When she’s chosen to be one of three exchange students with the recently discovered alien race the L’eihrs, Cara Sweeney sees not only a chance to get a full ride to college but also the change to jump start her career as a journalist. But that Cara didn’t expect was rampant xenophobia from her friends and planet or that her exchange student Alix might have a different agenda than promoting peace and understanding between the two cultures.
Oh, and she also didn’t expect that she’d start to fall for the alien living under her roof.
Melissa Landers’ Alienated starts off with a very interesting premise and story line, tackling some interesting threads and showing us the unintended price that Cara is paying for making the choice — she loses her boyfriend and her best friend in the rampant xenophobia overtaking her community. But somewhere around the third or fourth disc of this audiobook, things began to quickly go awry and I found myself enjoying the story less and less. It’s probably about the time that both Alix and Cara begin to fall for each other. It’s not because Landers doesn’t spend a time in the first half of the book setting these two unlikely heroes up as a couple. It’s because once the Cara starts trying to making food palatable to Alix’s alien palate that things the story begins to lose track of the interesting questions that drove the first half of the novel and slowly begins to center on just attracted these two are to each other.
Dropped from the story is the thread about how Cara’s mother was saved by L’eihr technology and how that could impact Cara and her family’s acceptance of Alix and his fellow student ambassadors.
About the only thing that kept me going for the final half of the novel was the mystery of what Alix and his exchange program counterparts are devising to inflict upon humanity in order to destroy both sides willingness to form an alliance. Unfortunately by the time we get around to any answers, I’d long since lost interesting and found myself doubling the audio rate on my iPod simply to get through the book. The answers aren’t anything I hadn’t already sussed out from the novel’s early stages and by the time I got to the final disc, I was ready for the whole thing to be over and done.
And if I’d come across one more description of how the light caught Alix’s flowing hair, I felt like I was going to toss my iPod across the roomm.
Which is a shame because, as I said before, the story starts off well with some interesting questions. The novel ends of a cliffhanger of sorts but I can’t say that I’m curious enough to want to pick up the story when the next installment hits shelves.