*I try to make all reviews spoiler free, I apologize if something slipped my attention*
For some reason, I am not 100% satisfied with this review. I can’t explain it but I just feel like I am forgetting something…oh well posting it anyways.
by Melissa Landers
book 1 of the Alienated Trilogy
my rating 4 out of 5 stars
Synopsis via 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.
I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought that I would. Every time I’ve thought about picking this up, it just looked like a fluffy sci-fi read (weird way to describe it I know) and I wasn’t that interested. But I read this, I was in the middle of a readathon and one of the challenges was to read a book that’s been on your TBR for over a year and originally I choose Pride and Prejudice, which I was really liking so don’t get me wrong. I was reading it very slowly, so I decided to put it aside for now and pick up something that would be a quicker read but also one that’s been on my TBR for a year. That’s when Alienated came to mind.
Alienated was a neat blend between YA Contemporary and Sci-Fi, it sounds like an odd combo but it just worked out. I was hooked after chapter 1 and I flew through this in about two sittings, it was just what I needed.
There were three things within this book that shocked/intrigued me:
Discrimination/Racism played a huge part of the conflict within the book.
A heartbreak that focused on the loss of a friendship instead of the loss of a romantic relationship.
No instalove and no love triangles.
First thing is that there is a lot more to the story than I thought there would be, it turned out to be an interesting storyline. You have this alien boy who is a foreign exchange student with the world, now since most of the human race can’t even to handle different skin colors, how do you imagine having an alien life form around them would turn out?
Yeah not so well.
I found the human reaction to discovering alien life to be so accurate to what I imagine would actually happen IRL. I kept comparing all of the situations and things that happened to Cara and Aelyx to Jim Crow laws and segregation in the south during the 1950s and 60s and that was a point brought up by the book. There was a huge discrimination towards Aelyx and by association, it extended to Cara and her family for being the host family for him. Cara was shunned in school and at the grocery store. I can only imagine how I would react to being treated like that, I don’t think I would be half as strong as Cara was.
One point that really impressed me was that Cara broke up with her boyfriend, had a couple hours to grieve about it but basically shook it off. However through her association with Aleyx it formed a rift between her and her best friend which led to a huge betrayal from her best friend and that caused a bigger emotional reaction from Cara then the break up did. But I really liked that, I’ve lost quite a few close friends and that has hurt me more than most break ups I’ve had. Usually though in YA books, breaking up with a boyfriend usually has a bigger highlight on the story and is the end of life as you know it, but I was impressed by how Cara brushed it off.
Now I read a couple of other reviews and found that a couple other reviewers do think that there is some instalove but I have to disagree, to me instalove is seeing someone and experiencing love at first sight, that did not happen here, the two MCs were so wary of each other and could barely tolerate being in the same room together.
I feel like there was no instant love here and no love triangle either. I love how the relationship grew between Cara and Aelyx. It was a gradual increase, they started off very wary and leery of each other and progressed to friendship and caring until they realized that they loved each other. It was a cute and sappy romance and it gave me this big dopey grin while I was reading. I love when that happens.
I want to take a minute to talk about Aleyx, while he was doing some pretty shady things on Earth, I have to say that I loved his personality, he straight up reminded me of a Vulcan. Kind of emotionless, honest, and logical. He didn’t perfectly fit the description but just reminded me of it a lot. I kept thinking about this comic strip that I saw on Pinterest a while ago so I thought I would include it.
Yes. I totally think that’s how it would be dating Aleyx.
Overall this was a lot more than I expected and I was pleasantly surprised, I do plan on continuing on with the series, book 2 Invaded is already out but book 3, United, is scheduled to be released on August 2nd.