Series: Alienated #1
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Add it: 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.
Alienated is slightly different to your normal alien invasion story, since the aliens arrive on Earth peacefully. Or so it would seem. It’s unclear exactly what Aelyx and co.’s motives are to begin with, but the clues and events slowly begin to build. I think Melissa Landers did a very good job of slowly revealing what was really going on. It was enough to keep me guessing and to keep me interested in the story.
I really liked the whole exchange student thing as well. Watching Aelyx become integrated into the human world was entertaining, and at times pretty hilarious. His adversion to human food was great.I wasn’t too sold on the background of the L’eihrs’ race (or species?) though. I could have done with more explanation on that, since when Aelyx explained it to Cara it felt like he was throwing information at her, without including many examples. Maybe next time a show-and-tell could work.Cara was an absolutely fantastic character. She was quirky and cute, and I loved how intelligent and observant she was. Cara runs a blog, and she kept it updated regularly as she told her (millions of!) subscribers about her experience with hosting an alien. That’s something I would do if I had an alien staying with me. She was very enthusiastic and passionate about this journalism hobby of hers, and it was lovely to see.Aelyx, however, wasn’t great. I just didn’t feel like I was able to connect with him, and his chapters were only intriguing to me due to the mystery of his mission on Earth. If he hadn’t been an alien, for example, I would have been totally bored during his parts.I’m rather conflicted when it comes to the romance between Aelyx and Cara. I liked a lot of their scenes, especially one particularly steamy one, but I can’t say that I’m a Carlyx (is this going to catch on?) shipper. I didn’t feel much chemistry there for the most part. I did, however, enjoy the fact that their romance builds up over a period of months. There’s definitely no instalove here, although there are some time jumps which I think might annoy some readers as they make it seem as though the romance progressed at a faster pace than it really did. The ending of the novel was great, with lots of action and fights and explosions, which you know I love. I was a little deflated by the very end, because I was internally groaning over the state of Cara and Aelyx’s relationship. I’m not sure I want to read the rest of the series for that reason. I’m not a fan of that kind of drama, if I’m honest. I would definitely recommend Alienated if you’re into light science fiction and cutesy romance. The high school drama that was thrown in there was pretty cool, and I’ll be considering reading the next book in the series if I hear good things about it. But, like I said, I’m worried and disappointed in the way Carlyx was left off, and that’s going to be a huge factor in whether or not I like the sequel.