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First Day on Earth

First Day on Earth - Cecil Castellucci http://www.smashattackreads.com/2012/03/smash-reviews-first-day-on-earth/SMASHTASTIC ENTERTAINMENT QUICKIE: A very interesting story about a young man that wants to share his story and feel connected.INTEREST IN THE BOOK:It sounded interesting so I requested it from Scholastic.WORLD-BUILDING:The world-building is not extreme, as it is set in a typical present-day American city. The real world-building is what occurs inside Mal himself. The alien piece is the driving force of the story, but it is in the background throughout.CHARACTERS:Mal’s a teen boy who is pretty reflective of his environment and irritated through most of this 150-page story, but never comes off as a jerk, in my opinion. My social worker side came out and I felt for him, big time. His mother is not able to cope with the reality that her bastard ex-husband is no longer in the picture, so she spends most of her waking hours drunk. We see a softer side of Mal as he ensures she is safe and fed.Mal feels completely out of place in his community, yearning for acceptance and being able to relate to others but realizing he will never achieve that feeling. He appears years older than he is, as his environment and depression have led him to become jaded and desensitized to life. Due to being abducted, of which the reader is never really quite sure of through most of the story, he does not feel any connection to people in his community. He remains at a distance, feeling disconnected and uncomfortable on Earth. LASTING IMPRESSIONS: I really enjoyed the author’s writing style and layout of the chapters. I thought the disjointedness worked well in a story about a boy he also feels disconnected. All in all, it was a quick read and while I’m not interested in stories about abduction, this book is more about an adolescent boy yearning for acceptance and meaning in life.FAVORITE SCENE:Experiments. It seems unbelievable to me that school teaches us to be the experimenters. The observers. The prodders. The measurers. The destroyers.We are never taught what it would be like if the tables were turned.We are never taught what it would be like if we were the rat in the maze.Or the frog on the dissecting table.Or the atom being split.We don’t like to think about that.We like to think that we are being civilized.