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Earth to Charlie: 11/01/20

Earth to Charlie

Earth to Charlie by Justin Olson is about a high school outcast wishing he could be abducted by aliens. Charlie Dickens believes his mother was abducted years ago. Since then life with his father has been difficult and the teasing at school, non-stop. Things change, though, when popular boy Seth befriends him.

Besides Seth, Charlie's only other friend is a housebound man who pays him to walk his dog. When Geoffrey has to go to the hospital, Charlie takes responsibility for the dog and for his life here on earth.

Earth to Charlie is a mixed bag. Charlie is both jaded and naive enough to believe in alien abduction. The side plot with Geoffrey seems to be there just to give Charlie someone to feel sorry for. It's not until Geoffrey starts taking more care of himself that Charlie decides to do the same for himself. Likewise, Seth is just there to validate Charlie.

Basically stuff happens to Charlie and eventually he decides to take charge of his own life. He spends three-quarters of the book being essentially passive and mopey. Sure he's being bullied and sure he misses his mother, but shouldn't he have at least a little bit of agency?

Three stars

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