Alienated (Alienated #1) by Melissa Landers
Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.Publishes in US: February 4th 2014 by Disney Hyperion
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.
Genre: YA sci-fi
Source: Disney Hyperion
Series? Alienated #1. Invaded (Alienated, #2) Expected publication: February 3rd 2015 by Disney-Hyperion
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I wanted to read Alienated because I love the premise of intergalatic foreign exchange students, and what could def be a budding romance between woman and alien. I was lucky enough for Disney to send me a copy and I eagerly opened and enjoyed.
This was an almost in one sitting read, and I was a little grumpy at having to stop when I did, but I will do anything for my little adorable shadows, so alas, Aelyx had to wait. I was drawn in first because of Cara. She is smart and she uses that intelligence to know what is going on in the world, participate in debate, and she has big plans. But I liked her also, because she is just a normal person. She has likes and dislikes, a tough best friend, and she stands up for what she believes is right. This integrity and determination shone through in the book when she stuck by Aelyx side, especially when their friendship formed and she tried making Earth a pleasant experience for him. She had lots of opposition from others shutting her out in the high school to surrounding neighbors and an even bigger organization called HALO who is against any alliance with the L'eihrs (the aliens). Cara is really fiesty and strong and I love that about her. She is a heroine that I fully cheered for because she is the package: determined, smart and a fighter.
I also liked it because it gives us perspective from Aelyx as well. What he was thinking, feeling and what drove him. I can't imagine being shoved into a different country much less a different planet and expected to make friends, forge a way for a possible alliance and deal with new foods, sights, and to them, what is dated technology and world views. Alienated is told through 3rd person though, so while we know that Aelyx and two of his friends who are also exchange students but to different places have some sort of plan and that at times it looks like Earth will not be on the positive end of it. But I didn't know what those details were, I just knew when Aelyx was struggling with it or having his motivation to follow through bolstered.
The friendship between Cara and Aelyx is awkward at times, but really fun to read about. Their first interaction was even colored by it, but it luckily didn't make any scars. I liked how they talked and got to know each other, and more about the others' planet, species and upbringings. There is definite attraction to start with but it is not mistaken for love at first sight. Theirs is more by degrees. Small touches here and efforts like finding something Aelyx likes to eat, or giving an unexpected gift to Cara that really strengthens things. The romance ended up being really awesome and hot and one that I rooted for.
I was shocked but also not if that makes any sense how opposed people were to Aelyx and the L'eihrs. They brought with them cures and they have technology beyond what we could imagine and they want an alliance. Now, I know if this really happened people would be scared and there would be that group of crazies that think it is insane and get vocal and violent about it. We see the extremists focus in and Cara and her family end up having to make some really hard choices.
The world building was pretty well done. When we first had Aelyx's point of view a lot of unfamiliar terms were thrown around, but I figured out general context and learned the specifics later on. The L'eihr society seemed really well thought out and planned as to how they were different from foods, preferences, how they evolved differently, their technology, down to how they ingrain their beliefs as well as enforce them.
The ending was explosive and made me really want to know what would happen in the next book.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Would you host an alien exchange student?