I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Alienated by Melissa Landers
Narrator: Madeleine Lambert
Series: Alienated #1
Published by Disney-Hyperion, Tantor Audio on May 21, 2014
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Length: 8 hours 27 minutes
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 has been on my TBR list ever since I saw the cover, way before it even came out. So why did it take me so long to read it? I guess it’s just the combination of a never ending TBR and not owning it. But then I got the list of Tantor titles up for review and saw that the sequel, Invaded was available and thought, “I should see if they’d give me both…” well, guess what? They did!
I’m much less hesitant to grab audio review books because I can get through them much faster, and I got though Alienated even faster than normal, because by time I got to the last 4 or 5 chapters I just couldn’t put it down! I timed it perfectly too, because as I was finishing up Alienated, guess what arrived in my inbox? Yep, Invaded! So guess what I’m reading next?!? I’m enjoying listening to these books and I think Madeleine Lambert does a decent job. Her male voices can sometimes come out a bit more feminine than I’d prefer, but nothing distracting (in my opinion, at least). And she does really good accents. Definitely a narrator I’d listen to again without hesistation.
Anyway – I knew going into Alienated that it was about an alien coming to Earth as a REALLY REALLY foreign exchange student. I had no idea that it would be one of those books that makes my blood boil because of the stupidty of the human race. Okay, yeah, I know, I’m human (or so I say *wiggles eyebrows*) and I know that the extreme xenophobia – and really just the general fear and resulting hatred – that Alienated deals with isn’t the norm. But boy, it just makes me so mad to know that there are people out there who are so narrow minded and filled with hate!
And as Alienated reveals really well, sometimes you’ll be shocked to find out that it’s some of the people you love that let fear get the better of them. Good people can let fear of the unknown freak them out and make them do really horrible things. And some really crappy people go even further than others with their hate.
I know, this is more like Berls’s speech from her soapbox than a review – but I have a point. I loved Alienated because it’s a young adult book that uses a really out there situation – an alien exchange student – to subtly comment on something we all have to deal with and our youth especially = bullying. It takes it to pretty epic proportions because of the international nature of what’s going on. But the base principals (hatred, fear of what’s different, scare tactics, violence) and the repercussions (bravery, fear, hiding, self-doubt, and even death) are all the same. Maybe it’s because I read this right after taking my teacher certification class, but to me this theme screamed out. And I loved it, because it showed how wrong it is, how dangerous it is, how easy it is for even good people to get caught up in it, and how horrible it can become when it’s ignored.
Beyond the bullying element, Alienated has a really fun YA romance to it. I loved seeing the slow building romance, built around funny moments where Aelyx is acclimating to Earth. The conclusion was a little disappointing for me, simply because it was less believable than the rest of the book had been – but I still enjoyed it and I’m super excited to continue reading.