Series: Alienated #1
Published by: Disney Hyperion on February 4, 2014
Genre: Aliens, Science Fiction
Buy on Amazon • Goodreads
Interplanetary relations have never been more exciting! The first in a funny, romantic YA sci-fi series.
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.
I started out really liking Alienated. I liked Cara as a character. She’s strong, driven, smart, but still a really nice girl. I liked that she had a blog set up and was excited to see where that would lead. Then, of course, the alien aspect was pretty cool. I really enjoyed learning about the L’eihrs and how they differ from humans. The human reaction to their presence was also interesting to watch unfold.
One particularly great thing about Alienated is that there is no insta-love! Cara and Aelyx’s relationship moves very slowly. It’s very well built-up over a decent period of time. Then when it does kick in, it really comes with a bang! There’s a lot of juicy sexual tension! And in general, I felt that Aelyx as a character was developed really well. You can clearly see how he changes throughout the book. The humans totally rub off on him! He goes from being an emotionless zombie (almost) to a pretty great, caring guy.
However, I do think that Alienated started to drag a little somewhere in the middle. I felt like it got repetitive and wasn’t actually progressing. Cara and Aelyx go to school, there are protesters, the protesters get more violent, they keep going to school, there’s some high school drama, the protesters get even more intense.. you get the idea. Their routine felt exactly the same over and over again.
Additionally, I wasn’t entirely pleased with how the book ended. View Spoiler » [The ending hints VERY strongly that there will be two big things wrong with book 2: the introduction of a love triangle, and Cara and Aelyx being separated for a very long period of time. Here’s my guess for the plot of book 2: Aelyx returns to Earth to work on patching things up there. Meanwhile, Cara heads to L’eihr, where she starts falling for the new, young, L’eihr she met at the end. She and Aelyx are worlds apart for probably the entire book, leaving plenty of room for the love triangle to brew. Also, on another note, Cara’s friend was a complete and total bitch, but I felt like Cara forgave her in a heartbeat, which was annoying. It’s like Cara just ignored everything she did and went back to being BFFs with her. That irked me a bit. « Hide Spoiler] In short, I think book 2 is very well set up for “second book syndrome”, which is not a good thing!
So while I enjoyed Alienated, I do think it could have been better, especially towards the end. Honestly, the way it ended makes me so nervous for book 2, that I’m not even sure if I’ll be reading it (unless a lot of my friends love it).