Series: Alienated #1
Publisher: Hyperion on February 4, 2014
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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.
“‘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.’”
“He reached down and took her hand. His long fingers were stiff, but he laced them between hers and tightened his grip, fusing their palms together in a mesmerizing contrast of skin. Cara stared at their intertwined hands and went a little gooey inside. ‘You don’t have to do this,’ she said. ‘I know you hate it.’ ‘Quite the opposite.’ He smiled down at her. ‘Consoling you brings me comfort. Listening to you cry while I’m trapped on the other side of the wall is what I can’t stand.’”
The premise of aliens kind of reminded me of Jennifer Armentrout’s Lux series. And i had heard wonderful things about it.
This novel follows Cara Sweeny, one of the three students in the United States chosen to host students from an alien planet for a few months at her house. She thinks of it as a fantastic was to get a leap on becoming a journalist. But Aelyx, the exchange student from L’eihr, has other plans. The teens on his planet think that humans are pathetic, and they come up with a way to sabotage the alliance that the humans and people of his planet are trying to come to. But not everyone in Cara’s town takes to Aelyx well, and soon Cara and her family face isolation from everyone in their community. And Aelyx comes to learn that not all humans are as bad as he thought. But at that point, is it too late for him to correct the wrongs that he’s done? And are they even really safe at all?
I loved this alien aspect of this novel. It gave it a sci-fi feel without all of the more technical stuff. It was just enough to make it interesting without eclipsing the novel. The plot line was interesting to read and definitely kept me engaged. It was a pretty easy novel to understand, with the exception of some of the slang that Aelyx used. But eventually, you can figure it out. The novel ended with a bang, and kept me hoping for more. I can’t believe that I have to wait an entire year for book two!
“Yeah, that was just like Aelyx. She’d fallen for him so slowly she hadn’t realized the depth of her feelings until he pulled away. But why would he pull away? He was the one who’d initiated the whole let-me-touch-you-all-over-and-take-your-pulse thing. The jerk.”
Cara was our leading lady. She was definitely ambitious. She was the Valedictorian of her school and did anything she needed to to stay at the top. She was also determined to succeed with her life. She took a lot of crap from her community for hosting Aelyx, but she didn’t let it deter her too much, even when she lost her best friend and boyfriend. She was an admirable character, and I liked her perseverance. She also wasn’t one of those female characters who just swooned over the hot guy. No, she was feisty and didn’t take bullshit from Aelyx.
“‘Cah-ra, that’s absurd.’ He turned off the game and shoved it back in his pocket. ‘All canines, even the ones humans have domesticated, respond to an intricate social hierarchy, not affection. I asserted my status as the alpha male so the animal would know its place. Then I gave it everything it needed to survive. It shouldn’t have died.’”
Aelyx was the love interest. He was from L’eihr and did not have the best intentions. He was pretentious and looked down upon humans for no other reason than they weren’t as advanced as those on his planet. It was not an attractive quality. However, the more time that he spent with the Sweenys, the more he opened up and let down his defenses. Once he did that, he was an alright guy capable of human emotion.
In this novel, we see some of Aelyx’s friends and Cara’s friends. Cara’s friends are somewhat jerks because they abandoned her to the wolves. Aelyx’s friends were a bit better, but one of them was a jerk because she was the one keeping Aeylx on the plot to ruin the alliance. That is all.
“He took her face between his hands and refused to let go. Peering deeply at her, he whispered, ‘This is how I feel every time I’m with you.’ She wasn’t prepared for what came next. A split-second rush of chest-swelling desire inflated her lungs, lifting her rib cage until her body melded with his. Sensations of devotion and tenderness flashed through her in an instant, forcing her to exhale or burst. Every inch of her skin flashed hot and prickled into gooseflesh while her heart fluttered like hummingbird wings. Her limbs lightened, and she grasped two handfuls of his shirt to stay grounded. It was both terrifying and glorious in its intensity. It was love.”
The romance was definitely slow building in this novel, which I really enjoyed. Aelyx hated humans and Cara hated Aelyx for hating humans and for being so egotistical about his race. Their banter was funny. Then, of course, Aelyx, who has never really experienced much attraction in his life, is confused about feeling something for a member of the ‘inferior race’. That’s when things got interesting. Their romance was a bit innocent and naive, due to Aelyx’s background. But it was refreshing. It wasn’t all about the physical attraction, and more about liking each other’s brains (maybe not personality (; ).
“‘I don’t have what you call a belly button.’ ‘Oh, right.’ She cleared her throat and stared down at her slippered feet. ‘Because of the clone thing.’ ‘No. Because we’re all born from artificial wombs. Even the Elders.’ ‘Really? So it doesn’t matter how—Oh!’ ‘With a gasp, she pointed at his feet. ‘And your toes!’ He’d forgotten humans still had five toes, and Cara probably didn’t realize hers would appear just as odd to him. ‘You’ll lose the smallest one in a couple thousand years,’ he said. ‘Maybe sooner, if you stop mating like animals and reproduce with purpose.’”
Landers created one of the more interesting worlds that I’ve read to date. I don’t usually read sci-fi, so this was out of the norm for me. But it was wonderful. She created a completely new planet with their own unique customs that we actually got to see and experience. For many novels that I read with other planets, there isn’t much visiting the actual planets. In this novel, we see L’eihr frequently, which definitely made it more intriguing and made it feel more real. It was complex and had very cool features that I wouldn’t have ever imagined, which a history and story of its own. It was phenomenal and very realistic to read. It could have actually been a planet.
Alienated was unlike any novel that I have read before. A perfect blend of sci-fi, romance, and action, it’s definitely one that I would recommend, and I am anxiously awaiting its sequel.