Publication Date: February 4th, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
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.
Review by Meredith:
I come in peace Aelyx...take me away!
I absolutely adore this book. It just gives me all the feels. It's sweet, witty, funny, and oh yeah, there is one majorly hot alien in it! I really connected with both Cara and Aelyx. Cara is so real! Yes, I said it...she is REAL. She isn't a thirty-year-old trapped in a teenager's body (personally, I think that totally stinks), she isn't the nerdy quiet girl that no one likes, she isn't the ugly-duckling...Nope Cara is just a teenage girl trying to get through high school. She's funny, smart, strong, and won't give in to her pushy boyfriend (WOO HOO!). I think a lot of girls can relate to Cara.
Then there is Aelyx. He is so loyal to his people that even though his intentions may not be the best for all of those around him, you know he is guided by passion and doing what he believes is the right thing. I loved watching this character evolve into a caring, feeling, emotional, almost-human teenage boy. His arc is extremely fulfilling and I was so invested in it.
There is no insta-love in this book. Cara and Aelyx are as different as night and day and it takes time for these two to find each other. As a reader I fell in love with Aelyx with Cara as he slowly opened up to her and experienced emotions he didn't know he was capable of feeling. And seriously, there is nothing in this world better than the kissing showdown between these two! Get ready to melt!
For the most part, the book is light and funny. It's heartwarming and the developing romance will take you right back to that first time you ever fell in love (do we EVER forget that feeling?). But there is also a deep story at play at the center. The author does an amazing job of portraying the real fear of the unknown. You will want to hate certain characters in the book (and a few you will), but you will also understand where they are coming from and that it isn't evil that guides them, but irrational fear of those that are different from themselves.
The story is gripping and the characters will suck you into their world. I laughed, I teared up a little, and I felt all of those wild emotions that go along with falling in love for the first time. I may be a bit biased in my love for all things alien, but this book is definitely one of my favorites. I am dying to read the next in the series. I won't lie...the ending is a pretty giant cliff hanger. But there is a bit of a Happily Ever After aspect to it. As Aelyx and Cara discover in those last few paragraphs, along with the good news comes a bit of bad news as well. I can't wait to see how they make it through the next phase together.
Alienated is a heart-warming story between an integalactic Romeo & Juliet that will keep you on the edge of your seat as you cheer for first love, acceptance, and for those that stand up for what is right no matter how hard it is to do.
Melissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds. A proud sci-fi geek, she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her husband and three kids. She lives just outside Cincinnati and writes adult contemporary romance as Macy Beckett.