Thursday, 6 February 2014
Review: Alienated by Melissa Landers
Released: February 4th, 2014 / March 20th, 2014 (UK)
Handpicked to look after the first-ever L'eihr exchange student, 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. But when Cara's classmates get swept up by anti-L'eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn't safe anymore. 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.
From the cover, I thought Alienated would be a light, fluffy, comedic read. I don't know why, that's just the impression I got. While parts of it are amusing, especially with the human/alien differences, it's quite serious and a lot darker in parts than I was expecting. I enjoyed it though and already I'm looking forward to the sequel next year. It should prove to be very interesting!
Alienated is all about Cara, a high school student chosen to host Aelyx (pronounced A-licks), the first L'eihr exchange student. She's all for it, as are her family, but there are groups of people who would rather see the L'eihrs dead than on Earth. Thus begins a violent rebellion of sorts, leading to Cara having to make several life-changing choices. I've never read anything like this before, though I'll admit some Aelyx/Cara scenes did remind me of Max and Liz from Roswell!
I would have loved for this book to have been written in first person with alternating chapters. Third person worked okay; it's not my favourite way of telling a story, though it did work here for the most part. I really would have liked to have had access to their thoughts and feelings - a more personal approach, especially where Aelyx is concerned. I can only imagine what was going through his alien mind!
Alienated is a great read for fans of aliens and other worlds, and I'll certainly be reading the sequels. It's something different, cleverly telling a cautionary tale of acceptance and tolerance. It'll make you think, too: what would we do in Cara's situation? Would we be as welcoming of another race? I'm not sure of the answers, but I hope one day I get the chance to find out!