Thursday, January 8, 2015

Book Review: Alienated by Melissa Landers

Title: Alienated
Author: Melissa Landers
Publisher: Disney Book Group
Pages: 352
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Rating: 4.5/5

Goodreads Blurb:

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.

‘Alienated’ was a pretty interesting book. It’s a fun ad easy read. It isn’t overly complex to the point where you have to really think about what the author is saying, but it isn’t a light, mindless beach-read.

So let’s start off with all the things I really enjoyed about this book.

First, is the plot. As stated in the Goodreads Blurb, this book takes place in a regular town with a regular high school. And considering the fact that most new YA books all take place in some far off world, reading a book that is centered in a high school is definitely a plus side. Another fresh thing about ‘Alienated’ is the fact that this book isn’t about Cara and Aelyx having to go and fight a bunch of battles in some far off universe. Instead, the plot is mainly focused on the two protagonists of this book getting to really know each other, and in the end falling in love. But that doesn’t mean that this book is all sappy or that it lacks some mysteries. There are quite a few secrets between the two characters. Secrets that are more important than just the two of them: secrets that are important enough to destroy their worlds.

The second thing I really liked about this book was the romance plot. One thing I found quite exceptional about this was how it progressed. It wasn’t too fast and it wasn’t too slow; instead Ms. Landers includes a multitude of details about how Cara and Aelyx fall in love that were exceedingly fun to read and helped build up to the climax (of the romance plot), which was fantastic. I won’t say what happened but I will say this: it more than a little swoon-worthy. But the thing I liked the most about the romance plot was how Cara and Aelyx interacted with each other. In the beginning of the book both characters are more than a bit snooty, but slowly they start to warm up to  each other. In addition, considering that both characters were quick-witted and their banter was fun and entertaining really boosted the romance plot, and book, in my eyes.

Now on to the character analysis of Cara Sweeney, the heroine. She was fantastic. I found it extremely easy to relate to her. This may be for a multitude of reasons, two being that we both debate and we both blog. But besides that, Cara’s a nice, kind hard-working girl who isn’t afraid to play a little dirty. As soon as she accepts the opportunity to have Aelyx come over, she’s bombarded with insults from her own friends. Even the people she thought loved her are quick to turn. The fact that she’s willing to stick with what she believes in truly shows how determined she is.

And then there were the cons. Or really, con, since I had only one problem with this book. ‘Alienated’ was going along perfectly until the conclusion. Up till that point, Ms. Landers was going at a nice pace and was putting in a nice amount of details. For one, the pace at which the conclusion went was a bit too fast for my liking. Because of this, the ending was abrupt and left a lot of questions that the second book will have to answer. Ms. Landers could have definitely slowed down and fleshed out a few more details about the conclusion.

But in the end, ‘Alienated’ was a very satisfying book, and one of the best that released in 2014. It had a fantastic plot, a great romance and very interesting characters. I definitely recommend this book to people who like romances, young adult books or sci-fi. Keep an eye out for the next book in this series ‘Invaded’ which is releasing February 3rd, 2015.

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