4 stars · fiction · romance · science fiction · young adult

First Day on Earth by Cecil Castellucci

First Day on Earth

Author: Cecil Castellucci

Pages [hardcover] : 150

memorable quote:
Hello and good-bye are not as simple as everyone thinks.

favorite characters:
hooper & mal


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.


I picked this book up on a whim because I’ve been looking to get into more science fiction lately and this only had a vague hint of it. And what might that hint be? Aliens. Yes, who can resist that? Not me, of course. I wanted to see how the little green guys-or Mal’s gray people-fit into the tale. It was a quick but surprisingly insightful read.

Mal is an interesting character. His dad left the family, his mother is an alcoholic, he has no friends, he was abducted by aliens. Basically, if anyone had an excuse for feeling sorry for themselves, it’d be him. But he managed to capture my attention not through any sob story but through his dry humor, outlook on life and observations of high school in general, and perception of the Earth’s importance in the wide expanse of space. Yeah, for a kid with so many issues, he manages to be pretty deep.

Then he meets Hooper, and everything gets both funnier and worse as time goes on. Mal has to deal with himself, wondering if he’s going crazy, remember how to interact with humans, discover his own wants and needs and dreams. It’s wonderful.

I loved how the outcasts were portrayed in this book. How Mal had two ‘friends’ because they were all the odd ones out, so they banded together so they would never be the only one sitting alone. Perfection, because that’s exactly how things in high school work. Strength in numbers and all that. Especially when he notes that they’re not really friends but hang out anyway. And how even the popular kids had their dissenters. And the boy who will like or say anything just to fit in for a few brief moments. I think everyone knows someone like that guy.

What I’m trying to say is, although this book is short, it still packs a punch and leaves you thinking. It’s definitely worth the read and I definitely recommend that you pick it up!


2 thoughts on “First Day on Earth by Cecil Castellucci

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