. Athena's Books: I Am Number 4 But Who Will Save You?
Sunday, July 17, 2011

I Am Number 4 But Who Will Save You?

i will save you

Just saw Beastly...ummm...somebody give me the script and a week and I can revise the whole thing and make it like 27 times better.  I mean the whole story of Beauty and the Beast is such a classic but this screenplay didn't really bring out all the magical, fairy-tale potential it could have had.  First off...the "beast" not beastly enough.  Second, what dad (as scum bag as he may be) will just hand off his daughter to some stranger for her safety?  Well, maybe a complete psycho dad would, but nothing really showed her dad was that crazy.  And so she's off to rich hideaway with her dad's consent and her "social media" page.  Ok...enough.  It was worth the Redbox dollar, though.  But what injustice to the novel Beastly by Alex Flinn.  Please, screenwriters and movie producers...stop messing up books!  The writer knows best so why mess up a story that works?  Now, I can see a druggie dad willing to trade his daughter to save his own messed up life as a last ditch effort to see another hit up his vein.  That's in the book.

I suppose I really don't have much to write tonight.  This is sort of a venting blog.  Which brings me to another movie with our "beast."  But first the book...I Am Number Four.  I'll admit my son wanted to buy it, but I would not let him for writing sake.  I read a few paragraphs and that was all I had to read to see somebody with a pretty good plot idea just sat down and wrote it and didn't put much thought into the craft of writing.  Just plain, boring, generic stuff in there.  This sci-fi?  This is publishable with a pretty sizeable media promotion, movie deal, and all?  Disheartening.  But on the bright side, the movie did a much better job!  I'd rather see the movie any day than endure a few paragraphs of the book.

You know what I need?  I need a very well written novel right now and nothing is coming my way and nothing is really grabbing my attention.  Of the 20 or so books on my desk (the ones I brought home this summer to read), only about 2 or 3 of them will be "wow."  And those 2 or 3 have not been promoted by many book reviewers or YA blogs.  Why?  'Cus there's no magical spell or demonic angels or devouring shadows that want a mortal soul.  Just go to Target.  There is a whole aisle of "dark" YA. 

Enough!  Give Matt de la Pena a chance! 

First chapter of I Will Save You...amazing writing.  Real writing.

So, here is a portion of a letter he wrote to all potential readers and posted on his own blog...

Dear Potential Reader:

This past Sunday I was playing ball in Brooklyn. A bunch of guys like me, older now, still trying to get to the rim or drain jumpers from the corner. At one point the ball rolled out of bounds and two dudes disagreed about who touched it last. Others joined in. Fingers were pointed. Things were said about people’s mothers. I stood back and watched the argument build and thought about the absurdity of our lives. All of us dressed up, dressed down, trying to be somebody, hoping they say good things when we’re not in the room. Like me, standing at half court all stressed out, wondering: Will anybody like my new book, I WILL SAVE YOU? It’s sad. Maybe people don’t like sad books. I like sad books, but I like sad everything – though technically I’m not a sad person.

                         YOU CAN READ THE ENTIRE LETTER ON HIS BLOG..Here.

 But I will skip to the end  of his letter.

Or maybe the connection is a more personal one. Maybe when you read one of my books you’re coming into my home, drunk on my wine, and sticking a small piece of me in your pocket (so much of these stories are pulled from my past). And maybe when you move me all around – from the table by your bed, to your office desk, to your padded computer bag – you’re giving me a small peek into your world. And maybe after you turn the last page you’ll even lend me to a friend, and I’ll get even farther in my travels. And ultimately you may even come to an epiphany similar to mine, and you’ll sneak up onto my front lawn, months from now, years even, and set that borrowed piece of me back on my welcome mat in the form of a letter, or an email, or a Facebook message, telling me what you think. That’s easily my favorite thing in the world...I would be honored if you gave I WILL SAVE YOU a read. It really is kind of a sad book. But it’s hopeful, too. And it’s my heart.

Your friend,
Matt de la Peña

Ok...so, don't you feel like reading it now?
Excellent novel by Matt de la Pena!
Now I am off to watch one of my favorite TV series...Breaking Bad (season 4).


Tia said...

This book looks great! Awesome review! New follower!

Tia @ Falling For Books

Connor Keating said...

Thanks for the review. The book seems to be captivating and I'm going to check All you can books in a few minutes to see if I can download it. Thanks!