- Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
- Publication date: 2/4/2014
- Series: Alienated Series
- Source: ARC provided by the publisher for review
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.
I have been much more into space and alien stuff lately than I used to be, so when I saw this book cover, which is gorgeous and read the blurb, I was so excited to read it!! I really loved the main characters and the story was fantastic. What I loved the most is how the characters grow, and the family aspect of it all. It's always a bonus when family is a big factor in a story, but most importantly, a present factor. This had that completely. I loved that aliens were a known thing, and that they have been in communication with Earth and even have this exchange program set up. So cool!! I would have been all for that when I was in school. Heck, I still would be even as an adult! Plus, it has a sweet romance. Some of it didn't work for me, but most of it did. I really enjoyed this.
Cara is super smart. She's top of her class and works hard to make sure she stays that way. She is surprised when she finds out that she has been chosen for the L'eihr student exchange program. On on hand, very few people get chosen, but on the other, she is a bit terrified to not only go to their planet, but to have one live with her. Her friends and boyfriend totally hate the aliens. I really liked that even though things were really hard for her, she still stuck by Aelyx. Actually, saying things are hard is a complete understatement, things are actually dangerous for her. There are riots and protests, and she is pretty much shunned by everyone, including her best friend. She lets Aelyx in and wants to know about him. Yes, she is falling for him too, but she really tries for him from the beginning. Even when she was a bit afraid of him.
Aelyx was an interesting character to read. He hates the humans as much as they hate him, but he plays his part. He has a secret that he's hiding though that is huge. It's not until he spends time on Earth that he realizes that maybe the way he though about it and it's occupants was wrong. I really enjoyed watching him learn how things are done on Earth and want to try to fit in. It's not easy for him, but he tries. He is also falling for Cara and wants to protect her and her family. He also wants to protect his family and planet. He really struggles with what's right and what he should do.
The romance was something that I liked a lot. It wasn't insta-love. It seems it because the book condenses a lot of time into it, but he and Cara actually gradually fall for each other. I do think that it gets a bit too extreme in a short amount of time after they actually have fallen for each other though. They both really care about their family and friends, but also about each other and it's hard for them to do what is right for everyone. There is also the ridiculous interviews and Cara's blog that make things not so private and out in the open. They do good at not letting things be public about their growing relationship with each other.
This wasn't fast paced, but it never really felt like it was dragging. I thought that it was fun reading about how everyone is affected by the L'eihr being on Earth and how people directly around them behave and adjust. Also there is the secrets and lies that are going on to make things more interesting. I both loved and hated the way it ended. I thought that some of it was a bit dramatic, but I also really like where the story is headed. I think this series is going to be amazing and I am really looking forward to the next one!
*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.