Eight Days on Planet Earth – Cat Jordan – HarperTeen – Published 7 November 2017
How long does it take to travel 13 light-years to Earth?
How long does it take to fall in love?
To the universe, eight days is a mere blip—but to Matty Jones, it may be just enough time to change his life.
On the hot summer day Matty’s dad leaves for good, a strange girl suddenly appears in the empty field next to the Jones farm—the very field in rural Pennsylvania where a spaceship supposedly landed fifty years ago. She is uniquely beautiful, sweet, and smart, and she tells Matty she’s waiting for her spaceship to return to pick her up. Of course she is.
Matty has heard all the impossible UFO stories for all of his seventeen years: the conspiracy theories, the wild rumors, the crazy belief in life beyond the stars. As a kid, he searched the skies with his dad and studied the constellations. But all that is behind him now. Dad’s gone and Matty’s stuck.
But now there is Priya. The self-proclaimed alien girl. She must be crazy or high, right? As Matty unravels the mystery of Priya, he realizes there is far more to her than he first imagined. And if he can learn to believe in what he can’t see: the universe, aliens…love…then maybe the impossible is possible, after all.
Eight Days on Planet Earth is a down-to-earth yet otherworldly novel – magical, funny, and a little heartbreaking.
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.
Category: Young adult fiction.
Themes: Space, aliens, romance, family breakdown, friendship, father-son relationships, conspiracy theories, planets.
Reading age guide: Ages 13 and up.
Advisory: Sexual references, implied sex scene. Coarse language, f*** (16), sh** (28), bit** (1), ass or assh*** (2).
Published: 7 November 2017 by HarperTeen.
Format: Hardcover, ebook. 320 pages.
ISBN: 9780062571731, 0062571737