Review: Alienated by Melissa Landers

Alienated (Alienated, #1)

Synopsis from Good Reads:

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.

PLOT

So two years ago a group of  aliens called L’eihr introduced themselves to Earth and gave them a cure to cancer, which saved the life of Cara’s mother. The Sweeney family are pretty pro-alien. Cara is picked to be part of an exchange program where she will host a L’eihr for the school year and the following year she will go to L’eihr. She’s initially not thrilled, even though her parents are, but comes around.

Aelyx is also not thrilled about going to Earth. Neither are his other two L’eihr transfer students. They make a plan to tank the exchange, but it will take time. During that time, Aelyx starts to change his mind because (surprise!!!) he and Cara start to fall for each other.

While the Sweeney’s are super psyched to have Aelyx, the rest of Earth is not so happy. A hate group is formed and pretty much everyone in Cara’s town joins. It eventually takes on the form of a terrorist group and things go crazy.

I thought the general plotline was good, but it just wasn’t fleshed out enough and never really reached it’s full potential. I would’ve liked more info about the L’eihrs (even from Aelyx we don’t get much information besides the basics) and more information about the “Patriot” group. The end went a little too far into the unbelievable for me, as well.

CHARACTERS

Cara and Aelyx were both pretty well developed and mostly likable characters. However, the rest of the characters were pretty bland. Since the story is told in third person POV, I wish we would’ve gotten the view of at least one more person besides of just the two of them. I would’ve liked Cara’s best friend, Tori’s, POV or even her valedictorian rival who headed up the student chapter of the hate group. There’s never really an excuse for so much hatred, but I would’ve liked to have the POV of at least one member to see what exactly they’re so afraid of. I also would’ve liked to see a few more people being pro-L’eihr. There was a small group in the beginning, but they quickly faded after the hate group got more vocal.

READABILITY

Landers writing wasn’t bad and the story was well-paced until it got towards the end. Things with the protest and riot went by really fast and wasn’t very detailed. Some of Cara’s parents’ actions weren’t very believable and some of the dialogue in the beginning was on the childish side. However, it was a quick read and there were several humorous moments that I enjoyed.

ENJOYABILITY

Overall, I enjoyed Alienated. It wasn’t as good as I was expecting and didn’t quite live up to it’s potential, but I’m interested to see what happens next and will be picking up the next book when it comes out.

Rating (out of 5)
Plot: 3
Characters: 3
Readability: 3.5
Enjoyability: 3.5
Overall Average: 3.25 stars

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Origin by Jennifer Armentrout – 3.5 stars (out of 5)

Origin (Lux, #4)

Synopsis:

After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.

All Katy can do is survive.

Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?

Together, they can face anything. 

But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on?

And will they even be together?

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Ok, so we all know by now that I enjoy the Lux series by Jennifer Armentrout. Origin is the fourth book in the series.  I’m going to try very hard to not spoil anything from Origin, but there will be some minor spoilers from the preceding books because this far into a series you can’t really avoid it.

My Thoughts:

-While the first three books are told from Katy’s first person POV, Origin is told in first person POVs of both her and Daemon. As I’ve mentioned before, I love multiple first person POV. There were times in this book that I didn’t always feel it worked out well, though. Mostly Katy and Daemon’s “voices” were distinct and well defined, but there were a couple times where it was in Daemon’s POV and I thought it was Katy for a while.

Meet Daemon Black~the very sexy Alien from THE LUX SERIES by Jennifer Armentrout

-The first few chapters were told while Daemon and Katy were separated and I was glad that Armentrout didn’t drag that out too long because they are always better together. Armentrout promised this book would change the game and it did in several ways. Katy and Daemon’s relationship is one example. This is the first book where their relationship is really cemented. Even though they were together in Opal, there was still a lot of strife between them. In this book they were a very united front. There were still sarcastic remarks between them – which are always fun – but this time they seemed to be taken as a joke and not a reason for a fight. However, I almost felt like their relationship tipped a little too far in the other direction. Daemon becomes distracted by Kat’s left hand (specifically her ring finger) and Kat talks about how they “make” each other. A little too Twilight for me.

– We spend a good deal of the book away from any familiar characters, other than Katy and Daemon. While I didn’t exactly miss all of them, it was still nice that they weren’t left out entirely, which is where I thought the story was going. There’s also a couple new characters introduced, as well as some old characters given bigger roles. I actually liked all of that. Archer, a new ally, is smart and caring and sarcastic. Luc, who we first met in Onyx, is fleshed out more in this book and lingering questions about him are finally answered.

-While Kat and Daemon are with Daedalus being tested, we learn a lot about Daedalus’ mission, why they had captured Dawson and Beth, and what they want from Daemon and Katy. This was also another game changer from the first three books. Daedalus and the DOD were always villains, but it was still a very high school vibe. Origin leaves all the kid stuff behind and throws them into adulthood. While I’m fine with leaving the high school setting, they still act very much like the teenagers they are and some of their “grown up” decisions feel a little forced.

-Finally, Origin delivered on the big surprises we were promised (with the exception of Beth and Dawson’s situation, because that was almost too obvious). There are several character deaths that I did not see coming – One of which I’ve been waiting on for a while, but actually ended up being a little sad when it happened. The decisions made in this book affected much more of the world than just Daemon and Katy and it culminated in an ending that both surprised and impressed me.  I can’t wait to see what happens in the final book, Opposition (out next summer).

"You have got to be kidding me" Origin Teaser

-Overall, I enjoyed Origin and thought it was another great addition to the Lux series. The different setting and additional characters kept the story fresh and the risks Armentrout took paid off. I would still recommend the Lux series to those looking for a new great YA series.