Small Town Hoax

It Came From the Sky by Chelsea Sedoti

Publication Date: August 1, 2020

Summary from NetGalley:

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.

ARC provided by Sourcebooks Fire via NetGalley for an honest review.


This was a pretty fun read. I really enjoyed how a small intentional lie was suddenly the talk of the town and how quickly it got out of control. Many people outside of the main characters, suddenly saw lights and were being carried off by aliens. Such fun.

What I liked about the story:

  • Gideon is an introvert, which you don’t see often in books. I could totally relate to him and his socially awkward, science loving mind.
  • Ishmael and his pranks, plus how well he got along with everyone.
  • The relationship between Gideon and Ishmael. (Loved their names too) It was nice to see two brothers that were so opposite of each other, still getting along and supporting each other.
  • Their younger sister, Maggie, starting a cult just to see if she could.
  • Gideon and Owen’s relationship and how hard it was for Gideon to admit his feelings for Owen.
  • Gideon’s friendships with Arden and Cassidy, even when it was difficult for him to be open and be honest with Arden.
  • The whole hoax story line, was at times hilarious and I could so easily seeing it happen.
  • I liked the different formats that were used to tell the story. Interviews, transcripts, news reports and blog posts. I even liked the footnotes, which I often found very amusing.
  • The parents were pretty awesome, letting the boys dig their own hole and face the consequences. They maybe should have stepped in sooner, but I liked that they trusted their kids to know when to stop.

What I didn’t like:

  • Gideon’s mom wanting to “fix” him, because he wasn’t as social as the rest of the family. It just rubbed me the wrong way.
  • Quincy Oswald, Oz, and the whole myTality scam. Also Oz was just very creepy and I kept cringing whenever he was on the page. That whole story just didn’t work for me and didn’t seem to add to the story except as a way to end the hoax.
  • The blind date his mom fixed up for him also didn’t seem necessary, but added a bit to Gideon’s overall growth.

If you like funny and smart characters, a small town setting and a story full of heart and good relationships then this is a story you should consider reading.

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