Google+ Reading Teen: First Day on Earth by Cecil Castellucci

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

First Day on Earth by Cecil Castellucci

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press (November 1, 2011)
Buy the Book: Amazon

A startling, wonderful novel about the true meaning of being an alien in an equally alien world.

"We are specks. Pieces of dust in this universe. Big nothings.

"I know what I am."

Mal lives on the fringes of high school. Angry. Misunderstood. Yet loving the world -- or, at least, an idea of the world.

Then he meets Hooper. Who says he's from another planet. And may be going home very soon.
Well, I'm not really sure what to say about this book.  It's certainly not a book I would normally read, and I'm actually not sure why I picked this one up.  It may be because it was so short.  I flipped the book open and read the first chapter in a matter of seconds, and each chapter was, at most, a couple of pages, and at least, only one sentence, giving me a feeling of accomplishment.

At first, I didn't think I was going to like the book.  Mal is not a happy person, and seems to be critical and judgmental about everyone around him.  I know that he had a hard life, but he acts like he's the only one in the world that has ever had problems.  However, as I kept reading, I actually started to like Mal, and hope that things would turn out well for him. 

I wasn't sure exactly what to think about this book.  I didn't know if I should be taking it literally, expecting aliens to show up at any moment.  Or if it was more symbolism for what Mal was going through, and his coping mechanisms.  I actually like sci-fi, so I'm not opposed to reading about alien encounters and what-not, but this book ended up being more of a contemp book, than a sci-fi one, in my opinion.  I think, in the end, you could take it either way, and have lots of debates on whether or not Mal and Hooper are crazy or are an actual abductee/alien.

In the end, I did enjoy reading First Day on Earth, and finished the whole thing in about two hours (reading in between turns of Just Dance 3...haha).  If you like Contemporary Fiction, I think you'll like this book a lot.  It was honest and heartbreaking and hopeful.  It was a story about love, loss, abandonment, and the lengths we will go to, to feel loved and known.

  • Sexual Content:  Moderate Dialog
  • Profanity:  A few heavy words
  • Violence:  None
  • Other Notables:  Underage Drinking
For more details, check out First Day on Earth on Parental Book Reviews

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