Thursday, January 16, 2014

Review: Alienated by Melissa Landers

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. 

My Rating: Between 3 and 3.5 hearts for the first half; 2.5 hearts for the second half 

Thoughts on the Novel: Alienated by Melissa Landers began quite promisingly. However, my interest slowly waned over the course of the novel because the plot became kind of repetitive with Aelyx and Cara going to school and seeing Humans Against L’eihr Occupation protesters on the way, being snubbed by their classmates at school, and then coming home.

The latter portion of Alienated also received a lower rating because it became more focused on the romance. I really liked Aelyx and Cara’s relationship early in the novel when they were slowly getting to know each other since neither person made a good first impression on the other. As soon as they hooked up though, the pacing of the romance changed dramatically. For example, after not being ready to give up her virginity to her boyfriend (who she breaks up with later), Cara is all too willing to do so after just one makeout session with Aelyx! Spoiler: Nor was I entirely thrilled that she chooses to give up everything and leave Earth so that she can stay with Aelyx and then forgives him so easily after he betrays her. I wanted her to have a reaction more like Karou's from Laini Taylor's Days of Blood and Starlight and make Aelyx work for her forgiveness.

Although smart and stubborn, I felt that Cara was a bit na├»ve as well. Just because the L’eihrs provided a drug that cures cancer, she only briefly wonders what the L’eihrs might eventually want from humans. Cara also never became really curious about Aelyx’s suspicious looking nightly activities or followed him to see what he was up to, despite reports of crop failure around all the areas where the L’eihr exchange students were living.

I liked Aelyx a bit more because I was able to relate to him better. While Cara perceives him as robotic in the beginning, his own POV shows that he isn’t very happy about being sent to Earth as an exchange student. (I’d be too if I was a more advanced species!) Slowly though, his interactions with humans causes him to not only become more proficient at expressing emotions, but also forces him to change his mindset.

Alienated will be released by Disney Hyperion on February 4, 2014. 

Comments About the Cover: It’s nice and simple. I think Aelyx’s half is more eye-catching, but Cara’s half is more relaxing.  

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (Disney Book Group) for free via NetGalley.

8 comments:

  1. Ehhh, I'm not liking the characterization here. I'm pretty sure I would have the same problems with the characters as you! Aww, I had such high hopes for this book (probably because I was lured in by the pretty cover... sigh).

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  2. Same here, I had high hopes for it as well (The Cover is so beautiful <3), but so far I haven't heard the best things about it. I'll see if I still want to read it when it comes out.

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  3. Hm. I'm curious about this one Z. Being the lover of romance that I am, I can't help but wonder if the second half will be successful for me BECAUSE it focuses more strongly on the romance. I guess I just need to pick it up and find out for myself! Thanks for your thoughts on this one:)

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  4. I'm a bit worried, since I don't think these characters will work for me, Cara especially doesn't seem to be too bright or likeable. But I'll still give it a try when it comes up on my schedule. If only because of that gorgeous cover.

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  5. Oh I'm glad I decided to not request this one on NG. The story didn't seem like anything new. After reading your review, I'm going to skip this one because the characterization and plotline isn't remarkable.

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  6. I actually liked the second half more than the first half, Z. I agree with what you pointed out about Cara though I didn't really notice while reading the book.

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  7. Hmm, I've seen this one around but never gave it much thought. Sounds like it was a pretty average read with somewhat bland characters. Great review!

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  8. I've been seeing so many mixed reviews in regards to this book. Some people loved it, others hated it. I am not sure that I would like it. It doesn't sound particularly amazing.

    Thanks for the review!

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