By: Melissa Landers
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: Feb. 4, 2014
Genre: YA Sci-Fi Romance
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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.
Cara’s been selected to be one of the few chosen from the world to take part in the first ever L’eihr exchange program. A L’eihr (alien) will come down to earth and shadow a human, enroll in their school and learn their ways. When the time is up the roles will be reversed and the human will go to L’eihr and do the same. You can guess that the humans don’t take to kindly to the aliens coming to earth. It doesn’t take long until Cara’s receiving threats. Little does she know that the panic over the L’eihr’s being on earth may have some warrant.
This was a light sci-fi romance. The author does a great job creating a story and keeping the reader entranced from the start. I will admit that I had been in a book slump until I read Alienated. I was starting to think it was just me, but this book immediately lifted my mood. Sure the story was a teensy bit predictable. However, the author still managed to throw in some curve balls throughout the story that I didn’t see coming.
She also took the time to explain the difference between L’eihr’s and humans. For instance, L’eihr’s don’t really feel emotions. They don’t do physical contact and they don’t celebrate birthdays. There was a pretty big cultural difference for Aelyx when he arrived on earth. The author did a great job not over playing it but rather letting it just blend into the story.
I liked that Landers took the time to explain the L’eihr presence as well as why the L’eihr and humans have the same DNA and look the same. I’ll be honest, up until that point I was a little miffed that the L’eihr were pretty much human with nothing to really set them apart from humans. I’m not saying throw in a 3rd eye or anything but I wanted something. However, rest assured that the author thought about this and gave an explanation to the similarities.
I also like that she showed neither species being the enemy. Each side had their good points and bad points. You had Cara’s family who embraced Aelyx as if he were their own, while others were picketing outside their yard. Meanwhile, Aelyx’s friend/fellow exchange buddy was hell bent on causing damage to earth so that the peace treaty among the two planets would cease. So there were faults on both sides as well as those willing to make it work.
My only complaint was that there was no indication that the story was jumping forward in time. One minute Cara would be sitting in the kitchen eating cereal and the next thing you know she’s outside looking at a dragonfly. It also did this when changing POV’s between Aelyx and Cara. This really messed with me since I would have to get my bearings in the middle of reading. However, I did read an ARC copy and therefor this issue may have been resolved before being published.
This is an amazing debut novel and I cannot wait to see what happens next in the storyline. It’s a great story for YA, romance, sci-fi lovers alike.
“One by one, she greeted each leader, letting her fingers linger far, far too long, not understanding that she’d given them the human equivalent of an intimate embrace instead of a handshake. When she touched the young male, his lips twitched in an amused grin before he regained his mask of cool superiority.”