by Melissa Landers
Series: Alienated #1
Publication Date: 04 February 2014
Disney Hyperion, Hardcover, 344 pages
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.
Alienated was featured in my ‘Top Ten Books on Adelena’s Winter TBR‘ post and obviously, I was exhilarated to start on it. The synopsis really captured my attention because so far, I’ve never come across a book starring intergalactic student exchange programs and thought that was such a genius idea. After finishing the book, I did find it enjoyable and entertaining on the surface. However, once you got to the nitty-gritty details, there were quite a few flaws.
While the banter between Aelyx and Cara was cute and humorous, I didn’t quite feel the depth of their relationship, especially towards the end. Moreover, Aelyx’s change from being cold and alien (pun totally intended) to somewhat more human and eventually opening up, was slightly choppy and influent. Actually, the general flow of information revealed throughout the book was far from smooth although oddly, the overall pace felt alright.
That’s what I mean by Alienated seeming virtually perfect until you start scrutinizing each component.
However, there were still some little details I did like. For example, Cara’s spectacular debate skills were put to good use somewhere in the plot and hence, didn’t make it seem like a useless talent the author added simply to enhance her character and make her seem more ‘perfect’.
I also genuinely loved the humor incorporated in the story and had to stop myself from bursting out in giggles multiple times while reading in public. Although there were a pinch of supposedly funny scenes that came off a teensy bit lame, most of the humor was still pretty original and successful in inciting laughter.
The plot of Alienated was quite well-organized despite the execution being rather inconsistent. Some parts, such as the L’eihr haters’ reaction and the relationship between the characters, came off feeling weird and unrealistic. The poor portrayal of the characters’ bonds and connection was what truly bothered me. They seem to forget each others’ mistakes frequently and trust me, there’s a clear difference between forgiving and completely omitting the fact that someone close to you lied to/backstabbed/betrayed you. Yes, as if the wrong doing was basically wiped off memory.
To wrap up, I definitely enjoyed Alienated as a whole but the lack of intricacy in the minute yet important details was quite bothersome. Despite my discontentment with (quite a few) things mentioned above, the story still managed to somehow enrapture me at many points so there’s no doubt I would still be continuing with the sequel when it comes out next year! Would I recommend Alienated? Definitely, if you’re not the sort who’s too fussy about details and simply want an enjoyable read.