Author: Melissa Landers
Series: Alienated #1
Genre: Teen Science Fiction
Release Dates: February 4, 2014
Rating: 5/5 stars!
The Overview: 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.
Even though I read this one as an ARC (thank you Netgalley), I liked it enough to preorder a hardcover copy for my collection. It was such a great read that the only thing I’m disappointed with is the fact that I have to wait more than a year to find out what happens next.
The premise for the story is what won me over right away. Just imagine if Rory Gilmore was picked to house an alien exchange student. Landers managed to find the perfect balance between sci-fi detail and high school drama. A concept like that could be quite silly if not done right, but luckily Alienated was presented perfectly. Furthermore, you could see within the first twenty pages how talented and thoughtful the author was. Certain elements that you see in other books were always taken one step further, elevating the story above the rest. So all these components were already adding up to a fantastic book then she goes and adds a dual perspective from the alien’s POV and I was in love!
The contrasting viewpoints between the two characters are really what made the novel special for me. They were both relatable characters with compelling motives. Cara, was an overachieving “attack everything with gusto” kind of girl, and it was fun to watch her perfectly structured world adjust to one surprise after another. Aelyx, on the other hand, was burdened with responsibility to do right by his people. He honestly would’ve been interesting to read about all on his own. I’ve read a few aliens-come-to-Earth novels where the aliens come across as a little stupid because they don’t always understand what’s going on. Aelyx, while not familiar with all the customs of the earth caught on to social cues quickly and came across as anything but stupid. It was something I really appreciated because it’s difficult to have a crush-worthy character that can’t hold his own in difficult situation. For both characters, it was a great emotional journey, with loads of internal conflict driving both of their actions. The funnest part of the book was watching them muster the strength and bravery to overcome those conflicts.
Overall, this is yet another contender for my favorite book of the year. We got to learn more about a fascinating alien culture while simultaneously appreciating the oddities of our own… It was a ball! This is one of the first teen science fictions I’ve read, and I have to say I’m loving this new trend. I am eagerly awaiting the next book in this series – I have a feeling it’s only going to get better from here!
Recommended Reading: for people who are interested in science fiction novels but are too intimidated by their length and technical jargon. It is also fabulous for anyone wanting a fun read with a delightful love story! I will be hand-selling this one to anyone who will listen when it comes out.
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