Friday, November 15, 2013

Alienated- Review (First ARC!!)

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've always been the first to say that alien books weren't my thing, I always found them cheesy and unbelievable. The stories just never seemed real to me. I began to change my mind back in May when I read The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, I found myself so unbelievable hooked and drawn into the story that I could hardly stand it. Alienated met all of my expectations. 

A race of aliens called L'eihrs made contact with Earth and two years later the L'eihrs and the people of Earth are embarking on a type of student exchange program. Humans want to learn more about the aliens who have DNA almost exactly the same as their own but have evolved so much they have obtained the power to speak telepathically and have created a cure for cancer. Without any spoilers let just say we're a bit fuzzier on what the L'eihrs gain from the alliance.

I was a pretty big fan of the characters from the beginning. I love that when we meet Cara she's reminiscing about how she beat out another kid for valedictorian. It would be easy to expect some condescending main character throwing around SAT words, and finding slick and sneaky ways to remind us of knowledge, but it was easy to forget. In addition to Cara's knowledge she's got snarky (and I mean that in a good way), witty, no nonsense attitude that allows her to push forward through the challenges that face her and her L'eihr exchange student Aelyx. In the beginning Aelyx has a cold robotic exterior that seems so at odds with Cara's outspoken and emotional personality. 

When HALO (Human Against L'eihr Occupation) made their appearance it was done in such a way that I was actually pretty sad and disappointed, but not in  Melissa Landers, I was disappointed because when I read about the group and their demonstrations, and prejudices my first thought was "yeah that seems about right," I had no problem imagining people reacting so violently against a type of people they didn't understand and feared.

As HALO began to gain confidence and act out in more violent ways Aelyx and Cara slowly and gradually grew closer. I LOVED the way Melissa Landers went about creating their relationship, it seemed very real, through Cara's blog posts, random questions, and never ending quest to find something that Aelyx could eat they learned about each other, and grew the care for each other and it was beautiful to watch. As nice as it is when the main characters fall for each other at first sight and fight to live happily ever after, it was refreshing to see a relationship grow.

The ending... I didn't know this wouldn't be a free standing book, so as it was ending and I began to see where it was going I just got frustrated because all I could think was, "Am I really going to have to wait another year to find out happens next???" I give this book four stars and I can't wait to get my hands on the next book! 


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