*I received First Day On Earth by Cecil Castellucci a submission for the YABA
This book is a shining example of how science fiction or fantasy can be down to earth. The story about a teen who believes he was abducted by aliens is actually about humanity. Abandoned by his father he looks after his alcoholic mother who suffers from debilitating depression. Mal is a compassionate, insightful, loveable character. His outcast status at school gives him a good vantage point for analyzing the social circles from the outside. Hooper, a friend he meets in group therapy, comments on the impulsive and destructive sides of human nature in a frank way that avoids being overly preachy. It’s a gritty but quick read that will appeal to both guys and girls. The only problem I have with the book is the title and back cover blurb, because they do not do it justice.