Alienated by Melissa Landers
Book One of the Alienated series
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.
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!
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