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YAppiest Day on Earth icon

If you couldn’t make The YAppiest Day on Earth, never fear! The YAppiness keeps rolling with epic read giveaways by each of the 17 authors.

This is the 5th YAppiest Giveaway! For a chance to win, see the “Here’s How” rules. For a complete list of upcoming giveaways, go here.

“First Day on Earth” by Cecil Castellucci

First Day on Earth coverMal has a lot of reasons to be angry. His father abandoned him when he was eight, his mother is drunk and probably crazy too, and the cool kids at his high school are self-centered idiots who always make fun of him. All but one, that is. Posey.

In spite of all he’s been through, Mal loves life. That’s why Posey’s mother–the vet at the animal shelter where Mal brings the stray dogs, cats, and rabbits that he rescues–is so kind to Mal. It’s why Posey likes him too.

Mal can use all the kindness he can get.

He’s  learned to cope with being the parent to his dysfunctional mother. Just barely. He feels trapped and wants nothing more than to escape. Anywhere. He secretly hopes the aliens who abducted him when he was eight, will come back and take him with them. Permanently this time.

Mal remembers the abduction on the 4th of July, shortly after his father bailed on him and his mother. Though it didn’t take long for him to figure out that he shouldn’t talk about that experience to anyone. So many things about the three days he was missing can’t be explained any other way. But the doctors insisted he had a psychotic break, caused by the trauma of his father leaving. Mal’s memories of those three days are fragmented and fuzzy. So much so, that he begins to wonder if he really was abducted.

That is, until he meets Hooper in a 12-Step abductees meeting, and Hooper admits to being an alien. Mal has his doubts about that, until Hooper asks Mal to help him to catch his only chance at a ride back home.

A Must-Read for Anyone Who’s Ever Felt Alone

This small book, and seemingly simple story, floored me with the power of its depth. The heart of the story isn’t the aliens, or even whether they’re real or not. This is a human story, a metaphor for the isolation is intrinsic in the human experience. The characters all suffer from varying degrees of isolation. What’s beautiful is how they help each other to heal through their connection and interactions.

At one time or another most of us have all felt alone, on the outside of a group, a misfit, misunderstood, or outright invisible. To feel pain is human. What we choose to do with it, reveals our humanity. And in this, Mal shines as an example for us all.

Kirkus Reviews sums this book up in one elegant sentence:

A simple, tender work that speaks to the alien in all of us.


Here’s how…

NOTE: The FREE giveaway of a copy of this book is open to residents of the United States and Canada only, due to shipping costs. My sincere apologies.

  1. Leave a comment on this blog by midnight, June 21st (1 entry).
  2. Tweet about this giveaway, including #yappiest in your tweet (1 entry).

I’ll tally the entries and choose a winner at random, then announce it on this blog on Sunday June 23rd. Good luck!

Stay tuned for more YAppiests Giveaways!

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