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Alienated Hardcover – February 4, 2014

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Gripping and powerful, this masterful debut novel comes to vivid life through the unique voice of a hero as unlikely as he is unforgettable. Hardcover | Kindle
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—In Alienated, Cara Sweeney, high school overachiever and class valedictorian, has been selected to host the first L'eihr exchange student. Initial excitement and pride are quickly overshadowed by doubt and unease upon meeting the alien Aelyx. Although almost genetically identical, the two cultures are as different as night and day and the level of discomfort is evident. Further complicating matters is anti-alien paranoia and violence directed not only at Aelyx and the other exchange students, but also at Cara and her family. Drawn together due to circumstance, the teens start falling for each other. In Invaded, the couple continues to try to forge an alliance between the two planets, as mutual survival of both populations are depending on it. Amid hate and an unknown future, Cara must decide between love, the unknown, and the future she always dreamed of having. Excellent character development and a nice integration between modern reality and science fiction drive the plot in a satisfying story arc. Continuation of the story line is seamless between series installments, giving readers a continued interest in and connection to the protagonists. Themes of racism and environmentalism are integral to understanding and developing the emotional level of the story as well as the momentum of the plot. Teens will be rooting for the galactic couple while enjoying the action and suspense that runs through the two volumes. A fun pick for fans of sci-fi with a bit of romance.—Elizabeth Speer, Cisco College, TX

From Booklist

Interstellar relations heat up in this start to a new romantic sf series. When valedictorian Cara is selected to host one of the first aliens in the new human-L’eihr student-exchange program, it seems like everything is working in her favor, especially when she gets to meet hot alien Aelyx. While Cara anticipates resistance to the aliens from the residents of her small town, she isn’t prepared for full-on xenophobia from the entire community. Personal threats and violent protests leave Cara and Aelyx shaken, but revelations about ulterior motives of the L’eihr students and their government have Cara wondering if perhaps she has been a bit too trusting. Landers successfully uses the familiar forbidden-romance plot as a means for exploring larger social, ecological, and ethical issues in this tense, fast-paced read. Cara and Aelyx are appealing characters with plenty of chemistry, and the secondary characters, while not fully developed, create realistic teen drama. Although the book ends on a satisfactory note, several unresolved plotlines and newly introduced characters ensure an exciting second volume. Grades 7-11. --Summer Hayes

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 18 years
  • Grade Level: 7 - 12
  • Series: Alienated (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (February 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423170288
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423170280
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (310 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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 outside Cincinnati in the small town of Loveland, "Sweetheart of Ohio."

Customer Reviews

I loved the book as much as I loved the cover.
LG O'Connor
The characters are great, the story line is very original, the plot moves well, and the dialogue is fantastic.
I also loved seeing Cara and Aelyx's relationship grow; it's slow, but that's what makes it so great!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Regina Reads on March 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Alienated is Science Fiction and social commentary at its best- cleverly cloaked in one of THE COOLEST FRIGGIN BOOK COVERS I've ever seen. Alienated is the kind of book that you take to the restroom with you (Ughhhh. Yes. I just wrote that out-loud); you won't want to put it down. Melissa Lander's witty writing style and smart humor drive this book home in Tardis-style fashion. It's just a book but there is SO much more to it than that. Alienated will have you laughing out loud one minute and questioning your social norms the next.

Just when I thought Alienated was going to fall short in the romantic department, Melissa Landers shocked my socks off with one of the hottest scenes I've read in a YA Sci-Fi novel. It's the kind of steamy and sexy that's twice as effective because everybody still has their clothes on. It spiked my pulse and it was something different and refreshing than any romantic scene I've read in a while.

The world and character building are as vivid as the cover. Aelyx and Cara are as likeable and exciting as main characters get, and forget about your formulaic "stock characters" - there's nothing "stock" about Melissa's colorful cast of friends, family, and antagonists in this story. They are as brilliant as the MC's and make for a fantastic and engaging reading experience.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Step Into Fiction on March 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This cover, I love you. Seriously, how cool of a cover is this? I remember first hearing about this book when I saw the cover reveal and I needed to know what this book was all about. I mean, obviously aliens, right? But kudos to the cover designer because this is one of my absolutely favorite covers . . . ever.

But that's not what makes a book, right? It's all those pretty words inside that make it what it is. All those pretty words make up quite a freaking fantastic story. Two worlds colliding and not necessarily in the best way.

Cara is awesome. I want her as my BFF because she's so chill, so smart and really, just as nerdy as I am (well, maybe a little more but I love that). She was the only American chosen to play host to alien boy from L'eihr - but these aliens are almost identical to us humans. She couldn't be more excited because it opens up her future to the future she's always dreamed. Plus, she gets to be one of the only humans to interact with these alien species and that's just awesome.

While I adore Cara in the way of be my best friend forever way, it's Aelyx that totally captures my heart. He's cold and dangerous when he first gets to earth the longer we see him around Cara and her family, the more human he becomes. His hatred toward human food is quite hilarious. So many times just his reaction upon foods that I enjoy leaves me in fits of giggles. He's not only described as one of the best looking men you might come across but his personality is what truly wins the reader over. His feelings for not only Cara, but the whole human race evolve and it makes him question everything he originally came here to do. The best scene involves Aelyx, a computer and a search engine starting with something along the lines of how do I . . .
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Inspiring Insomnia TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 9, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I labeled Alienated as a science fiction novel, but that is really stretching the meaning of the genre. Yes, there are aliens in this book, but the science is very shallow. What is the point of featuring aliens in a story when they look, talk, and act just like humans? I have always had an intense interest in books and films featuring aliens, so this was a big disappointment.

In Alienated, Cara’s family signs up to be part of the first Earthling and L’eihr student exchange program. This is an idea that had some potential, but in execution, it didn’t make a lot of sense. Why would an advanced civilization send their snotty youths to Earth as their ambassadors, rather than a statesman-type? And by the time communications between two worlds advanced to the point that such a swap could occur, wouldn’t they have more than just a rudimentary understanding of each other? Over and over throughout the book, it’s pointed out how little the two beings know about each other.

Aelyx, the L’eihr sent to live with Cara’s family, is the hottest…”person”…she’s ever seen. I suppose this was necessary because once the inevitable romance kicks in, it might have been a bit of a struggle to picture Cara making out with an alien that looks like E.T. Aelyx, in fact, is SO human-like, and the alien angle is so forced, he might as well have been an exchange student from Europe. And just how exactly is an alien race indistinguishable from humans? Aelyx explains that L’eihr DNA and human DNA is “almost identical,” and the two races must have intermingled at some point in history. The explanation flies in the face of evolution, but that little matter is brushed aside.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Meredith on March 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I absolutely adore this book. It just gives me all the feels. It's sweet, witty, funny, and oh yeah, there is one majorly hot alien in it! I really connected with both Cara and Aelyx. Cara is so real! Yes, I said it...she is REAL. She isn't a thirty-year-old trapped in a teenager's body (personally, I think that totally stinks), she isn't the nerdy quiet girl that no one likes, she isn't the ugly-duckling...Nope Cara is just a teenage girl trying to get through high school. She's funny, smart, strong, and won't give in to her pushy boyfriend (WOO HOO!). I think a lot of girls can relate to Cara.

Then there is Aelyx. He is so loyal to his people that even though his intentions may not be the best for all of those around him, you know he is guided by passion and doing what he believes is the right thing. I loved watching this character evolve into a caring, feeling, emotional, almost-human teenage boy. His arc is extremely fulfilling and I was so invested in it.

There is no insta-love in this book. Cara and Aelyx are as different as night and day and it takes time for these two to find each other. As a reader I fell in love with Aelyx with Cara as he slowly opened up to her and experienced emotions he didn't know he was capable of feeling. And seriously, there is nothing in this world better than the kissing showdown between these two! Get ready to melt!

For the most part, the book is light and funny. It's heartwarming and the developing romance will take you right back to that first time you ever fell in love (do we EVER forget that feeling?). But there is also a deep story at play at the center. The author does an amazing job of portraying the real fear of the unknown.
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