Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
Part of a Series?:
Yes. The second book, Invaded, is due to hit bookstores in February 0f 2015
February 4th, 2014
You Can Find the Book At:
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.
This is pretty much exactly how I felt as soon as I finished this book. And let me say this: I finished the book at 4 am. After starting it about midnight. I FLEW through this book. I had honestly never heard of it, until my friend, Sasha, started recommending it on her instagram and it kept popping up, and I thought, this is something that I have to read in the future. Flashforward to ALA last weekend, and I saw it on a stand and immediately ran to it. I asked the Disney-Hyperion book if they were giving it away and they weren’t BUT Melissa Landers was doing a signing of Invaded, which is the second book. She was SO incredibly sweet and I knew that I was lucky to get my hands on a copy, especially signed. So I went out yesterday and purchased Alienated and proceeded to burst my way through it.
Way to go, Melissa Landers. Seriously. Way to go.
When I first started reading it, it reminded me almost instantaneously of the short-lived CW show, Star-Crossed. Aliens come to earth, peacefully, but humans get a little wigged out, and there’s violent protest groups and a new exchange program is created in order to foster a healthier alliance between the humans and the aliens. Intergalactic relationships ensue. I admit, that threw me off a bit. Not that I thought either had copied each other or anything, just that it seemed similar and I am mourning the loss of StarCrossed and I’m mourning being able to see Matt Lanter with his sexy Atrian tattoos and v-necks shirts that show off his beautiful arms and chest…
I’m getting off topic. The point is, that threw me for a loop when I read the first 50 pages or so, and those 50 pages were the slowest ones that I read. But once I was hooked into the story, that was it. I fell madly in love with the story and the characters.
First off, the characters. I adore Cara. I mean, her name is similar to mine so sometimes when Aelyx was saying “Cah-ra”, I admit I was imagining him saying, “Sah-ra”. Seriously. That was going down. But I adore Cara. I love how she progresses through the novel. She wants nothing to do with the exchange program when she first is recruited for it, not because she dislikes the L’eihr but because she’s so driven and she has other things on her plate. But as the story continues and her friendship and relationship with Aelyx blooms, her motives changes. She gets stronger, more passionate, she really comes into her ideas and opinions and sticks to her guns. Its incredible to watch her go through that. She falls in love and becomes a better person for it, and I love that. I think the same could be said for Aelyx as well. He comes to earth with a less than welcoming plan in his mind, and he has no desire to integrate with the humans. He’s a robot, thinks emotions are overrated, gets disgusted by human affection and thinks pizza and chocolate is gross. But his time on earth, and especially his time with Cara, begins to break that shell, and while Cara falls slowly in love with him, so do you, as the reader. The changes in Aelyx as the story goes on is incredible, and that’s truly a mark of a good character.
Then you have the story itself, which breathes so easily through the book. It feels so familiar and yet so fantastical at the same time. You have this familiar world of school, cars, ipods, computers, blogs, McDonalds but there’s something different to it: the aliens, the L’eihrs. They are like humans in so many ways, but not at the same time. They all look the same, wear the same uniforms, eat the same foods, and are way more advanced than the people on Earth. They want to make an alliance with Earth, but you can’t quite figure out why, and you can’t quite figure out why Aelyx and his friends want to ruin it. There’s so much mystery to the L’eihrs and you want to know more. The more that Cara discovers about them, the more than you crave for more information. There’s a beautiful romance (which I’ll get to in a second) building but there’s more than that. These two characters come from vastly different worlds that have collided and its a recipe for disaster and you’re just waiting for it to explode.
And lastly, the romance. Its been awhile since I read a book where the romance blew me away like this one did. I had butterflies and my heart beat fast, and I blushed and I fell in love with both of the characters as they fell in love with each other. Melissa Landers writes such a subtle, beautiful romance and that’s what I loved about it. It happens so slowly but then suddenly, its right in front of your face. Like its been there all along but it took them, and you, the entire time to figure it out. Its beautiful and I can’t wait to see more of it in Invaded.
Look, I’ve literally written the longest review ever. Seriously. This review is ridiculously long. I didn’t mean that. I’m sorry. But I truly loved this book and I can’t wait to dive into book two. I am blown away by Melissa’s book and I am now officially a fan. I wish I had spent more time talking to her at ALA but I didn’t know. Now I do, and I’m a fan. This book is a knockout!
5 out of 5 Stars
I don’t give out 5 out of 5s easily, so take my word for it, SERIOUSLY, read this book :)