Monday, April 28, 2014

Book Review: Alienated by Melissa Landers

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Publication Date: February 4, 2014

Series: Alienated #1

Genre: Young Adult Science-Fiction

Acquired From: Public Library


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 mysterios 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. 
--From Goodreads


This is one of those books that I absolutely could not put down! I absolutely adored this book beyond words. It was one of the most breathtaking views on the young adult sci-fi genre that I've read in a long time--second only to the Across the Universe trilogy. That's why I give Alienated by Melissa Landers a solid, no holds barred 5 out of 5 stars.
I think what I loved the most about this story was that it was alarmingly real. It showcased a lot of human emotion and desires, as well as gave a startling glimpse into human prejudice. It begs the question of how we would react if there were human-like beings out amongst the stars who made contact with us. The story is carried along, not by the romance that blooms between Cara and Aelyx, but by the rising panic and prejudice in the surrounding community.
Perhaps my favorite part is the impassioned speech made by Cara at the end of the novel--it sings of the human condition and the potential we all have inside of us to do good no matter what wrongdoing is going on around us. Cara embodies perhaps the most human of our emotions--hurt, love, passion, courage. And when she begins to fall for Aelyx, it's a slow motion fall into something that is otherworldly and beautiful. 
Landers did a fantastic job of building a reality that is both real and otherworldly. I can't wait to read about Cara's first steps on planet L'eihr! 

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