(YA Review) Alienated by Melissa Landers

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Landers, Melissa. Alienated. , 2014. Print. ISBN-13: 9781423170280.
Formats available: hardcover, paperback, ebook, audiobook. Paperback $9.99. Kindle #7.99

Author: Melissa Landers
Published: Feb. 4 2015
Genre: YA Speculative-Fiction w. Romance
Themes: Aliens, bias, hate-crimes, friendship, diversity, love
Rating: 4.5
Why’d I read it?: I’ve been on an alien, speculative-fiction kick lately and I found this on amazon.com as a recommendation!

Synopsis: (from amazon)

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 Thoughts:

First of all is this book’s cover not completely beautiful and cool? I LOVE it and its one of the big reasons I decided to give this book a try. I think it speaks to the romantic elements in the book while subtly reinforcing the idea that these two characters actually come from different worlds. Alienated goes a step farther or deeper in its social commentary than other YA-Alien-Romance books (like Armentrout’s Obsidian) which is something I really appreciated. The aliens are humanoid enough not to creep you out, but they have their own cultures, customs, and biases that often clash with those of the humans, causing sparks to fly in more ways than one. I think Alienated actually does a pretty good job at bringing up some of the issues that would occur if such an alien presence made itself known. Humans would react in different ways but largely with mistrust and growing fear, which is represented in this book quite accurately. Additionally the mythology and characteristics of the Aliens are well thought out and creative, their cultural history gives you (and the main character) a mystery to really ponder.

The story is told from the alternating perspectives of the male and female main character, which I always prefer because I think it makes the world-building and character development more complex and fully realized. So I loved this book and I did immediately also read the sequel and short story that followed. Its a very well and thoughtfully written YA sci-fi story about two different “people” who meet and eventually (slowly) learn to like and trust each other despite (and because of) their differences. This book is strong on its character development and world-building (good political developments, strong supporting characters), light on action and technology, with some humor mixed in. The romance is slow-build rather than “insta-love.” This book is “love-triangle”-free, I’m happy to say. Additionally the parents are actually present in the main character’s lives, which is somewhat rare in these YA sci-fi books!

Final thought: Give this one a try, its a relatively quick and light read that still has substance! Its a lighter sci-fi that makes you think without getting bogged down by too much complicated technology-speak.

Liked it? Loved it? Gotta have more of it?
The sequel is Invaded by Melissa Landers (out now)

You also might like:

  • These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner (space travel YA)
  • Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout (alien/human romance YA)
  • Angelfall by Susan Ee (YA dystopian w. angel/human romance)


  • Find Alienated at your local library through Worldcat.org
  • Find some recommendations if you liked Alienated on goodreads.com

About the Author:
Melissa Landers is a YA author who often writes fun and fast-paced alien or space-travel romances.

Find her online:


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