Saturday, 29 March 2014

Book Review: Alienated by Melissa Landers

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.

“She'd suggested that he observe other teens for social cues, and he'd done the job in spades. Yesterday after spending the afternoon with the track team, Aelyx had smacked her on the back and yelled, "Good hustle!" after she jogged up the front porch steps.”

As a book blogger and lover of books I sometimes feel like I should only love the serious books or the beautifully written ones.  I sometimes worry that people won’t think I am a proper ‘reader’ if I like something that is just a bit of fun.  I know feeling like this is ridiculous and it is not something I feel all the time but when I do it is kind of horrible.  I have bought this up because there are loads of reasons why I probably shouldn’t have liked Alienated but the truth is I did, I liked it a lot.  Sometimes I just get fed up of the serious and the beautiful and I just want a book that is fun and easy to get lost in.  Alienated was that book for me.  That is not to say there were no serious messages here, there were, but for the most part it was romantic fun.

Plot wise I found Alienated quite interesting.  It wasn’t an all-out science fiction epic but it definitely fell within the sci-fi genre parameters.  It was mainly a romance that tackled some big topics such as tolerance and discrimination.  Some have criticized this book for its lack of science fiction and the intensity of the romance but for me it worked.

The romance is full of drama and chemistry and it will either work for you or you’ll hate the melodrama of it all.  The chemistry between Cara and Aelyx is explosive but it takes its time getting there which is great for me (so tired of the insta-love).  I really liked them together, Melissa Landers has done a good job at creating a romance that is cute and also at times rather steamy.  I was also impressed by the way she managed to create distinct cultural differences between Cara and Aelyx.  It takes time for them to sort through them all but I think that is what made the romance work so well.

I really liked the characters but like the romance they took a little time to get going.  At first glance Cara sounds like an annoying over achiever and Aelyx a cold hearted stuck up with no personality.  This quickly changes, Cara is not afraid to fight for what she thinks is right regardless of the consequences.  She loses a lot in this but never hesitates to do the right thing.  She wears her heart on her sleeve especially where Aelyx is concerned but also won’t let him walk over her.

Aelyx was equally likeable but harder to get to know.  He struggles to break free of the rigidness, and at times, arrogance of his culture.  His attempts to learn about humans, especially where romance is concerned is adorable.  Generally I found him to be a more complex character than Cara but I liked him a little less, probably because it took so long to get to know him.

Alienated isn’t going to blow your socks off with its gorgeous prose and serious topic but if you are looking for a well-developed, engaging YA romance than you could do a hell of a lot worse.  I really enjoyed this book and cannot wait to see what happens in the sequel.

4 stars

Find out more:

Published February 4th 2014 by Disney Hyperion, ebook ARC, 352 pages

Book one in the Alienated series

A free copy of this book was provided for review.

Review by Kate Phillips.


  1. Yay! I liked the book too. Honestly I can't imagine why someone wouldn't like it. I guess it wouldn't live up to a die hard sci-fi lovers status, but overall I think the book had an interesting topic, good character development, and a few major theme's that you mentioned such as tolerance and discrimination. (Also no insta-love, I hate that too). Overall I was happy with the book too.

  2. I can't wait to read this one. I've read nothing but good things and I LOVE it when an author doesn't go the insta-love route!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction


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