First Day On Earth Cecil Castellucci Book Review

As much as I harp on about not liking science fiction, I think I subconsciously love it. Seriously, I tore through First Day On Earth by Cecil Castellucci, which okay, reads more like a contemporary young adult book than hard science fiction. But you know what? For a reader like me that is perfect.

First Day On Earth Cecil Castellucci Book Cover

First Day On Earth

Mal is sort of a quiet weirdo. He does not fit in at his high school or anything. Right, so he ends up going to support group for alien abduction survivors because he is absolutely convinced that he was abducted by aliens for three days instead of having a nervous breakdown. While at group he meets Hooper, another totally weird guy whom Mal senses is different. Hooper kind of represents an answer to Mal, and that’s all I will say.

It’s hard for me to describe First Day On Earth without giving too much away. It is a sparse book, but heavier than most of the other young adult science fiction I’ve read. Castellucci describes Mal’s pain, his teenage anguish at having a barely functioning mother and an absent father in such a soul crushing way. Yet, there’s hope too. AND I think that’s what I liked best about First Day On Earth, that Castellucci takes us down Mal’s deep dark tunnel, but shows us that there is a light at the end.

First Day On Earth is 150 pages with very short chapters. I think, however, that even though it’s a quick read, one should not underestimate the depth of First Day On Earth by Cecil Castellucci. I think lonely, depressed teenagers will see themselves in Mal, even if they haven’t been abducted by aliens, and I hope that, in turn, they will see optimism and a way through that dark time. Y’all, I am pretty sure I am totally going to check out more Cecil Castellucci books if First Day On Earth is any indication of her writing ability.

Disclosure: Received for review.

Other reviews of First Day On Earth by Cecil Castellucci:

The Book Monsters
The Book Cellar
Dreaming In Books
Beyond Books

About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I have to agree with this review completely – I loved First Day on Earth. For a shorter book, it definitely does not lack in emotion, and I liked the way Cecil Castellucci kept it kind of ambiguous; aliens or no aliens?

  2. Scholastic held a brunch with a couple of us Montreal bloggers and the author in November and it was SO fun to discuss the ending of this book with that group. We all had different interpretations that all made sense. Also Cecil is freakin’ swesome and has pretty pink hair, as a pink and purple hair girl, I approve. heh

  3. That actually sounds great! I love books that deal with deep emotional issues! I’m like the only person on earth that doesn’t read tons of YA (I basically only read the really big titles) and I’m always looking for more YA that might interest me. Plus, I really love sci-fi. I’ll be checking this one out!

    • Naw, plenty of people prefer adult lit which is fine. I think it doesn’t matter what you are reading as long as you are reading, ya know?

      I hope you really enjoy First Day On Earth!

  4. I LOVE Science Fiction. I love the cover of this book. I haven’t read too much about it and I didn’t realize it was that short! It sounds perfect for like a a readathon book or a quick book between two longer books or something to read while on a roadtrip. Thanks April!

  5. Oh, how this book made me feel things. Castellucci was able to draw so many things with very simple pictures and I just loved that about her writing in this book.

    Hated his dad. He was the WORST.

    • Oh man, I wanted to knock his dad around a little, he sucked so much. Sigh, especially that one last scene.

      I love that First Day On Earth has that power, to make you feel things during the brief amount of time you spend with it.

  6. I’ve seen this one and just kind of let it pass by thinking “eh. Doesn’t sound like something I’d like.” but your review has now convinced me that I need this on my TBR and I need to get to it soon.

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