must be the reason his Legacy started to appear.

I Heart Monster said...

Agreed. Tawnya is a genius.

And also agreed at the *insert nerdy but helpful new bff here* comment.

*Andye* said...

Hey, just wanted to let you know that I'm reading along too! I have no internet at the house (inbetween stupid internet providers) so it's hard to post! So if my answers are short, that's why!

I'm loving the book so far, though!

I do think that Sarah might be the trigger, but I think it's more because of the emotions that she's stirring in him, not necessarily anything supernatural about her. I guess we'll see though!

JaevenStar said...

@I Heart Monster - I was assuming the prologue was Four and Henri... Doesn't it mention Henri in the prologue? I am assuming it is how the story will end... But you know what they say about making an assumption...

I am also intrigued by the fact that Four is totally going rogue when the third ring appears. I would have thought that he would become way more cautious and go into hiding... but I guess if he did that the story would be really boring. LOL

elizabeth said...

@JaevenStar: I am pretty sure the prologue was about Number least that's what I got out of it.

I Heart Monster said...

I just went back and re-read the prologue. I think that it's either Three like elizabeth said, or maybe even an earlier one like One or Two. It doesn't say anything about Henri, though it does describe a similar dynamic - a fifty-year-old man and a fourteen-year-old boy sleeping in a hut. But at the end, the boy is impaled with the silver sword that can break the charm... whatever that means. Stinking Mogadorians.