Saturday, February 15, 2014

REVIEW: ALIENATED (Alienated, #1) by Melissa Landers

Title: Alienated
Series: Alienated, #1
Author: Melissa Landers
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: February 4, 2014
Genres: YA, Sci-fi, Romance
Reviewed by: Angie Edwards
My rating: 5/5


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.


Fans of Eileen Cook and Claire Lazebnik, add this book to your to-read list asap! I know, I know, neither of those authors have written anything remotely science-fiction-y, but think of this as their writing style and humor with sci-fi elements mixed in. Ahhh, now that sounds more like your cup of tea, right? Well, I certainly was surprised by how much I ended up enjoying this book. My argument was that anything with such a jaw-dropping cover can’t possibly have a great story to match. I now humbly admit that I was so, so wrong.

I’m actually glad that this is only the first book in a series, because I definitely want to read more about Cara, Aelyx, the L’eihrs, and how the heck they’re going to be able to establish an alliance between earth and L’eihr after they messed up the fragile trust between these two planets so spectacularly. I, personally, wouldn’t want to live on Leihr because everything there seems to be grey, brown, and...bland. And emotionless clones. Generations of them. In stark contrast to earth’s vibrant colors, emotions, freedom, and the right to live your life any way you choose, Leihr’s improved technology, cool gadgets, and medical advancements are the only things I found interesting about that drab planet. No matter what my personal outlook of L’eihr is, though, I have to hand it to the author for creating another way of life that is as alien in its ways, systems, and beliefs, as the realization for world peace is to us.

But, this is after all a love story, and not War of the Worlds (although that could become a possibility in later books, I suppose). Anyhoo, everyone knows Cara and Aelyx is going to fall in love somewhere along the way, right? So, of course this happens, but what made me enjoy their developing romance is the way it gradually evolved into I-can’t-live-without-you love instead of I-want-to-rip-off-your-clothes lust. Even though they fall in love little by little, there was nothing cheesy or overtly about it. Pretty much just your standard romance you’ll find in most YA books, but without the mush.

What the story lacks in new and refreshing romance, it makes up for with two strong protagonists and a well-imagined plot loaded with conflict. Visually Alienated would make a great tv series or movie, and I especially appreciated the finer details in the differing contrasts between our world and life on L’eihr.  The debate Aelyx and Cara had at one stage sharing their conflicting points of view on freedom and democracy provided me with food for thought. The argument was refreshing and I admittedly favored Aelyx’s opinion because – if you really think about it – he has a few valid points. Their banter and Cara’s thoughts are loaded with humor that endeared her to me even more than the fact that she oozes self-confidence; and although she’s not the most popular student at school, she shines academically.

I enjoyed this book for various reasons; only some of which I shared here. Alienated is a unique read and is as entertaining on the inside as the cover is visually stimulating on the outside. Fans of romance and sci-fi would find a lot to love about this book, and although it doesn’t hold a candle to other romance novels in this same genre, it is still a unique and memorable read.



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.

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1 comment:

Lynn Worton said...

I have already marked this as Want To Read on my Goodreads list, but reading your review has made me want to read it more! :)