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Review: It Came From the Sky by Chelsea Sedoti

It Came From the Sky by Chelsea Sedoti

It Came From the Sky
Chelsea Sedoti
Sourcebooks Fire
Published August 1, 2020

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | Goodreads

About It Came From the Sky

This is the absolutely true account of how Lansburg, Pennsylvania was invaded by aliens and the weeks of chaos that followed. There were sightings of UFOs, close encounters, and even abductions. There were believers, Truth Seekers, and, above all, people who looked to the sky and hoped for more.

Only… there were no aliens.

Gideon Hofstadt knows what really happened. When one of his science experiments went wrong, he and his older brother blamed the resulting explosion on extraterrestrial activity. And their lie was not only believed by their town―it was embraced. As the brothers go to increasingly greater lengths to keep up the ruse and avoid getting caught, the hoax flourishes. But Gideon’s obsession with their tale threatened his whole world. Can he find a way to banish the aliens before Lansburg, and his life, are changed forever?

Told in a report format and comprised of interviews, blog posts, text conversations, found documents, and so much more, It Came from the Sky is a hysterical and resonant novel about what it means to be human in the face of the unknown.

From the author of The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett and As You Wish comes the unforgettable story of the one small town’s biggest hoax and the two brothers who started it all.

“A page-turner as engrossing as any classic Twilight Zone starring two spirited brothers who run circles around the Hardy Boys.” – Ben Philippe, Morris Award-winning author of The Field Guide to the North American Teenager

My Review

I have mixed feelings about this book. The whole situation– the explosion that leads to the alien encounter hoax– is kind of funny. I’m generally a fan of stories in which the characters land themselves in bizarre situations and then have to panic-slash-mastermind their way out of them only to have unanticipated consequences result. So this story definitely scratches that itch for me.

I just… didn’t like Gideon. I appreciated his intelligence. And I sympathized with his struggle to communicate his emotions and his aversion to sticky foods. But all of it seemed so selfish to me. He seemed so selfish. Even the idea that he could perpetrate this large-scale lie without any remorse, because it’s for science! I had a lot of trouble connecting with him.

Even though I didn’t connect with Gideon, I read the whole book because I hoped that it would have the kind of resolution that would make it all make sense and that if he really learned his lesson, it’d be worth the investment in the book.

And he does learn some things and make some changes. There’s growth. One of the things I didn’t like (and I’m going to be vague for spoilers reasons) was that toward the end, Gideon is faced with someone who has committed two different types of crimes. In my mind, one was much more personal and damaging than the other. But it felt like because the other frustrated Gideon more, he prioritized reporting it.

All in all, I thought the idea was fun, and the story was interesting, but this one isn’t for me. If you like goofy heist or prank stories, though, IT CAME FROM THE SKY is one I think you’ll want to check out.

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 14 up.

Gideon is gay.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between two boys. References to sex between an adult and minor.

Spiritual Content

Violent Content

Drug Content
Gideon discovers an adult who is drunk and behaving unsafely.

Note: I received a free copy of IT CAME FROM THE SKY in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support the costs of running this blog.

Review: The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett
Chelsea Sedoti
Available January 3, 2017

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About The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett

Hawthorn didn’t even like Lizzie Lovett, but when the girl disappears and the whole town turns upside down over it, she can’t resist getting involved. At first it’s just a pastime. But as Hawthorn’s unorthodox theory takes shape, she finds herself pulled deeper and deeper into Lizzie’s life. She gets hired at Lizzie’s old job makes friends with her understandably wrecked boyfriend, the guy half the town thinks might have killed Lizzie. As she delves deeper into the girl she never knew, Hawthorn learns how little she understands herself and her own place in the world, and understanding what happened to Lizzie becomes her own transforming journey.

My Review

Hawthorn’s voice has to be the strongest part of this story. I wasn’t immediately crazy about the voice, but the style and its consistency definitely drew me in. This is one of those stories with deeply flawed characters, and my disappointment with those that didn’t rise from the ashes of their mistakes (sorry, no spoilers) made me stop reading for a few moments to grieve. Sometimes you just want better for people—even imaginary ones!

I often struggle reading stories about really unconventional families (probably odd, since I think my family would probably fit that description to those looking in from the outside) and Hawthorn’s family was definitely a struggle. I loved her brother and his best friend.

Fans of Cori McCarthy’s You Were Here should check out The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett. The emotional depth and surprising journey of grief reminded me a lot of You Were Here as did the quirkiness of the main character—though Lizzie Lovett is told only in Hawthorn’s point-of-view as opposed to the multiple perspectives in McCarthy’s novel.


Recommended for Ages 17 up.

Cultural Elements
Pretty generic small-town America.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used with moderate frequency.

Romance/Sexual Content
Hawthorn reveals the source of her name—her parents conceived her under a hawthorn tree. Later she kisses and has sex with her boyfriend—an experience which leaves her with mixed feelings. She didn’t expect the awkwardness. She wonders about Lizzie’s experience with sex and asks some general questions of Lizzie’s boyfriend. He tells Hawthorn that Lizzie liked sex a lot.

Spiritual Content
Hawthorn explores some unconventional ideas about Lizzie’s disappearance. For instance, could she have transformed into another creature? A group of hippies begins camping in Hawthorn’s backyard, and their leader gives Hawthorn some advice about finding her true name and ways to view life according to his ways.

Hawthorn’s mother told her to be careful what she wished for, especially in terms of wishing ill on others. So when Hawthorn wishes ill on someone, she wishes things that are more often comical or inconvenient, such as wishing that whenever a rival microwaved a frozen burrito, the center would stay cold.

Violent Content
A girl at school makes Hawthorn miserable. She never physically bullies her, but her behavior is emotionally bullying and mean. See spoiler alert below for additional violent content.

Drug Content
Hawthorn goes to a party where teens are drinking. She also gets drunk and sick. At one point her brother comes home drunk and sick. The hippies (and Hawthorn’s mother) smoke pot in the backyard. Lizzie comments that if her mom is smoking pot, she can’t very well condemn her underage drinking.

Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Additional violent content – SPOILER WARNING
Searchers find Lizzie’s body eventually. She died by suicide after hanging herself.