Review: Alienated by Melissa Landers

Author: Melissa Landers
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Age Group: Teen
Source: Netgalley
Good Reads  |  Amazon
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Release Date: February 4, 2014

Summary from Amazon:

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.


3.5 out of 5

3.5 out of 5

My Thoughts

I was waffling back and forth on whether or not I wanted to read Alienated.  I mean, it’s hard to not love the cover!  But you know – aliens aren’t generally my thing.  I was all set NOT to request it through Netgalley, but after seeing so many people talk about how excited they were to read this book, I thought, what the heck.  I was approved very quickly, and I actually started reading the book immediately after I was approved.  I liked Alienated a lot more than I was expecting, even if it isn’t an all-time favorite.

My biggest hesitation originated in my fear that this would be too science-fictionish.  I have branched out in the last year, reading and enjoying some science fiction novels, but for the most part science fiction just makes me feel very uncomfortable.  But you guys, Alienated was incredibly easy to read, and the science fiction aspects were never overwhelming.  Alienated actually turned out to be quite a fast, and comfortable read.

The main character, Cara, was very likable, and fairly relatable.  She’s kind of your average girl, except she’s SUPER smart and is pretty much a shoe-in for Valedictorian for her senior class.  Which is why she was one of three chosen students (in the world) to host one of the L’heir, an alien race that made contact with Earth two years prior.  Cara isn’t actually all that excited about hosting a L’heir.  After all, she’s got enough on her plate as it is, but the principal of the school convinces her that she needs to do this, and Cara’s parents are way on board.  I really liked how Cara, once she agreed to host her L’heir, really stepped up to the plate.  She didn’t whine about it, and that made me really like Cara.  And when things became pretty depressing in Cara’s hometown (many people dislike the L’heirs, and were treating Cara and her family poorly because of it), Cara didn’t turn her back on them.

Aelyx, the L’heir teen who stays with Cara, took me a little while to really like.  I mean, I never really disliked Aelyx, but the L’heir culture is quite different from American culture, and he was a bit remote.  His first experience with Earth, and the U.S. is quite a shock to him, and I did enjoy seeing him learn about life in the U.S.  Once he started warming up and opening up a bit, I did really start to like Aelyx.  I enjoyed that although L’heir society is so much more technologically advanced than Earth, L’heir people can make mistakes just as humans can.

But even though I liked both Cara and Aelyx, I didn’t have that CONNECTION that makes a character stick with you forever.  I also found Cara’s decision towards the end a little hard to believe.  I mean, I couldn’t imagine making that kind of decision in such a short time.  But then again, I’m not a teen anymore.  Maybe I would feel differently were I still Cara’s age.  I did find the ending to be a little too open-ended for my taste.  Maybe this will be a series, and we will learn exactly what is going to happen between L’heir and Earth, but I wanted to know right then.  And, honestly, I’m not sure if I was in love with Alienated enough to continue if there is going to be a second book.

Alienated surprised me with it’s easy-to-read writing, fast-paced plot, and likable characters.  It’s a fun book, and I definitely recommend it to fans of lighter science fiction, romantic fare.  It’s not The Lunar Chronicles (but what is?), but it’s fun.  It’s just not something I would even re-read, or want to own, even with that GORGEOUS cover.

About Quinn

I'm a twenty-something children's librarian at a public library in Central New York. I've long left my teen years behind me, but I love to read YA and children's books. I have two adorable dogs. Ginger is a mix between a poodle and havanese, and Daphne is Bichon Frise. Other things I love: Favorite Movie: Singing in the Rain Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Favorite TV Show: Monk
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8 Responses to Review: Alienated by Melissa Landers

  1. I’ve seen a few so-so ratings of this one lately. It’s one I need to review soon – I was hoping it would be great but oh well. Really connecting to characters is super important to me and I’ve seen several people mention that that connection just didn’t happen with this one.

    • Quinn says:

      I really like to have a strong connection to the characters, too. But, although I wasn’t completely connected to these characters, I did like them for the most part. And the book is a really fast read, so it won’t take you long. I think it’s worth it.

  2. The cover really great for this book – I think that’s why I was interested in checking it out too. Too bad it didn’t quite come together though, but I might pick it up sometime. I like the premise and how the aliens fit into our world. Though I’ve just read Cinder (finally!) and loved it, so I will have to work to try and not compare this book to the Lunar Chronicles!

    • Quinn says:

      I love the cover, too. And even though I didn’t fall in love with Alienated, I did like it and enjoy reading it. It can’t compete with Cinder (and The Lunar Chornicles) but it’s very different so that’s good.

  3. jdbookworm says:

    I agree with pretty much everything you said. I thought I’d like it more than I did!

  4. Oh I’m glad this one was good! I got approved for it on NetGalley too, but haven’t read it yet. It sounds really cute but I haven’t felt a push to read it yet. And yeah… what IS the Lunar Chronicles?!

    • Quinn says:

      Alienated is good. I don’t think it’s perfect or mind-blowing, but definitely enjoyable. And it’s really a quick read. It won’t take up a lot of time.

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