Monday, May 25, 2015

Book Review: Alienated (Alienated, #1)

Author| Melissa Landers
Edition| American Paperback
Genre| YA Science Fiction
Publisher| Disney-Hyperion
Rating| 4 Stars
This had been at the top of my TBR pile since I picked it up late last year.  I was captivated by the first few pages while browsing in the book store and knew I couldn't leave it.  I had every intention of starting it right away.  Of course, that didn't happen.  It took me about five months before actually getting to it.

Alienated is pretty fun, I'll give it that.  It follows Cara and Aelyx through duel perspectives.  Cara's a human, and Aelyx an alien- though the two species share pretty much all the same DNA.  Both are entered into exchange programs, and for this book, Aelyx spends a turn on earth.  He's pretty uncomfortable at first, not happy with the situation in the least, but Cara's a trooper.  She's forced not only to deal with his attitude, but also the growing tensions in her community that separate her and her family from everyone they once knew.  And slowly, they fall for each other.

I think my biggest problem with this one was the romance.  It didn't click for me.  And it didn't strike me as true love.  Something I've noticed in my reading is that I've drifted away from YA a bit and read more adult fantasy, where there are many more pages to be used.  Since there's so much to a story in that genre, the romance has plenty of time to work itself out without being obvious.  And so it's easier for me to believe in the romance between two characters after 500 pages than over 150.  The end, due to my take on Cara and Aelyx's relationship, made little sense and actually upset me a bit.

Since the book is built so much on a romance I didn't believe, I'm surprised I even gave it four stars.  But the writing itself is pretty great.  It was easy to read and a lot of fun to read, too.  The difference between the humans and the L'eihr (aliens) was obvious but not over the top.  It actually felt like an exchange student program where we, the readers, slowly got to know the way L'eihr's felt about certain things, like food.  This also created a pretty good balance of humor.  While I didn't think it was LOL funny, I did give a few chuckle's and was certainly smiling the whole time.

And then there's the way it dealt with the bigger matters- and how realistic it was.  The way Cara's community reacted to Aelyx, and the way the world reacted to the L'eihr, directly paralleled race tensions when schools were being integrated.  There were a few other notes where Lander's hit it on the nose with how people would act in these situations: notably where cancer was concerned.  In the book the aliens have cured cancer, and as such no one on earth is afraid of getting it anymore.  Great, right?  Well, yes, but Lander's also talks about how people are doing things they know are bad for their body- such as smoking in droves- thanks to this cure.  It opened up a window in my head- I never considered this ramification, and I thought that it was being brought up in this really cool way.

Overall, I'd recommend this book.  I've seen reviews where people are much happier with the romance, so don't get turned off by my opinion.  Looking forward to getting the sequel eventually.


  1. I really enjoyed this one. The romance was one of the aspects that didn't quite click for me either. At least it wasn't love at first sight, I guess! :)

    1. Glad someone agrees with me about the romance! Thanks for stopping by.


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