Ontario Teen Book Fest 2015 Blog Tour: Spotlight on Melissa Landers

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I am so pleased to be bringing you the Ontario Teen Book Fest blog tour once again! This is one of my absolute favorite events of the year and I’m honored to help promote it as much as I possibly can. There are a ton of wonderful authors this year and an equally wonderful batch of bloggers to help me spotlight them.

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When: March 21st, treat 9 am to 5 pm

Where: Colony High School
3850 E. Riverside Drive
Ontario, buy CA 91761

This event is a completely free and un-ticketed event! Priority seating WILL be given to teens, but come one, come all! There will also be giveaways and raffles at the Fest, also free! Also, keep scrolling to find a giveaway held by us bloggers!

You can visit the website, to see the full schedule of the day by visiting the official Ontario Teen Book Fest website.

Books WILL be available for purchase at the event, available from Once Upon a Time Bookstore :) They are an amazing company so definitely bring your books from home, but try and support Once Upon a Time by purchasing a book!

Its going to be an incredible event and I’m honestly counting down the days! I hope you can come along for the ride, in the days leading up to the event.  Check out the full blog tour here!

Official Blog Tour Schedule

February 28th: Spotlight on Kasie West — Adventures of a Book Junkie

March 1st: Spotlight on Melissa Landers — What A Nerd Girl Says

March 2nd: Spotlight on Anna Carey — The Reader’s Antidote

March 3rd: Spotlight on Cecil Castellucci — Nite Lite Book Reviews

March 4th: Spotlight on Debra Driza — Read Now Sleep Later

March 5th: Spotlight on Katie Finn — Fearless Kurt Reads YA

March 6th: Spotlight on Claudia Gray — A Bookish Escape

March 7th: Spotlight on Shannon Messenger — People Like Books

March 8th: Spotlight on Lauren Miller — The Thousand Lives

March 9th: Spotlight on Elizabeth Ross — Kid Lit Frenzy

March 10th: Spotlight on Brad Gottfred — Recently Acquired Obsessions

March 11th: Spotlight on Sherri Smith — Movies, Shows and Books

March 12th: Spotlight on Mary Elizabeth Summer — What A Nerd Girl Says

March 13th: Spotlight on Jessica Khoury — The Consummate Reader

March 14th: Spotlight on Maurene Goo — The Windy Pages

March 15th: Spotlight on Catherine Linka — Read Now Sleep Later

March 16th: Spotlight on Jessica Brody — The Romance Bookie

March 17th: Spotlight on Gretchen McNeil — Movies, Shows and Books

March 18th: Spotlight on Aaron Hartzler — Fangirl Feeels

March 19th: Spotlight on Michelle Levy — The Consummate Reader

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Today’s Spotlight is on the one and only:

Melissa Landers

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Melissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds. A proud sci-fi geek, she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her husband and three kids. She lives just outside Cincinnati and writes adult contemporary romance as Macy Beckett.

Her Website / Her Facebook / Her GoodReads / Her Twitter / Her Instagram

Her Books

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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.

Find Her Books at Your Local Bookstore of the Following Links:

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / iBooks / Book Depository

The Interview!

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Nerd Girl: This first one is kind of typical: where did the idea for Alienated and Invaded come from? Why THIS story? 

Melissa: Right before NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in 2009, I was driving down the interstate thinking, “If I’m going to do this whole NaNo thing, I need a plot. What am I going to write about?” Several ideas came to mind, but I dismissed them because they were boring or cliched. Then – out of nowhere – I thought, “What if a high school senior had to host an alien exchange student?” Boom! I fell in love with the concept, and the rest is history.

Nerd Girl: Congrats on Invaded being published recently! What can we expect from you in the future?

Melissa: Right now, I’m wrapping up STARFLIGHT, a new stand-alone sci-fi romance that should release in 2016.

Just announced as well…

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Nerd Girl: What are some of the things that you strive for when you’re writing, knowing that teens are going to be reading it? 

Melissa: My process is pretty organic, meaning I don’t have any ulterior motives or anything I “strive for” while writing. I just let the story unfold.

Nerd Girl: Cara and Aelyx have easily become one of my favorite book couples! Did you have any inspiration from other fictional couples or even real life couples when creating their relationship?

Melissa: Thank you! I love their relationship, especially the way it gradually evolved from reluctant acquaintances to friends to more-than-friends. No, I didn’t find inspiration from any other couples. Aelyx and Cara are one of a kind.

Nerd Girl: What made you want to write for teens as opposed to adults? 

Melissa: Actually, I never made the choice. As stated above, my process is very organic. I had an idea to write about a teenage girl hosting an alien exchange student, and the story unfolded from there. The second book I wrote (under a pen name) was for adults. Again, not an active choice. The story ideas come to me, I write them, and then figure out who the audience is.

Nerd Girl: Because this is for the Ontario Teen Book Fest, all about the teens, what is one of your favorite memories from when you were a teen? 

Melissa: My favorite teen memory is probably my first date, which didn’t happen until I was sixteen. (My parents were strict.) The night was incredibly special, and as a bonus, it led to my first kiss and my first love. I dated that boy on and off for almost a year.

Nerd Girl: Last question, who is your fictional crush?

Melissa: I have a fickle heart when it comes to literary crushes. With so many amazing book boyfriends out there, who can choose just one? Not this gal!

Giveaway!

Two Prizes, Two Winners!

Each winner will receive an official Ontario Teen Book Fest poster signed by ALL attending authors!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday Top Ten: Favorite Fictional Book Couples!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Well, online almost. But its nearly there and to celebrate, price this week’s Tuesday Top Ten is getting a little romantic. Now, I know this is a post that I’ve already done but that was QUITE a long time ago and I’ve read so many books since then…its hard to narrow it down!

However, my poor sentimental heart was finally able to do so and I present to you my top ten favorite fictional book couples!

10. William Herondale and Tessa Gray from The Infernal Devices Series

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Will and Tessa have one of those romances that, if it actually existed in real life, you’d be torn between being massively jealous and also massively apt to throwing up all the time. Its incredibly beautiful, tragic, deep, genuine, intense. Its one of the most beautiful love stories I’ve read and what makes it even more beautiful is the love that the two of them share with Jem as well. Its just…amazingly written. It should be a love triangle but it doesn’t feel that way because the three of them love each other so much. Plus, there’s just something amazing about their love of books and how their love of words bring them together, and how they fight alongside each other…sigh.

9. Cara and Aelyx from The Alienated Series

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This is one of my newest favorite couples to come into my life, just this past summer. I met Melissa at ALA and got an ARC of Invaded and knew I had to read the first one and I am SO glad I did! This two part series is AWESOME and I’m massively in love with Cara and Aelyx and their story. What makes it so great is how annoyed and disgusted (especially on Aelyx’s part) they are with each other and how it slowly builds to something else. I love how they figure things out. I mean, Aelyx GOOGLES how to kiss. Its silly and sweet and intense and I love every single moment of it.

8. Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games Series

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DUH. I know its cheesy and so completely unrealistic as far as fictional relationships work out but I still love every minute of it. Because despite everything that their world throws at them, they still make it through. I tend to like Gale more as a character but I love Peeta more for Katniss and I think its because they balance each other out SO much. Plus its kind of bittersweet how they work so hard to protect each other and it always seems to fail but they never ever give up on it. I don’t like the conclusion, so to speak, of their relationship, I don’t think it makes sense with the characters at all but I love their relationship.

7. Four and Tris from the Divergent Series

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This is one relationship that I love, not just because I’m absolutely obsessed with this series but because it turns out to be completely opposite of what you expect. When you meet Tris, she’s unsure, unconfident, struggling to figure out who she is, while Four seems strong, confident, sure. But the closer they get to each other, the more you realize that its Tris that helps Four, brings him out, makes him a better person. He relies on her, looks into her for strength and I love that. I think its better when a couple is equal but I love seeing that a female character can be seen as the strength in a relationship.

6. Aly and Nawat from The Tricksters Series

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This is one of my favorite relationships, so easily because it is one of the most unique ones I’ve come across in any book. Aly is a born noble girl, trained in the ways of a noble lady but also the fighting and stealth of a common born spy. She’s kidnapped and sold into slavery for a wealthy family in an enemy kingdom. She meets Nawat, who is a crow turned man. They each have their own journey to take, though they are inevitably intertwined with each other, and what I love is that they each do the things they need to do before they came together. Its beautiful. It really shows…you don’t need a guy to get where you need to be, and that a really great guy will be there, even if you can’t be there yourself.

5. Levi and Cath from Fangirl

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Okay, I love this relationship because I want this relationship. Seriously. I want this relationship so bad. I love 1-4 so badly on this list but if I had to choose a relationship that I genuinely wanted more than anything…it would be this one. I think a lot of that comes from the fact that I feel very connected to Cath. She feels like me in so so many ways and I can understand her fears and her concerns and her anxiety and her struggle to become close with people because she’s afraid they can’t handle who she is. But Levi comes in and just loves her, for every single thing that she is. And he’s a goofball, which I just love, and he just is so genuine and real and I love everything about their relationship. This is relationship goals.

4. Rose Hathaway and Dimitri Belikov from The Vampire Academy Series

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I want to be Rose Hathaway. Or I want to be with her. I can’t really figure it out. Maybe both. That’s kind of weird ;) Either way, the Vampire Academy series is one of my favorites ever and I love that it takes legitimately all six books for Rose and Dimitri to get where you finally wish them to be. Their relationship is SO tragic BUT neither one of the characters are tragic. They always focus on their job as dhampirs, as guardians and getting the job done, and that’s why they’re one of my favorite relationships. They are awesome together, but as more than a couple, as a team.

3. Adrian Ivashkov and Sydney Sage from the Bloodlines Series

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When I first started reading the Bloodlines series, it was clear that the couple that would come out of this series was Adrian and Sydney. Having met and fallen in love with both of those characters in the VA series, I was so confused on how these two would even WORK. But as the series continued and you watched them fall in love with each other, I was panting alongside everyone else. I just finished the finale book, The Ruby Circle, today, release day and I won’t say much because of spoilers but I’m so happy with this relationship. They both changed from book one to book six and they did it together. They were equals from beginning to end and I love that. They rely on each other and they save each other and I ship it so hard.

2. Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger from The Harry Potter Series

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All you haters can sit down and shut up. Everyone says that Ron doesn’t deserve Hermione and all that junk. I myself read way too much Dramione fan fiction, admittedly. But this is one of my favorite couples because I think they work together. They are different, but I think that’s what makes them work. Ron loves Hermione, even though she’s much smarter than him and is constantly berating him and all that kind of thing. Hermione loves Ron, even though he can be selfish and unthinking. Love, real love, is about accepting each other’s flaws and still loving each other anyway. Of course there’s a limit to that but I think Ron and Hermione are the example of a perfect imperfect relationship. Relationships aren’t beautiful and amazing and all that. They take work and they don’t always go the way its planned and that’s exactly what this relationship is.

1. Jace Lightwood and Clary Fray from The Mortal Instruments Series

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They continue to be my favorite couple and I think that’s because of when I read the book. You want to talk about an overdramatic, tragic story of a relationship? This is it right here. Book One: Jace can’t admit he has feelings. Finally kind of does…oops, him and Clary are brother and sister. Or wait they’re not brother and sister. Oh, wait, he’s being possessed by Lilith, oh, wait, now by the real Jonathan Morgenstern. I mean, seriously. Its the most dramatic relationship that takes place over a period of, like, five months. But I love both of these characters. I love the way they fall in love, I love the way they balance each other out, I love the way they eventually fight together, I love every single bit of them. And that is not going to change.

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Who are some of YOUR favorite book couples? Make sure to share in the comments!

Tuesday Top Ten – Most Anticipated Winter Releases!

Welcome to the new year everyone! Its a brand new beginning and all of that sort of thing. But the best part of the new year is this: NEW STUFF. All that stuff that was “next year” is now THIS year. And that includes books.

Now its time to talk about the top ten books that I’m getting excited for this winter! Check them out, troche and let me know what books YOU’RE excited about!

10. The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson

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The third installment of the series, price and I’ve been waiting for it for so long. I feel like I’ve been waiting for so so so long for this book that I absolutely need to reread the first two books to remember what the hell is supposed to be going on in the third book.

Release Date: February 10th, 2015 

9. Dead to Me by Mary McCoy

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I am so excited for this debut novel…I think its my most anticipated debut novel of the year. I absolutely adore Mary, she’s a librarian for the Los Angeles Public Library and has always been a dear friend and supporter of me and this blog, and I can’t wait for her book. Its set in the 1940s, amidst the glitz and glamour of the film age and it sounds deliciously thrilling. I can’t WAIT.

Release Date: March 3rd, 2015 

8. The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

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I am so so excited for this new novel by Emery Lord. I had NO idea who she was until she was on a panel with…I think Stephanie Perkins at the Festival of Books and I just loved everything about her. Plus she was so cute and I don’t know haha, I wanted to read her book. I absolutely LOVED Open Road Summer. She has a fresh teen voice and a total knack for addicting romance and I can’t wait for this one. Max sounds amazing.

Release Date: March 31st, 2015

7. I Was Here by Gayle Forman 

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Gayle Forman is a QUEEN of contemporary YA lit. She blows my mind with everything that she writes, especially Just One Day/Just One Year (which were optioned for film!!). I’m VERY excited for a brand new release from her, especially since the synopsis makes it sound like another emotional roller coaster. Oh Gayle.

Release Date: January 27th, 2015 

6. Salt and Stone by Victoria Scott

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This one would be much lower on the list but I’m spoiled as hell and I already read it and know how absolutely amazing it is. But now that I know its great, I’m dying to get that book with that beautiful cover in my hands, and for everyone else who loves the first one, you’re going to love the second one even more. Its a truly heartbreaking.

Releases: February 24th, 2015

5. Fairest by Marissa Meyer

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I know! A novella on the list. For those that don’t know me, I’m usually not a massive fan of novellas, and find most of them are unnecessary. But…but…I think Fairest is going to be spectacular. One, because Marissa Meyer is a fantastic writer. Two, Levana is SUCH a mystery and maybe some of this will shed a little light, and maybe it’ll open up new possibilities for Winter. Either way, I’m excited for it.

Release Date: January 27th, 2015

4. Invaded by Melissa Landers

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This is another winter release that I’ve already read. And one that I totally absolutely love. But I think I’m really excited about this because I KNOW how good it is and I get to meet her this year! Plus, if I can have more Aelyx and Cara in my life, I’m totally okay with that! And maybe if we all show love to Invaded and buy it, we WILL get more!

Release Date: February 3rd, 2015

3. The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith  

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I mean. Duh. I want my hands on this book so badly. I’ve been trying to get my hands on an ARC of this thing for MONTHS and have not been able to do that. I am dying for this book. Every single thing about this book sounds amazing and Andrew is an incredible author. When I interviewed him last year and he described the book as “It’s about a ship that gets stuck in ice, a fifteen-year-old kid, a schizophrenic who thinks he can speak to Joseph Stalin, a summer camp for kids who are addicted to technology, the de-extinction of a species of crow, and there’s a bigfoot in there, too. You know…the typical stuff.” Come on. I’m sold.

Release Date: March 10th, 2015

2. Unchanged by Jessica Brody

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I’M DYING TO READ THIS BOOK. I need to know what happens next. Unforgotten left on such a crazy, heartbreaking, emotional note and I’m dying to see what happens next for Sera and Zen and Kaelen. It hurts just to even think about it because of allllll the crap that went down in the second book and I need this book in my hands. You hear me, Jessica? Give me the book and no one gets hurt ;)

Release Date: February 24th, 2015

1. The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead 

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Yes. Please. More Adrian Ivashkov. Oh and of course Sydney too. But definitely Adrian. And after that ending in Silver Shadows, I basically wanted to scream, get in a car and drive up to Richelle’s house and demand that she tell me everything that was going to happen next. Luckily, I’m a patient girl (ha!) and its nearly upon us to find out the ending to this fantastic series! AND I’m finally going to meet Richelle! AGH

Release Date: February 10th, 2015

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What are some the books that you’re looking forward to releasing in January, February and March? Make sure to share them in the comments!

Release Day: “Until Midnight” by Melissa Landers!

I’m so SO excited to be promoting “Until Midnight” by Melissa Landers today! Its a novella, purchase taking place between her debut novel, visit this Alienated and its sequel, Invaded, which releases in February. I’ve read both books already so I’m VERY excited to read “Until Midnight”. I’ve read the first few pages and I’m already in love. I can NEVER have too much Aelyx in my life!

Lets jump right into this, shall we?

About Melissa Landers

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Melissa Landers writes romantic science fiction for teens and the young at heart. To learn more, or just to say hello, visit her at www.melissa-landers.com

You Can Also Find Her At:

GoodReads / Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

About Alienated

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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.

Find Alienated at your local bookstore or at the following links:

Barnes and Noble / Amazon / Book Depository

A Message from Melissa About Until Midnight!

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Happy Holidays, everyone! I’m Melissa Landers, author of the Alienated series, and I have a present for you—a brand new e-short from Disney Hyperion!

UNTIL MIDNIGHT takes place onboard an intergalactic transport, soon after ALIENATED ends and before the sequel INVADED begins. The story details Aelyx and Cara’s last day together before he returns to Earth to mend the alliance and she continues to his home planet. It’s sweet and romantic, and as a bonus, it includes a four-chapter preview of the sequel, which releases February 3rd.

Oh, and did I mention the best part? IT’S FREE!

You can download UNTIL MIDNIGHT from the following e-tailers:

Kindle / Nook / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

*If you live outside the USA, no worries. I’ve uploaded the story to Scribd for you. (The only downside is it doesn’t include the bonus preview chapters, due to technical reasons from the publisher.) Link: http://www.scribd.com/AuthorMelissaLanders

To celebrate this new release, I’m offering TWO lucky winners an autographed swag pack complete with a personalized bookplate, mini-poster, bookmarks, and stickers—open internationally! Just fill out the rafflecopter form below.

Best of luck, and happy reading!

The Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Good luck!

Book Review: Invaded (ARC) by Melissa Landers

17316770This review is based on an advanced reader’s copy of the novel obtained through Disney-Hyperion at the American Library Association Conference for free. This is in no way had an effect on the integrity of my review. Please note that published novel will differ from this ARC.

Genre: 

Young Adult, medical Science Fiction, for sale Romance

Pages: 

368

Part of a Series?:

This is the second novel of the Alienated series. To read my review of Alienated, click here.

Release Date: 

February 3rd, 2015

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

The romantic sequel to Alienated takes long-distance relationships to a new level as Cara and Aelyx long for each other from opposite ends of the universe…until a threat to both their worlds reunites them. 

Cara always knew life on planet L’eihr would be an adjustment. With Aelyx, her L’eihr boyfriend, back on Earth, working to mend the broken alliance between their two planets, Cara is left to fend for herself at a new school, surrounded by hostile alien clones. Even the weird dorm pet hates her.

Things look up when Cara is appointed as human representative to a panel preparing for a human colony on L’eihr. A society melding their two cultures is a place where Cara and Aelyx could one day make a life together. But with L’eihr leaders balking at granting even the most basic freedoms, Cara begins to wonder if she could ever be happy on this planet, even with Aelyx by her side.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Aelyx, finds himself thrown into a full-scale PR campaign to improve human-L’eihr relations. Humans don’t know that their very survival depends on this alliance: only Aelyx’s people have the technology to fix the deadly contamination in the global water supply that human governments are hiding. Yet despite their upper hand, the leaders of his world suddenly seem desperate to get humans on their side, and hardly bat an eye at extremists’ multiple attempts on Aelyx’s life.

The Way clearly needs humans’ help . . . but with what? And what will they ask for in return?

My Review:

Please note that while this review will have no spoilers for Invaded, it will have spoilers for Alienated. Please check out the review for that book at the link above!

I have never been so grateful in my entire life to the girl working the Disney-Hyperion booth at ALA a couple weeks ago. I spotted Alienated, because it had been on my radar and I asked them if they were giving out copies of it. They weren’t BUT they were having a signing with Melissa Landers later in the day and giving away the second book, Invaded. I decided to try and make it to the signing. Melissa’s signing was literally at the same time as David Levithan, Jay Asher, Lauren Myracle, Jessica Brody, Josephine Angelini…a ton of authors. But I wanted to make it. I bounced from booth to booth to booth and finally made it over there and was excited to see that she was still signing.

Then I got super sad because they were out of books. I decided I would stand in line to talk to her anyway, maybe just introduce myself and then the girl in front of me said “I don’t know Melissa, so here, have this”, and handed me a copy of Invaded. I was so excited. Melissa was super sweet, and I knew I had to get home and read Alienated. Which I did, in one night. The next day, I read Invaded. I’m so glad that I got my hands on this book because it pressured me to purchase and read the first one and I absolutely love these two books. They are easily now a favorite for me.

Melissa continues a well thought out story that she had concocted in book one. We leave book one with this: Cara and Aelyx will be split for months, Cara to continue the exchange program on L’eihr and Aelyx to go down to Earth to complete the alliance, to ensure that it goes through. While the first book was centered on the somewhat small circle of Cara and Aelyx’s romance, and the town that turned their backs against them, this book focuses on the bigger picture. The romance is there (oh thank god, because it makes me so happy) but its so focused. Cara is figuring out more and more who she is and what she wants and where she wants to be. She’s figuring out where she fits in, on the planet that she’s intended to spend her life. She’s trying to come to terms with how different the L’eihr really are to her. Her life in their schools, and their society is difficult and the ever optimist is having problems. I love this character development. It makes me incredibly happy to see a character struggle and question things, even things she was so firm on before.

Then we continue to Aelyx. I love that he was able to spend more time on Earth. Obviously he changed his mind about earth and the alliance when he came to the exchange program and fell in love with Cara. But I think in Alienated, it had more to do with Cara and his affection for her and her parents that changed his mind more than anything else. I mean, the other humans he was exposed to didn’t exactly give him reason to want to save the planet or anything. However I think by spending more time on Earth, around other humans and without the rosy taint of love with Cara around him constantly, he grew more desiring of the alliance. I liked that he seemed to be trying new foods, and that he genuinely started a friendship with a new character. I liked the effect it had on him and his personality and I love what that did to Syrine. I loved the way the L’eihr changed during their time on earth.

I also really liked the bigger picture we got. This wasn’t just about Cara and Aelyx anymore. This was about the betterment of both societies, both species and the necessity of the alliance. The events that were happening on Earth and the events that were happening with Cara in space, they were threatening to this alliance. Everything is hanging in the balance, one small move could ruin everything. Not only would it ruin this beautiful romance that I ship so hard its not even funny, but it would ruin the relationship between these two species and it would mean the complete destruction of the planet, because Earth so desperately needs the L’eihr to cure the water supply.

The only slight problem that I had was that Cara had to make a fairly big decision in the end. I’m happy with the decision that she made but I was kind of thrown off with how quickly she made it. She was very adamant in her decision but she changed her mind, I was very thrown off. I thought it would have taken a bit more for her to make that decision and I was slightly upset that the character would…change her gumption that easily. However, when I was talking to Melissa on Twitter, she said Disney-Hyperion have signed on for two books, and so she probably had to wrap it up as much as possible while still enticing interest for a hopefully third book (Please Disney-Hyperion!!!!). So while I wasn’t a massive fan of this, I understand why it was done. I know that’s vague but I’m trying to be spoiler free!

All in all, if you loved Alienated, you’re going to love Invaded. I know that the final product may be completely different from what I read but I’m hoping that there are little changes because I really did love this book and I’m hoping the publishers hear my plea for more books!

Rating:

4 out of 5 Stars

 

Book Review: Alienated by Melissa Landers

13574417Genre: 

Young Adult, physician Science Fiction, recipe Romance

Pages: 

344

Part of a Series?:

Yes. The second book, pills  Invaded, is due to hit bookstores in February 0f 2015

Release Date: 

February 4th, 2014

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

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.

My Review:

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!

Rating:

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 :)