First Day on Earth by Cecil Castellucci

Format: Harcover
Age Level: Young Adult
Source: Library
Series: NA
Interest: plot

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.


This book really disappointed me. I am a lover of all things alien, so when I saw a book about an abductee I thought ‘perfect’. But what I got instead was a book about what it means to fit in.

I felt like the whole story was just a metaphor about not running away from your problems and fitting in. Mal believes that he was abducted because it would explain why he doesn’t fit in and wants so desperately to leave the planet that it becomes his whole focus of his life. At the end he realizes that he can’t just run away from his problems and that he does have a life to live on earth.

My biggest problem with this book was the fact that every time I thought the story might finally have something to do with aliens, the more I felt like it was a metaphor.

I found Mal himself to be slightly hypocritical. He doesn’t like society judging him, yet is constantly labelling others. He was completely unrelatable, not because his situation was unrealistic, but because he didn’t allow me to connect with him. Now that I think about it he didn’t show much emotion at all just stated how he felt.   It was just like here’s my story – deal with it. He was so disconnected, I felt disconnected from the book.

There was also no real plot. Things were thrown in for no purpose but to show us Mal’s life and the whole plot just revolved around him coming to terms with who he was. The kids he ends up befriending all have issues as well and the problems that were posed were highly unrealistic to the point where it felt ridiculous. 

The writing wasn’t anything special. It aimed to be lyrical but was too straightforward and was lacking description. It was fine in short doses, but for a whole book it felt awkward.

What I did like was how I was made to question society but I wish there had been more of that and less of ‘look how crappy my life is’.

Fist Day on Earth had so much potential but focuses on the wrong things. It wasn’t a bad book, it just wasn’t for me.


3 thoughts on “First Day on Earth by Cecil Castellucci

  1. Oh such a shame the blurb sounded like it could be really good. I’m not one to enjoy plots that are just there without any real goal or substance though so I’d probably have the same thoughts on this one.

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