Author: Melissa Landers
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: February 4, 2014
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.
My Thoughts: I became really curious about Alienated after I saw the lovely cover and started to hear good things about the story from other readers. I couldn't help going in expecting to love it too. While it did have its cute and funny moments, unfortunately I wasn't quite as captivated with Alienated as I had hoped.
One reason I couldn't connect with the story were the characters. I didn't think Cara and Aelyx were memorable as far as main characters go. I actually had a difficult time remembering what happened to them in the first half of the book when I finished reading. They weren't unlikeable characters though. Cara was nice and compassionate, and Aelyx grew a lot and was funny in his own way. But they never really stood out to me, and I didn't feel myself passionately rooting for them. I couldn't even believe in their relationship. They had some romantic moments together that were sweet and at times hot. However, I didn't feel I ever understood why they loved each other, especially when it came to Aelyx's feelings towards Cara considering he was suppose to be lacking in emotions.
Cara and Aelyx weren't the only characters I couldn't click with. I didn't care at all for Cara's ex-friends. Although they did try to redeem themselves later on, I was still relieved they didn't have much scenes. I also didn't like the way most of the characters reacted to situations that arose throughout the book. Everyone was so quick to snub Cara and her family because of Aelyx, and there was so much mob mentality going on with the L'eihr haters. The social issues in Alienated were given lots of attention and could easily be compared to the horrible events that happened in our own history and still currently happening in our world today. But I never felt strongly about the issues in this book. It didn't have quite the same impact for me.
Another problem I had with the characters was that it didn't seem like the whole exchange program was well planned or thought out by either the humans or the L'eihrs. The hatred for the L'eihrs had been escalating for two years, yet from what I remember there wasn't any sort of protection from the local police or government set up for the aliens and the human families hosting them until after the protests and threats got really bad. Plus, no one bothered to consider what type of food or anything the L'eihrs would prefer. It was all up to the host family to figure out, which I thought was weird because this wasn't your typical student exchange program. There were aliens and an important alliance involved. In Cara's case, it also seemed she was more responsible for Aelyx than her parents were. Maybe it wasn't like that at all, but that's how it came off to me.
Although Alienated might not have been as enjoyable as I expected, I still found myself wanting to know what happened to Cara and Aelyx in the final chapters. If you've been wanting to read this book, don't let my review discourage you. As I mentioned before, I've heard lots of high praise for Alienated from other readers, and you might just fall in love with the story and the characters as well.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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