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Earth to Charlie

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  403 ratings  ·  122 reviews
A high school outcast spends his life hoping to be abducted by aliens in this funny, quirky novel about finding your footing in a world that sometimes feels like Mars.

Convinced his mother has been abducted by aliens, Charlie Dickens spends his nights with an eye out for UFOs, hoping to join her. After all, she said the aliens would come back for him. Charlie will admit th
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published April 16th 2019 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  403 ratings  ·  122 reviews

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Justin Olson
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I'm going to go ahead and rate my book. I just kept thinking about it, wondering, "Should I really rate my own novel? Is that corny? Silly? Will people laugh at me? Hate me?"

Then I thought, "Well, didn't I spend years thinking about, and then writing, Charlie's story? And didn't I spend even more time working on getting it to the point where it's mere months from its publication? And isn't the nearly half-decade of time worthy of five stars?"

Well, to be honest, who knows. People rate books 5 s
Katie Gallagher
Jul 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Check out my blog for more reviews and fun bookish stuff!

This was one of those books that I picked up in a random buy-a-thon in Barnes and Noble. The blurb called to me: aliens in Montana? I’m writing a book about aliens in Montana, so this was basically required reading!

Slight spoiler, but I think you really ought to know this heading into the book: in the end, Earth to Charlie turned out to be much more of a contemporary book than anything approaching sci-fi. That was a bit of a disappoint
Jun 10, 2019 rated it liked it
I received this via Goodreads Giveaways in exchange for an honest review. All my opinions are my own.

This was one of the ones that was high up on my wishlist.. the cover was the first to intrigue, not gonna lie :) The summary caught my eye and I could't click on the giveaway fast enough when it came up.

When I finished the book...

It took awhile for me to get invested in it, this book is a steady/slow pace and isn't in a hurry to get there.

That came out wrong but what I mean is, the book gets
(You can also find this review on my blog!)

I had high hopes for this book, and I am telling you now—it did not disappoint. From UFO's, to friendship, to family, to awkward teens, to a cute dog, and to some self-realizations, I adored everything about this book.

This is a DRC I received from Edelweiss.

The writing
The writing style is wonderful! It's light and easy, but it was also beautiful and melancholic, and at times, even poetic. For me, it has the same style as Aristotle and Dante Discover the
Naomi Milliner
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a terrific read! I felt profound sympathy for the highly likable MC, Charlie. He's so unhappy with his life that he longs to be abducted by aliens, and reunited with his mother. His sadness and loneliness are beautifully depicted, and the supporting cast of characters is strong and interesting. I had no idea where the story was headed, but I was completely satisfied with the ending. Sweet and powerful, this book is well worth reading, and I feel that anyone can relate to Charlie. Fantastic ...more
Aug 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
whatever the genre of book in which a random kid in a small town who doesn’t really do anything but i get emotionally attached to is called—that’s what this is and i love it
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a diverse reader of color and a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, this book had me misty eyed and emotional. I was able to relate in a universal way and I’m sure everyone of ALL walks of life will be able to take a lot from it. We need more books like this. The kind that reminds us that we’re all human. I literally hugged the book after reading it. There’s not enough YA books for young boys growing up that are thoughtful, emotional, and sensitive in a way that lets you know it’s okay... and i ...more
Karol Silverstein
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The word that kept coming to me over and over as I read this engaging story was "tender." Charlie interacts with the people in his life - his grandma who he visits regularly though she rarely recognizes him, his very overweight neighbor Geoffrey and Geoffrey's three-legged dog Tinkles, his new friend from school, Seth - with such an open heart and with such kindness, that it makes the reader feel tremendously connected to him. His emotions are deeply felt and we feel them all along with him. The ...more
francis moore
Jan 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: came-soon-18-20
I was sadly underwhelmed by Earth to Charlie. While the titular character was sweet and interesting, the writing was juvenile and the story felt cut-off and unresolved. Also, the slight fatphobia in Geoffrey's character was uncomfortable and unneeded. Overall, I expected a lot more from this book and felt like I didn't get back what I put into it. ...more
J.H. Trumble
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So excited to see this book making it's way into the world. I suck at writing reviews, so let me just say read it! CHARLIE is original, quirky, tender. I could def see this one coming to the big screen one day. ...more
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for sending a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Whew. This book was an emotional ride. I really enjoyed the writing choices and how the narration was so natural and conversational. It really made me feel connected to Charlie from the start. He is such an earnest and pure character that you can’t really help but feel for him and his plight.

I think there was a great deal of excellent work done on the supporting characters and I really enjoyed ge
Brenna Clark
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC of this sweet and impactful book. All my life, I grew up believing in the impossible. My mom raised me on The X-Files, Harry Potter, and so many other fantastical worlds that were too far away to touch but incredibly near and dear to her heart. I felt a huge connection to Charlie in that way, who thinks he is looking for his mom in the stars but is really finding his way with the sky as his map. The way he wakes up every day and names the sky he’s greeting with ...more
Bridget Tyler
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was having a conversation with my husband a few weeks ago about how hard it was to think of really great role model characters for boys who aren't based on comic books from the early 20th century or sci fi and fantasy movies of the 80's. Then I read Earth to Charlie. It's so rare to find a story about young men struggling with their emotions, learning to deal with friendship, and ultimately learning to be kind to themselves and each other. This one is pitch perfect. Funny and sweet and sad and ...more
May 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtqia-rep, bi-rep
I was ready to give this four stars because I enjoyed the relationship between Charlie and Seth, but there was very little happening in this book?
Rep: achillean(??) mc, gay side character, side character with dementia, character with schizophrenia (not on page)
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This truly is one of the best books that I have ever read! It is so phenomenally beautiful and to anyone who is thinking of reading it do it! And to those that aren't thinking of reading it, you should really reconsider. 1000% worth it. ...more
Jessica (The Psychotic Nerd)
This and other reviews can be found on The Psychotic Nerd

Short and Simple Review
I picked up this book mainly because it looked like a mix of aliens (one of my older obsessions) and contemporary (one of my newer obsessions). To be honest, with that combination I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. This book is high on contemporary, less on the aliens, but Charlie (our MC) firmly believes that his mother was taken by aliens and that the aliens are coming for him as well. This idea is
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Earth to Charlie has a cover that makes it look like sci-fi but it's a YA about an outcast who has been waiting for aliens to take him away since the night his mother said she was about to be picked up by aliens and they'd come back for him later . . . and then she disappeared.

Charlie's been mercilessly bullied at school but then a new guy arrives and he wants to be friends. Charlie is hesitant. He's a pariah. Why would anyone actually want to be his friend? There are a lot of other things goin
This hit really close to home and for all the right reasons.
Aug 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Okay to be honest I’ve been thinking for a while that YA has been loosing me as a reader. It has been a long time since I really connected with a YA book or even really wanted to read one.

To me Earth to Charlie is a great example of YA thriving. It genuinely feels like a teenage book and the characters really act their ages in the best way. I feel like on a lot of YA the characters ages can be changed without consequences to the book, which I don’t really love.

Even though the ending felt a litt
Tiffany Neal
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you, NetGalley for providing me with a digital ARC of this title.

While I wasn’t fully swept away by his debut YA novel, there’s a certain contentment that I felt as I read it.

Firstly, Justin Olson is a great writer, and I imagine he will have a fruitful career with many more novels to come. His writing is simple, easy to read, yet poetic and completely engaging. So many YA novelists tend to over-write and ruin the story with such tactics, but not Justin. He’s a damn good writer.

While there
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club-2019
Earth to Charlie is unique, clever, humorous, and full of heart. Charlie is such a lovable main character and I spent the whole book wanting to hug him and cheer him on. Earth to Charlie is a highly relatable story told through a very innovative lens. I truly loved this book and look forward to reading it again! 👽💜💙💫
Chelsea Bashore
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
So, I was lucky enough to win this book in a Twitter giveaway.

I loved this book so much. For myself I have a solid connection to the character dealing with his mom's mental health concerns. That feeling of always wanting to fix things or still have faith in the one you love is so pure. I appreciated that.

The friendship that this book shows and tell is beautiful. I think there needs to be more books that enable boys/teen boys the chance to read about friendship and relationships with LGBTQ+ char
Stephanie Braswell
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
⁣Earth to Charlie by Justin Olsen is a YA novel that covered SO MANY themes, even some I wasn’t expecting, that children struggle with in their everyday lives. Friendship, bullying, abandonment, mental health, sexuality, loss, forgiveness, alcohol abuse, unhealthy body images, AND ALIENS.
⁣I was engrossed in this story all day long, it was an easy read with a message most kids can connect with at least one facet of a Charlie’s journey. ⁣
⁣My rating is four stars instead of five ONLY b
Gale Ginther Luce
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful YA book, about finding your place in the universe. The people who hinder you, and the people who don't, and how to let the ones who don't into your world so you can get to know THEM. What friendship means, how families function, or don't function, when a family member is missing. Whether to live for the "what if's" in the future, walling yourself off from the "now", or whether/how to embrace the "now" with people who support you at your side. ...more
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The value of a mother/son relationship, being the misfit, distance from those you value, finding your way through it all with all the feelings. What you think is reality or what you think is for you just may be not what is meant for you. Be open, hold on, love yourself and love and grace will find you.
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a great read. I loved Charlie so much. I felt so much for the character. I was so invested in the book. I cried in some parts and that’s very hard for me to do in a book. That ending though???? I need more information!!
Dec 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. Charlie’s story was heartbreaking but his friendship with Seth was also so heartwarming. This is one of those books that I knew I was going to love, and knew was going to make me cry before I even read it, and it definitely met my expectations.
Jan 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
I loved this. Charlie will stay with me forever. Finding meaning in a world that seems to have left you behind is a daily task for me. And this gives hope. Charlie’s story is pure hope. May we all find our Seth’s. Our anchors on this rock we call earth.
Leah Nardo
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. Unresolved and all. Feels like life in that way. <3
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Justin Olson has never been abducted by aliens (that he knows of). He taught high school English and theater in Montana before moving to Los Angeles. He continues to write novels and is an independent film and TV producer. He has a masters degree from the University of Montana and one from UCLA. Earth to Charlie is his debut novel.

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