A copy was given to me by the publisher in exchange for a honest review
Interplanetary relations have never been more exciting! The first in a funny, romantic YA sci-fi series.
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 was really happy that Landers took a different and very realistic approach to aliens in this book. In her world Earth is aware of aliens and as with many things that are unknown they are not exactly trusted by the general populace. Some people are less in fear and more in awe and wanting to get to know all about the L’eihrs and their lifestyle. Another fringe group takes their distrust to a new level and adds in a touch of violence and protesting.
Cara is more interested in the L’eihr presence and she feels forever grateful to the alien technology and science because it has helped save a family member. Though her main interest is in doing well in school and making it into a good college. When an opportunity arises for Cara to become the first ever exchange student she doesn’t think it through but jumps on the chance.
I found this to be such a refreshing story line. Not only have I not read an alien book like this it was fast paced and felt very teen. Is the storyline predictable? Yes, it really is. I knew what was coming early on and honestly after the midway point I was ready for things to get going and for the climax and resolution. Not that the writing was slow paced, just having a really good idea of what was coming-I was ready.
Landers focused a good amount of this first in the series on the human prejudice towards the L’eihrs and how a natural unease could become inflated and violent with the smallest spark. Though there was a lot of time spent on this issue it never felt heavy handed which I appreciated.
I felt instantly connected to the cast of character, primary and secondary. I found Cara to be an interesting main character and appreciated her blogging for obvious reasons. I loved getting into her headspace and see the consequences of having an open mind and being in the minority. I felt that she dealt with the issues presented to her realistically.
Aelyx was written with just enough unique behaviors that it wasn’t hard to imagine him as an alien visitor. I loved reading him adjust to human (and Cara’s) ways and watching them grow closer as they came to know each other. The romance was done beautifully, and one scene in particular was done amazingly well–I could see how Landers’ history in writing romance came in handy.
Cara’s parents were so sweet and it was wonderful to have present, loving parents actually taking a role in the main character’s life.
Alienated was a refreshing look at aliens which was fun to read and fast paced though I found it to be rather predictable. Landers throws in just enough commentary about societies view of the different to give the book a political feel.