Alienated (Alienated #1)

Alienated (Alienated #1)

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Alienated (Alienated #1)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
February 04, 2014
ISBN
1423170288
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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.

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What Happens When Aliens and Humans Mix?

What I Liked:
Going into Alienated, I was totally expecting something light and fluffy. For some reason, I decided that humor would be the main thing, followed by a cute romance. Actually, though, Alienated was a good deal more serious and dark than anticipated, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. To a large degree, the central focus of Alienated is in fact xenophobia and a real consideration of the impact of the meeting of two such advanced cultures. Of course, there’s also some humor and quite a bit of romance too.

Generally, I’m not a huge fan of the aliens who just happen to be exactly like humans thing. What are the odds that life on two different planets will end up taking the same form? Still, I get why authors go for that, and I like that Landers put forth a theory for why that might be the case in the form of a myth. The theory’s probably not good for much really, but it says to me that Landers put a LOT of thought into Alienated‘s world building.

Landers’ world building really is quite good. She gets down into a lot of details and creates a culture in the L’eihr that is really quite distinct. Though much like humans in basic form, the L’eihr are undoubtedly alien. They can communicate telepathically and are much more intelligent than humans. Thankfully, they’re almost entirely non-violent or humanity would be toast.

Perhaps, though, humanity deserves to be incinerated. It sort of feels like all of humanity welcomes the L’eihr like the Westboro Baptist Church would welcome the gay pride parade. Essentially, I found the reactions utterly sickening. At the same time, it did feel believable; I do not see humanity taking it particularly well should it be discovered that there is intelligent life out there and it’s outclassed us in every way. I do like the smaller details quite a bit, like the way religious belief was affected by the arrival of the L’eihr and things like that.

For the most part, I’m a big fan of the romance. There’s just something about the emotionless Vulcan L’eihr experiencing feelings that really gets me. Plus, Melissa Landers writes some good kissing and snuggling scenes. Also, the scene where Cara and Aelyx first get together? Pretty much the most hilarious thing ever. I do have one reservation here, though: the romantic feelings seemed to appear out of nowhere. The two do, I think, have a believable connection, but it went from Aelyx not thinking of her that way to him suddenly giving her an incredibly cheesy nickname out of the blue. Dear YA, I do not like cutesy nicknames. Couple nicknames are only adorable if they’re a bit insulting or entirely ridiculous. Though I’m mostly on the spaceship, I wouldn’t mind if it crashed either, to be honest. Either way is cool.

What Left Me Wanting More:
One aspect of the book really grated on me, however: Cara’s relationship with her best friend, Tori. Cara’s boyfriend Eric is also problematic, but Tori is more so. Initially, I loved Tori. She’s a tiny, Hispanic dynamo who swears at everyone in Spanish. But then she proves to be an absolutely horrible friend to Cara, turning jealous and selfish and vain. There are not enough POC characters in fiction that I’m okay with this happening. And, of course, through it all, Cara’s more forgiving than she should be, because she’s such a wonderful person. It seemed like Tori and Cara had a real friendship, and I didn’t get what Tori’s motivations were. Was she always that shallow? Did something happen? I don’t know, but I do not like what was done with that character one iota.

The cover: Whitewashing is not cool. Ever.

The Final Verdict:
Overall, I’m pretty impressed with Melissa Lander’s Alienated, and I will most definitely be reading the second book in the series. Landers’ mixture of light-hearted humor and darker themes worked quite well. I hope to see a bit more consistency and motivation in the characterization, and for a continuation of the delightful world building.

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Intergalactic Voyage of Awesome!

This was SUCH A FUN book to read, so I thought I'd do something different my review.

Soundtrack: The songs listed are ones that inspired me while I was on this intergalactic voyage of reading awesome.

For the record, I'd take a pinch on the neck from Mr. Aelyx any day. (If you don't get this Beastie Boys reference, then I can't help you.)

Intergalactic - Beastie Boys
Starlight - Muse
Fat Bottomed Girls - Queen
Only Human - Sleeperstar
Goody Two Shoes - Adam Ant
Kiss Me - Ed Sheeran
Meant To Be - Parachute
What If - Five for Fighting
Everything Has Changed - Taylor Swift/Ed Sheeran
Out Of My League - Fitz and the Tantrums
You Belong Here - Anberlin
Glory And Gore - Lorde

What I Loved: (Besides Aelyx? Just kidding. Maybe.) It's rare that I find a book I'm unable to put down. Told from a dual POV, ALIENATED is the perfect blend of science fiction, creative world-building and witty humor. It also has a sizzling romance that is out of this world! (Pun completely intended. You're welcome.)

Cara and Aelyx, (aka "Cah-ra", and "A-licks") are both well developed and highly entertaining life forms. They start out as strangers and watching Aelyx adapt to life on Earth and the lengths that Cara goes to in order to make him feel welcome are as hilarious as they are heartwarming.

"It's chocolate. You'll love it."
"That's what you said about Skittles. I vomited a rainbow afterward."

I also love that Cara has a blog! You know, for obvious reasons. :)

The romance was a slow build filled with lots of sweet and funny moments, and there was one scene in particular that made me do this...*cue face fanning*

Like any good space story, there are always people on both sides of the galaxy who are not quite ready to gather around the spacefire and sing kumbaya. Throw in a little interplanatary deception, a few fear mongers and it's a recipe for disaster. Cara and Aelyx find themselves not only in a fight for their love, but a fight for lives and her home planet too. I was on the edge of my seat with my heart in my throat right up to the very end and I CAN NOT wait to see what happens next!

What Left Me Wanting More: Is it 2015 yet? Because I NEED book two!

Final Verdict: A fantastic voyage you don't want to miss!

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Where can I sign up for the L'eihr exchange student program?

I think I fell in love!
Aelyx and Cara’s romance is of the slow-burn kind.... simply swoony!

The ending left me tied up in knots of anxiety and intrigued.

Good Points
I can hardly wait for the sequel :)
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Be Still My Alien Heart

This book was something special to me. Not only way the romance and the actual plot good, but the social issues it hit was perfect. The book really highlighted the flaws of not only our society but the general idea of all societies. No society is without its flaws. I also loved how it highlighted how the government behaves and the ridiculousness religion can invoke. For instance, Aelyx uses Bible quotes to project a purpose which just goes to show that just because someone uses a quote from the Bible, doesn't mean it has any validity to it. (I mean no offense to anyone, I'm just speaking my opinion.) Anyway apart from the social aspects, the book was also phenomenal. I loved the way Cara and Aelyx's relationship progressed. At first they were pretty offstandish, but then they eventually came to love each other. The same can be said about Aelyx. He really became more "human" and I enjoyed the love and humor he started to develop. One thing I can't get over is how Tori just did a complete 180. How could a best friend completely change themselves like that?
So overall I really did enjoy this book and I would recommend it.

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(Updated: April 04, 2014)
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Can't wait for book 2!

Ok I officially join Ashley in the L'annabe, and screw HALO!

Well now that I said that :), I wanted to firstly point out how stunningly beautiful this cover is! Like seriously how can you not love it! & I know the say don't judge a book by it's cover but I so couldn't help it with this one. The covers what made me buy it. I am so glad I did to!

Besides the slow start I though Alienated was one of the best Aliens books I have read in YA! Aelyx had me *rolling on the floor* laughing so many times. His reactions on earth are amusing, and his research on human mating rituals, side-splitting! But then he uses some of his research on Cara and *swoon* that was so enchanting and passionate!

I loved the chemistry between Cara and Aelyx. They challenge eachother and teach one another. They start of "rocky", but as time passes and they learn more about eachother things change, and they become intrigued, and then before they knew it they realize they have fallen in love. They were in two words: Hella Cute!

One thing that really touched home for me was the *racism* aspect towards the L'eihrs's. If Aliens ever really become reality and a scenario like this happened I can see it playing out almost exactly the same. Our world may be past they hardcore racism days but it's still out there and exists. I know. My husband is half African American, making my children a quarter and it's sad I can say I have heard harsh comments.
Aelyx's words on Humans fearing the unknown is so true. Which is understandable, but another thing I think alot of people also suffer from is a lack of an opened mind. So many people are set in their ways, believe what they believe to the core, that nothing will change that. Open mindess is needed though, so you can fear the unknown but not be afraid enough to let it control you, so you'd want to understand it and see if it's something worth fearing or in fact be a *savior* in a way. If humans had more of and open mind in this book it could have totally played out differently.

Alienated by Melissa Landers turned out to be a spectacular story of romance, suspense, drama, comedy, and action. I can't wait to continue this out of this galaxy story, 2015 is WAY to far away!

If you are a fan of Aliens, Scifi, and romance that will put smile on your face then you defiantly need to pick up Alienated, now!! This book needs some more love!




Some favorite Quotes:


•?"Hasn't done anything wrong that you know of. Come on, Care. He's a total creeper and he's up to something. Besides, I don't like the way he looks at you."
"Huh?" Cara spun around with a belt in one hand and a skirt in the other. "How does he look at me?"
Tori raised a black brow. Then she made a circle with one hand and stuck her index finger through it in an X-rated puppet show. "Like he wants to dock his ship inside your spaceport." -Tori & Cara

•?"They keep pushing to read that unedited fan-fiction book with all the spanking. They know how I feel about it" - Eileen Sweeney (hahaha I had to mention this quote. I really could ever get myself to read it. It was just WAY to much!)

"It's chocolate. You'll love it."
"That's what you said about Skittles. I vomited a raindbow afterwards." -Cara & Aelyx

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I will definitely be picking up the sequel.

This review appears on Reviews of a Sixteen-Year-old. Check it out for reviews, writing and more! Nope, kidding. Just those two.

"What's this?" He brought the brown square to his nose.
"It smells musty."
"It's chocolate. You'll love it."
"That's what you said about Skittles. I vomited a rainbow afterward."
- Melissa Landers, Alienated

Thank you Netgalley and Disney Hyperion for providing me with a copy of this book!

If it wasn't for the aliens, Alienated could have easily been a perfect contemporary novel. It's still light and sweet, but because of the alien aspect it makes it stand out. What it brought to my eye was a novel with great potential.

What the author has done to the typical alien genre is new and refreshing. She made everything very believable, like it just could happen right now. It has to be one of the most original ideas I've seen yet. An exchange program is very easy to write about. It has always been there as an idea, and most authors are looking for something way more spectacular than that. They forget about the simple things while others can create something very good out of it. Melissa Landers is one of those to have proven that it doesn't always have to be. I really appreciate the believability of Alienated. It really helped me to get into the world. Now that I've come to the world, and more specifically the L'eihr culture, I may be in love. I love their culture. It creates a difference between this book and others I've read because Landers wants to show you the similarities between them and us, when they're actually still foreign and have their own world. Their philosophy and gods are intriguing. I got a clear view on their world and habits without having to read too many details.

I can't picture this book only being told from Cara's of Aelyx' point of view. The fact that we get to see from both points of view did not only make me like Aelyx and understand him more, I understand both of their actions, even when the one of the two didn't. A crucial thing when it comes to points of view, is the clear difference between them. I can rest in peace when I say this was just well done. The point of view itself brought depth to the story, in the way of Aelyx' acclimatisation and the plans of the L'eihrs. It was nice to see something from that in the beginning and watching it play out throughout the book.

The characters themselves are lovely. Cara seemed to be that perfect little girl, which took me by surprise to find out that she's just a normal teenager. She blogs and has a hard time every now and then. Aelyx is stubborn and has many prejudices about eath and its population. He manages to beat Cara in every game and doesn't like chocolate. If it wasn't for the chocolate, I think he'd be on my list of fictional boyfriends. Despite my hate towards the HALO crew such as Eric and Tori, I managed to like them, maybe even understand their actions. It's stupid to deny it: I'd be pretty scared too if my best friend or boyfriend gets to hang out with a sexy alien. The role of Cara's parents are the icing on the cake. They're actually involved with Cara's life and have something to do with the story. They, like every other character, are believable and there when needed. Besides my love for the characters, I also got to appreciate the realistic development of Aelyx and Cara's relationship. They didn't immediately have an attraction or fell in love at first sight. It's normal they didn't. It's that kind of romance which totally fits in with the other contemporary romances. It's cute and makes you smile.

The resemblance between Alienated and a contemporary novel helped to lift the rather heavy topics, yet only a bit. The politics, HALO and protests are not these kind of things you'd want to read about. One time they were just there and there isn't really anything to do about them. This will happen if we would get invaded one day. In the end I was sick of everything us humans were doing. I want everyone to live happily ever after, not react the same way to aliens as we did in the sixties to the black population. On the other hand, it totally makes sense, but just because it makes sense doesn't mean I like to read about these kind of things. Also the predictability of the plot and the slower pace made it easy at times to put it down and go and do something else.

I was expecting a light and funny story. I was glad to have gotten that, with a surprising dark touch to it. The ending left me wanting more. With characters of whom I'd love to be inside their heard again, I will definitely be picking up the sequel.

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Loved It

Initial thoughts after finishing the last sentence:

“NOOOOOO, it’s overrrrrr” & “That was awesome!”

Followed by:

“CRAP…..now I have to wait till next year for the next one” :’(

Aliens have made contact with Earth and although they have the same DNA as humans they are very different. The L’eihr are a highly evolved race that possess technology that can cure cancer and help the world. Earth needs the L’eihr and the L’eihr need humans but many humans want them gone for good. An exchange program is set up to see if humans and L’eihr can get along. Cara Sweeney is an ambitious teen that has her future all planned out. When she is chosen as one of three people to house an L’eihr exchange student her life changes in a way she never thought possible. Aelyx never wanted to go to Earth in fact he doesn’t want the exchange program to work…

There was so much about Alienated that I loved. When I started reading I was expecting insta-love between Cara and Aelyx. But I had to wait for the romance; it was actually done really well. The love between Cara and Aelyx grows slowly and with all they have to endure together it grows stronger. Their love is sweet and I couldn’t get enough. Cara is a wonderful heroine, she’s unafraid to say what she thinks, she’s tough, smart, and a fun voice to listen to. I loved her interactions with Aelyx, it was funny how she could boldly say things to him and tell when he was lying. It was fun to see how Cara affected Aelyx and slowly change his emotionless, stoic behavior. Aelyx is a definite favorite of mine; his world is so different from Cara’s. He has a different attitude and outlook on life. He doesn’t want anything to do with humans and is miserable at first but we get to see him change.

Alienated had all the elements I loved about the YA genre plus it gave me that sci-fi fix I was looking for. Melissa Landers creates such an interesting world where aliens exist. I loved finding out tidbits of information about the L’eihr and their way of life. It fulfilled my need for a sci-fi adventure and I am looking forward to learning more about the L’eihr in the second book. Toward the end of the book a twist occurred that I did not see coming. The twist really sped my adrenaline and the story up. Everything from there just goes whoosh, then it’s over and now I have to wait for the next book to come out. I can’t wait to find out what happens, I really want to see Cara’s and Aelyx’s happy ending.

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onderful book about aliens with a slow building but intense romance and a strong female main charact

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.

Bottom Line: Wonderful book about aliens with a slow building but intense romance and a strong female main character.

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