Note: I received an advanced copy of Alienated (though I actually didn’t get it started and finished in advance of its release!) from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Alienated is the story of Cara, a human teenage girl, and Aeylx, an alien, and their involvement in the first every exchange program between the humans and the genetically similar L’ehirs. This novel had it all! Lively characters that jumped out of the pages/Kindle screen, conflict, and romance!
When Alienated starts Cara is being offered an incredible chance to be one of the first ever humans to host a L’ehir exchange student, and then to travel to L’ehir to be an exchange student and then at the end she’d get a scholarship for any college or university who’ll accept her. Sounds like an awesome opportunity, right? But Cara has more to worry about then how much she might miss her friends and family if she goes to another planet for a year of school. She has to worry that she might lose her friends when she’s still on Earth since there are so many people that are against any contact with the L’ehir’s. A brief look into Aeylx’s life shows that he and his fellow foreign exchange students want even less to do with the humans than the humans want with them.
But then, after spending months practically glued to each other’s sides (one of the rules they were given) and prosecution from Cara’s schoolmates, Cara and Aelyx’s relationship changes. That changes everything and even when the humans start treating the L’ehir’s horribly (a move that very well might bite them in the butt later on) they stick together in the cutest way. For the rest you’ll have to read for yourself (a move that I will very much encourage!)
I very much loved the characterization of all the characters, even the secondary ones were fleshed out and so lively that I was surprised to see that Alienated was the first novel by Melissa Landers. Although we humans haven’t made contact with life from other planets (at least not as far as I’m aware) I thought the depictions of how the two species interacted were very believable. How some characters were willing right off the bat to keep an open mind while others learned, like Cara and Aelyx learned how compatible they really were, how some were fanatically pro-L’ehir while others behaved as though the very idea of peace between the two planets would be a death sentence for everyone.
And because of all of the above I am very much looking forward to the second installment in this series and I’m sad that it won’t be coming out for another year!