Review: First Day on Earth

First Day on Earth by Cecil Castellucci
Release Date ~ November 1, 2011
Scholastic Press
ISBN13: 9780545060820

Goodreads Synopsis:
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.

Sometimes I wonder if I read the book description wrong, because I start reading a book and my jaw just drops because my prediction for the book was totally, completely off.
Honestly, I wasn't expecting much from First Day on Earth. Part of that was because of its (short) length and the cover totally doesn't do this book justice. Not at all.

  1. Self-discovery:
    To me, this really sums up what First Day on Earth is TRULY about; because it isn't about aliens so much as it is about one incredibly hurting teenage boy who just doesn't feel like he fits in. There are some awful experiences which are slowly uncovered, which provide us with a better idea of where Mal is coming from and why he feels the way he does. And ultimately, why he makes the big decision he makes in the end. See his transformation and his bravery to make that decision is what ultimately made such an impact.
  2. Well-developed characters:
    I wasn't expecting this to be the case in such a short book, but Cecil nails this. For such a quick read, I was impressed with how realistic and complex Mal, Posey, and Darwyn were. None of them were who I was expecting as a reader, or even who they were expecting as friends. And I have to say that they are admirable for the way they portray the teenage transitions and problems.
  3. Real issues:
    Considering this is book that is presented as being about aliens and abduction, I have to say that there is a lot more to it. Yes, it is about aliens to an extent. But I really appreciated the way that Cecil brought up these issues and emotional turmoil and dealt with them. Because they are things that everyone goes through at one point, and I think this makes it a book very easy to relate to.
I still feel like I'm reeling from this one; I'm not sure exactly how to express the way it touched me, and even though I didn't like every choice Mal made, it was fascinating to watch it all unfold. I was hooked to the story all the way through, and didn't put it down until I was finished. This is a fabulous stand alone YA book, that draws heavily on aspects often found in contemporary and realistic YA.
Review copy received from Scholastic Canada in exchange for my honest review; no other compensation was received.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery


Andrea @ Cozy Up said...

This sounds interesting, after reading your review I can see what you mean by the description not really giving much to the book. And the cover really does not do much justice at all. Great review Brenna!


Amy said...

Great review. I actually was looking at this book on Goodreads, but I wasn't really sure about it. It sounds really great from your review. I will definitely be adding it to my TBR list now.

-k said...

I definitely need to read my copy soon. I never would have thought that it was this deep of a read!

Great review Brenna!

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Blog Design by eedee design studios