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Eight Days on Planet Earth Hardcover – November 7, 2017
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The author does a great job getting inside the head of Matty, the seventeen-year-old male narrator. I love Matty's relationship with his mother and his interactions with Priya. I also love Priya's description of the sensation of eating pizza. This book is cute, funny, and sad, all at the same time.
Warnings: coarse language, sexual references, sex scenes (not graphic), alcohol abuse (by adults), infidelity.
I received this book in return for an honest review.
Matty Jones has grown up knowing the field he lives next to is a little different. Matty's father claims that a spaceship landed there on the night he was born. But Matty's father has since run off with his brother's sister, leaving Matty and his mother alone, so Matty isn't all that inclined to listen to what his father believes. When a strange girl suddenly appears in Matty's field claiming to be from another planet, waiting to be collected by a spaceship, Matty knows it can't be true. But there is something so ethereal about Priya that she starts to change Matty's view on life, the universe and, maybe, even love.
It wasn't until I reached the very end of this book that I actually started to understand it. For most of this story I really, truly expected a spaceship to land in Matty's field and collect the celestial Priya. But this book is actually a contemporary novel - real life, real-world issues. It is just like it claims in the synopsis - it's about life, the universe, and love. The ending of this book is beautiful. The surprise twist really took my breath away. I didn't see it coming, and it changed everything about how I viewed this book, the characters, and their actions. The surprise is perhaps the best part, though, so I won't say more.
Eight Days on Planet Earth is a surprisingly touching book. Matty is struggling with his father's sudden departure, yet he feels that it's best that his father has gone, that he and his mother will be better off without him and his crazy ideas. Meeting Priya returns Matty to the dreams of his childhood, time spent stargazing with his father and talking about planets far, far away. Matty is also mourning the lost possibility of a relationship with his long-term crush. Again, meeting Priya changes the way Matty views himself. He certainly doesn't expect to fall in love with the strange and crazy girl who turns up in his field. The book is written from Matty's perspective across eight strange and life-changing days, which enables the reader to burrow into Matty's head and heart.
Eights Days On Planet Earth wasn't what I was expecting, but instead was a delightful and moving surprise. It is perfect for readers who enjoy contemporary novels about romance, family breakdown, self-discovery, tearjerkers and that something special that is just a little otherworldly.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Disclaimer: I was given an arc of this book from a friend.