Author: Melissa Landers
Series: Alienated #1
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
And so continues my summer of reading young adult novels with pretty covers that are sure to disappoint as they are focused on romance and crazy paranormal happenings or in this case, aliens. While I am a die hard sci-fi fan, I'm not one to truly appreciate time travel or aliens (especially aliens who speak any human language and are very similar to humans). As such, I went into Alienated without much expectation. And since I didn't have high expectations, I wasn't disappointed.
The L’eihr aliens made contact two years ago, and Cara now finds herself center stage as she, somewhat unwillingly, enters into an exchange program with the L'eihr. As the first part of the exchange, a L'eihr alien (who is basically human as far as I can tell, except for his mind speak ability) comes to stay with Cara's family. In the second part of the exchange, Cara will be shipped off to Aelyx's home world to learn about their species and home planet.
The characters are a bit one dimensional. Cara is the stereotypical uber smart valedictorian who is obsessed with being the best, though she hardly studies at all during the course of the novel. Aelyx is also highly intelligent and isn't exactly human friendly, but falls almost immediately for Cara and the rest of his host family. As soon as you realize the story is about an exchange program and that Cara is going to have a teenage guy living in her house for a year, well the rest of the plot isn't too hard to figure out from there, so the romance was not something that blindsided me in this story.
While I am not a big fan of YA romance, I still enjoyed Alienated. I liked Cara's blog posts, and she was even dare I say humorous at times. Sure, the characters were one sided, but they were still likable enough though for the most part they were underdeveloped. As the vast majority of humankind is not exactly excited about the prospects of a more intelligent life form making contact and now staying on their planet, Cara and Aelyx both face a lot of hatred and bigotry as the exchange program begins. Cara soon (rather conveniently) finds herself alienated (ha, see what I did there?) from pretty much everyone she knows, which allows her to spend almost all of her time with Aelyx. But Aelyx has a secret agenda up his sleeve, and Cara soon realizes that he may not be entirely as honest as he lets on, especially as their friendship continues to grow.
It does weird me out to think of a relationship between a human and an alien, and it is just entirely too convenient that their alien life from has the EXACT SAME DNA even though they boost how evolved they are. But alas, this is young adult after all, so try not to dwell too much into it.
A summer read for certain, but interesting enough that I'll probably find a copy of the second novel when it comes out next year to see where these characters end up next.