Alienated (Alienated #1)
By Melissa Landers
Published February 4th, 2014
Young Adult | Science Fiction
About the book:
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.
This book was my holy grail of the last half of 2013. I had to get my hands on an ARC of this story. This was THE number one most highly anticipated book for me for early 2014. Why? There was something about an out of this world foreign exchange program that I found so freaking interesting. First, the idea that aliens were out in the open. And second, they looked an awful like us. Lastly, I love the science fiction genre and there just isn’t a lot of it in the YA category. So when I find YA sci-fi, I read it!
So, here it was, gorgeous cover and all. Did it deliver on all the self-induced hype I built in my head? Ohhhhh, yeeeaaahhh…..
This, my friends, is an awesome book that has great characters, tells a fabulous story, fits into it’s age category to a tee, and dog-gone-it, even the title of the book is infallible (like that? I pulled the big words out for that one!).
Cara is an over-achieving senior in High School. She’s already set herself up to be the valedictorian. She’s an ace on the debate team. She’s got smooth sailing until graduation. That is until a meeting in the principal’s office takes the wind out of her sails (sorry, had to be done) when she learns she’s been hand-picked to host an alien exchange student. She never “applied” to host an exchange student and is thoroughly less than enthused about the entire situation. But her principal is about dancing behind his desk. Her parents are over the moon excited. She pretty much can’t say no. It’s a huge honor and the L’eihrs want her. Apparently to them, Cara is all personality and passion.
And I agree. I loved Cara! She is one smart teenager thrown into an impossible situation where she manages to hold on to her beliefs of what is right and wrong when she is tested over and over. She learns the absolutely hardest way possible who her true friends are and who truly loves her. I’m holding my breath until Ms. Landers delivers the next book so I can have more of Cara. Okay, I’m really breathing so I can, ya know, exist and all. But dang! I LOVE Cara’s personality and wish I could have been strong like her when I was a teenager.
And then there’s A-Licks. Oh, alright, Aelyx! I really did not like him at first. And really, you’re not supposed to. Ms. Landers did an astounding job evolving Aelyx from the unfeeling, uncaring L’eihr that the aliens have become over centuries of careful breeding to a character that I truly feel for and really want to know better.
Side characters like Eron and Elyx’a are favorites of mine, too. *wimper* Her other side characters like Tori, Eric, Marcus, Brandi, and Syrine were extremely developed and “fleshed out”, all and done without lengthy prose and down time (yay!). Ms. Landers even let the characters go bonkers and do crazy things that had me all, “WTH?!” but still within character parameters.
This book would not be set down! The story just held me in it’s grip. My heart was breaking all over the place! I was satisfied with the ending and slightly “UGH!” with the ending (yep, I am wishy-washy). Unfortunately, I can see Aelyx and Cara’s HEA being drawn out another two books. Hey, but that’s the author’s prerogative, she’s the writer, not me! Of course, I really have no idea and I could be panicking for no reason. I’ve got other things to panic about like love triangles and other such silliness…
I really think this story, in its simplicity is extremely well suited for the young adult crowd and would be perfect for a read-a-long with a discussion guide! As a matter of fact, Ms. Landers provides an awesome discussion guide on her website. I LOVE the questions on it!!! I would love to use it for a read-a-long, our library just doesn’t have the interested readers to do a YA book club.
Basically, to sum up: the book rocks, have a read-a-long with all your best buddies, and I must have book two, Invaded (Alienated #2) like, yesterday. Now go enter to win a copy…
About the Author:
Melissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds. A proud sci-fi geek, she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her husband and three kids. She lives just outside Cincinnati and writes adult contemporary romance as Macy Beckett.
Because I was so lucky to get an ARC of Alienated, I want to buy a copy and send it to a lucky reader. Giveaway is open Internationally to those countries that Book Depository delivers to. Good Luck!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway