Sunday, January 12, 2014

Review: Alienated by Melissa Landers


Alienated by Melissa Landers
Book One of the Alienated series
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: February 4, 2014
Rating: 5 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them. 

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara's classmates get swept up by anti-L'eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn't safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara's locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class. 

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she's fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

What I Liked:

I remember when I first got my print ARC of this book - it was in May, it was one of two print ARCs that I received that day, it was one of two of my first print ARCs sent by any publisher EVER, and I was one of the first bloggers to receive an ARC of this book. 

I waited so long to review this book as courtesy to the publisher - waiting a month before the release date and all. But I read this book and LOVED it so much, and I've been dying to share my love of this book for quite some time. Landers' debut is absolutely stunning - I have a feeling that my review is not going to do this book justice!

I'm a huge science fiction fan, so I knew this book would be for me, at least in that regard. This book deals with aliens, pollution, population growth, water contamination, and other environmental issues. I was thrilled to see the inclusion of these issues, because, um, hello, environmental engineer here! So, the environmental interest was cool. Props to Landers for that!

Aliens exist - and they want to form an alliance of some sort with humans. Cara is chosen to host one of three aliens - her guest alien is Aelyx. Aelyx seems cold, distant, and empty, but as he spends more time on Earth, he seems to "wake up". But that doesn't mean that he doesn't have secrets. In fact, Aelyx DOES have secrets - secrets that could ruin things between the L'eihr and humans.

This. Book. Is. AWESOME. I don't know how to describe it better than simply FABULOUS. Most of the book is spent showing how humans react to Aelyx - which is not good, overall. Cara's friends abandon her, her boyfriends break up with her, the town basically revolts, because they don't want an alien in their town. It would seem that they are ignorant, and don't like change, but could they on to something?

So, the plot is really interesting and brilliant. We see Cara struggle at school, because of her partnership and eventually, friendship, with Aelyx. We see Aelyx and his sneakiness with his other two alien ambassadors. We see the town and basically the country react to the L'eihr, and how things play out as they suspect the L'eihr of more than just playing nice.

This book is written in third person limited - but it is limited to both Cara AND Aelyx, which I LOVE. We get to read about Cara and we get to read about Aelyx. This is important because readers sort of know what Aelyx is doing, but not quite. Landers lets us know both sides, but not everything on the side of the L'eihr.

I LOVED the two protagonists in this book. Cara is feisty and tough - more so than most YA heroines. Like, she's ACTUALLY a strong and mouthy female. She's a top debate team leader in her school, so she has an answer for EVERYTHING, which I think is cool. And Aelyx - he seems cold and distant at first, but that's because his world is not big on emotions and touchy-feely love (or love at all). 

And... I loved the romance. The romance does not jump out at you immediately - though you know it's coming. Landers subtly slips it into the book, but I like this. We get to see Cara and Aelyx grow into themselves and into their relationship, which is gradual and progressive. The romance didn't just HAPPEN - it couldn't, not with the way Aelyx grew up. The romance is beautiful.

The climax and ending of this book jump right out at readers and takes off. Usually, I would say that it happened too quickly, but I don't think it did. I think the climax burst out at us, and then Landers gave a slightly longer denouement to ease into the ending. The ending is not sad, and it's not a cliffhanger, but let's just say I NEED to read book two. The wait will be impossible! 

What I Did Not Like:

I hate saying "nothing", but as of right now, I have nothing to say. If I think of anything, I'll edit this review and let you know. 

Would I Recommend It:

I would HIGHLY recommend this book! Science fiction fan or not, this book is not to be missed. There's so much to this book, including a hardcore heroine and a subtle yet beautiful romance. There is something for everyone, and I am quite sure (and I hope) that this will be nothing short of a bestseller.

Rating:

5 stars. I absolutely LOVED this book, people, and I cannot wait for the sequel. Read this one as soon as humanly (and legally) possible!


Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

36 comments:

  1. It sounds wonderful. I can't wait for my turn to read it.

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  2. I completely agree!! I loved, loved, LOVED this one!
    It was my first ever physical ARC I got and since I get so very few of them, it was such a treat!
    I was afraid it'd full of high school cliches and the like and I was so pleased when it wasn't!

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    1. It was my first of two! Disney sent this one and These Broken Stars at the same time, which was cool.

      Landers definitely did her research in the "teen world"!

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  3. I can't wait to start this one. The cover looks amazing, and alien premise sounds so cool! Great Review!

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  4. I read this book, too, and I totally loved it! It was so amazing and perfect and I can't wait to read book 2. Great review :)

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    1. Ooo, I'm glad to hear that! Book two needs to be out like right now.

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  5. Oh I'm so excited to read this now! I had planned on waiting another week or so to read it, but I might have to push it forward since you loved this so much!!! Great review my dear!

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    1. I hope you bump it up! The earlier the better! Thank you so much.

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  6. I just got approved for this yesterday! I'm excited to read it! Glad you loved it!

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  7. Your review makes this sound like a must read for sci fi lovers. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I definitely think it is! You're most welcome :)

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  8. I can honestly say that if I hadn't read your review I prob wouldn't give this one a chance. I might be a bit too judgy when it comes to covers...NOW I'm def gonna check it out!!

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    1. WOW! I'm so thrilled that you would say that! I'm honored, Ria. I hope you absolutely love this book!

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  9. Wow so this one sounds so good! I love the premise behind it, and I love that there's a focus on the environment, which is something I don't believe gets enough focus in YA especially considering how important it is to teens.I'm definitely looking forward to this one.

    -P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

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    1. Ooo, P.E., you hit this one right on the head! The environment is definitely an important topic for teenagers. I hope you read and enjoy this book! ^_^

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  10. You've convinced me....this book sounds amazing! I think I would really like Cara, and I love third person limited POV. And a subtle romance sounds really great right now...I'll have to pick this up. Great review!
    -Sophia @ Loving Lit

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    1. Woohoo! Come join the dark side! I kid, I kid. But seriously! I think you really will like this one, Sophia. Thank you, and enjoy!

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  11. Awesome Review Alyssa and Eeeeek I love your reviews that makes me want to buy the book immediately this book looks and sounds fantastic have to most definitely have to pick this one up when it comes out! thanks for sharing Alyssa!

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    1. YAYYYY! SPEND ALL YOUR MONEY! Haha, I'm joking. But I'm glad you like the sound of this one! It's definitely a must-buy, in my opinion. You would NOT be wasting your money!

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  12. I have only recently, meaning the past year or so, gotten into reading science fiction books. I haven't yet read one with aliens, and I think Alienated will end up being the first. Because I seriously can't wait to read it. Devour it, more like. First of all, that cover blew me away the first time I saw it, and I have fallen harder for it every time I have seen it since. And it just sounds so good. According to your review, it does more than just SOUND good; it actually IS GOOD! And nothing that you didn't like is a huge selling point. Not that I needed selling. BUT it does mean that I am going to order this one now, because I am ready to read it already!

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    1. Ooo, so you have not read JLA's Lux series? That's a pretty great alien-based series, just really long. Five books is so many, but at least they all came out within a few years (not five). The cover is why I wanted to read this book, but the content was a thing of its own. It IS super good! I hope you love this one, Jaime! I really hope it ends up being a favorite of yours :)

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  13. Yay :D I'm glad you loved this book so much. <3 And nothing negative :) That is good. I have yet to read my copy, though I also got it in May.. gah! I'm just nervous that I won't like it :\ but will try it soon :) Thank you for sharing and being honest. <3

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    1. Oh my gosh, Carina, don't do what I did! I also had my copy since May, and you see that I am NOW reviewing it. I was super nervous as well, but look how it turned out! You'll love this one, Carina, I really hope. You're welcome - but thank YOU!

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  14. So glad you loved it! I got it off NG and gah! It was amazing <333 I have my review to go up a week before rls date so I definitely know how you feel :3

    Great review, Alyssa! <33 (Aelyx forever! :D)

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    1. AWESOME! I'm glad you loved it as well. So much fangirling, I'm sure! Thank you, Nova.

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  15. Gah, I passed on this one when it was on NetGalley and now that I've read some reviews I am kicking myself! I'm gonna have this one back on to my TBR. Really like that cover!

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    1. OHMYGOSH Nereyda, you are totally missing out! Run back and request! Another blogger is borrowing my ARC, but I'll let you know what I can do :)

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  16. Glad to hear you enjoyed it! I've read so many mixed reviews for this one, so I've been really unsure about it. Reading positive things is reassuring.

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    1. I really hope you read and enjoy this one, Vivien!

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  17. You liked this a lot more than I did! I didn't like it much at all.

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  18. I just picked up a copy from The Strand--starting it soon! I'm glad it won't be too big a cliffy. I hate that in series firsts!

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    1. EXCELLENT! I really hope you love it, Alice. It's such an amazing book! And I didn't mind the ending at all :)

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