Release Date: February 4, 2014
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Series: Alienated #1
Review Source: Netgalley
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
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.
This was such an enjoyable read! I liked how there were lighter and funnier moments, but that it also tackled serious issues, like systemic discrimination. The aliens are seriously looked down upon by people, to the extent of hate groups forming and demanding laws to banish them.
I really liked how Cara was so accepting of Aelyx, even when at first he was pretty solemn. It would have been so much easier for Cara to diss him and get acceptance from her whole community, but her actions show how strong a character she is. Aelyx is a very complex individual with a great character arc. He comes to Earth determined to hate all humans, looking down on them, but a certain redhead begins to change his mind with her thoughtfulness. I loved the personal relationship between these two, but I also loved what they represented with looking beyond appearances, not judging, etc.
Alienated has pretty much everything you could ask for. There are heart stopping action scenes, steamy kissing scenes, and it features a lovely friendship that slowly develops into something more. It also gives readers a lot to consider regarding discrimination, politics, and ethics, without going overboard and leaving readers feeling lost. This was such a great YA debut, and I look forward to seeing where the series will go next.
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