Tag Archives: Alienated

[REVIEW] Alienated – Melissa Landers

Melissa Landers
Alienated (Alienated, Book 1)
Disney-Hyperion (US: 6th January 2015); Hachette Little, Brown (AU: 31st March 2015)
Buy (US Kindle Edition) Buy (US Hardcover) Buy (US Paperback) Buy (UK Hardcover) Buy (UK Paperback) Buy (CA Kindle Edition) Buy (CA Hardcover) Buy (CA Paperback) Buy (Worldwide Hardcover) Buy (Worldwide Paperback)

TRIGGER WARNINGS: Bigotry, xenophobia, cultural appropriation (including skin-darkening).

Two years ago, the planet L’heir made contact with Earth, using superior technology. As a show of good faith, they cured Eileen Sweeney of cancer. (Did they cure anyone else? If not, why her? Not sure if this was explained.) Now, Aelyx is a L’heir exchange student in the Sweeney home.

Of course, there’s a romance between Aelyx and Cara Sweeney. But in Midtown, the Sweeneys and the high school teachers seem to be the only ones who don’t hate Aelyx and the L’heirs.

Cara’s best friend and ex-boyfriend have joined the local chapter of bigots. (We later learn they’re “not like the others” in the group, but it’s an ORGANISATION OF BIGOTS, and they’re in it.) Cara receives threatening messages from “humanists” wanting Aelyx out of town, and preferably off Earth. Bill’s kicked out of his favourite pub, Eileen’s kicked out of her book group, and Cara has no friend left except for Aelyx.

And a girl named Ashley. A group of people call themselves “L’heir Lovers”, seemingly a welcoming committee. But they definitely fetishise L’heirs, and even appropriate L’heir culture: low ponytails, beige clothing, and DARKENING THEIR SKIN. The L’heir Lovers use self-tanner, but in this context it most definitely is cultural appropriation, if not some kind of blackface.

There is definitely bigotry in this novel, but there’s also xenophobia. The “Patriots of Earth” hate L’heirs, but they also fear them. This means that instead of attacking Aelyx personally, they pick on the Sweeneys instead. Afraid Aelyx will fight back? It seems to turn the story into one of how allies are treated, instead of how the actual marginalised are treated.

Aelyx and his fellow “ambassadors” do not want to be on Earth. They want Earthlings to hate them, to kick them out back to L’heir. This is where the story becomes very timely, even though it was published almost two years ago and I only read it now.

The parents Sweeney don’t make sense. One moment they don’t want Cara and Aelyx to have sex in their house, the next they’re convincing the teens to escape to L’heir together. It seems like a complete turnaround.

While Alienated may be marketed as a fun and relaxing read, its problematic contact makes it not as fluffy as you’d expect. It’s disappointingly focused on the treatment of allies rather than the marginalised, and Midtown – kind of like Anytown, USA – is seriously disturbing with its bigotry, xenophobia, cultural appropriation, and teens with rifles.

I sure didn’t expect that.

March 2015 Releases

Done with February 2015 Releases? Here are March 2015 Releases. For future releases, check Reading Wishlist. (NOTE: If reading via a feed-reader, the formatting may be wrong. Click the blog post’s title to take you to my WordPress, where it should show up fine.)

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6th January 2015 Releases

Happy Release Day to:

Katie Coyle
Vivian Apple at the End of the World [also published as Vivian Versus the Apocalypse] (Vivian Apple, Book 1)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (US: 6th January 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Seventeen-year-old Vivian Apple never believed in the evangelical Church of America, unlike her recently devout parents. But when Vivian returns home the night after the supposed “Rapture,” all that’s left of her parents are two holes in the roof. Suddenly, she doesn’t know who or what to believe. With her best friend Harp and a mysterious ally, Peter, Vivian embarks on a desperate cross-country road-trip through a paranoid and panic-stricken America to find answers. Because at the end of the world, Vivian Apple isn’t looking for a saviour. She’s looking for the truth.

Melissa Landers
Alienated (Alienated, Book 1)
Disney-Hyperion (US: 6th January 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

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.

Sophie Littlefield
Infected
Random House Delacorte (US & CA: 6th January 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Carina’s senior year is spiralling downward. Fast. Both her mother and her uncle, the only two family members she’s ever known, are dead. Their deaths were accidents, unfortunate results of the highly confidential research they performed for a national security organization. Or so she’s been told. She’s not buying it. After finding a unique code hidden beneath the stone in a ring her mother left to her, Carina goes straight to the only family she has left: her boyfriend, Tanner. The people Carina loved kept dangerous secrets. Secrets that make her question the life she’s been living up to now. Her life is on the line, but more importantly, so is Tanner’s. And if she fails? He dies.

Kathleen Peacock
Thornhill [also published as Deadly Thorns] (Hemlock, Book 2)
HarperCollins Katherine Tegen (US & CA: 6th January 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

The ripple effect caused by the solving of her BFF Amy’s murder has driven Mac’s new love, Kyle, to leave Hemlock and disappear from her life forever. But Mac refuses to accept his decision, especially since it puts him in danger. So she sets out in search of Kyle with barely sober pal Jason – and Amy’s all-seeing ghost – in tow. Clues lead Mac to find Kyle in the most surprising place – a werewolf den located in the mountains of Colorado – but their reunion is cut short by a terrifying Tracker raid. Now Mac and Kyle find themselves trapped inside the tall electric fences of Thornhill, a rehabilitation camp for young werewolves. As she devises an escape plan, Mac uncovers dangerous secrets buried within the walls of Thornhill – and realises that the risk to the people she loves is greater than ever before.

Kathleen Peacock
Willowgrove [also published as Deadly Willow (Hemlock, Book 3)
HarperCollins Katherine Tegen (US & CA: 6th January 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Ever since Mac’s best friend, Amy, was murdered, Hemlock has been a dangerous place. But now that Mac, her boyfriend, Kyle, and Amy’s ex, Jason, instigated a mass breakout from Thornhill, a werewolf “rehabilitation” camp, the danger has only grown. Fear of the infection spreading is at an all-time high and anyone with a scar is suspected of being a wolf. What makes Mac even more afraid are the dark experiments that the warden of Thornhill was performing on werewolves in a secret asylum called Willowgrove. Mac knows that uncovering proof of what happened and who did it is the only way to save the people she loves from the violence surrounding them and the powerful forces that want to silence the truth. And Amy won’t stop haunting her dreams until she does.

Lissa Price
Enders (Starters, Book 2)
Random House Embers (US & CA: 6th January 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Someone is after Starters like Callie and Michael – teens with chips in their brains. They want to experiment on anyone left over from Prime Destinations – Starters who can be controlled and manipulated. With the body bank destroyed, Callie no longer has to rent herself out to creepy Enders. But Enders can still get inside her mind and make her do things she doesn’t want to do. Like hurt someone she loves. Having the chip removed could save her life – but it could also silence the voice in her head that might belong to her father. Callie has flashes of her ex-renter Helena’s memories, too…and the Old Man is back, filling her with fear. Who is real and who is masquerading in a teen body? No one is ever who they appears to be, not even the Old Man. Determined to find out who he really is and grasping at the hope of a normal life for herself and her younger brother, Callie is ready to fight for the truth. Even if it kills her.

Jennifer Rush
Reborn (Altered, Book 3)
Hachette Little, Brown (US: 6th January 2015)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

The Branch is in shambles, but Anna, Sam, Cas, and Nick can’t rest easy. Remnants of the organization lurk unseen and the flashbacks to their old lives are only getting stronger – especially Nick’s. Following scattered memories and clues from his Branch file, Nick sets off alone in search of answers and in search of the girl who haunts his dreams. But the sleepy town where she lives in full of secrets and Nick soon learns that uncovering their shared past may have deadly consequences.

January 2015 Releases

Done with December 2014 Releases? Here are January 2015 Releases. For future releases, check Reading Wishlist. NOTE: If reading this in a feed-reader, please go to my WordPress (click this blog post’s title) in order for the formatting to show up correctly.

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Now Available for US Pre-Order

Holly Black: THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST: 13th January 2015: Buy (US)
Jessica Brody: UNFORGOTTEN (paperback): 24th February 2015: Buy (US)
Jessica Brody: UNCHANGED: 24th February 2015: Buy (US)
Cecil Castellucci: TIN STAR (paperback): 24th February 2015: Buy (US)
Cecil Castellucci: STONE IN THE SKY: 24th February 2015: Buy (US)
Erica Hayes: SCORCHED: 22nd May 2014: Buy (US)
Mark Henry: BALUSTRADE: 4th May 2014: Buy (US)
Melissa Landers: ALIENATED (paperback): 6th January 2015: Buy (US)
Jennifer Rush: REBORN: 6th January 2015: Buy (US)
Megan Shepherd: A COLD LEGACY: 27th January 2015: Buy (US)
Kristen Simmons: THREE (paperback): 20th January 2015: Buy (US)
Kristen Simmons: THE GLASS ARROW: 10th February 2015: Buy (US)

4th February 2014 Releases

Happy Release Day to:

Julianna Baggott
Burn (Pure, Book 3)
Hachette (US & UK: 4th February 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Inside the Dome Patridge has taken his father’s place as leader of the Pures. His intent had been to bring down the Dome from the inside with the help of the secret resistance force led by Partridge’s former teacher Glassings. But from his new position of power, things don’t seem quite as clear. Perhaps his father had been right. Perhaps if the world is to survive it needs the Dome – and Partridge – to rule it. Outside the Dome Pressia and Bradwell continue piecing together the clues left to them by their parents from the time before the detonations. Soon they will be able to help heal the Wretches, freeing them from their monstrous fusings and the Dome’s oppression once and for all. But their success also depends on Partridge. Can they still trust their friend and ally to see their plan through? Or will a new war begin?

Rachel Caine
Prince of Shadows
Penguin (US & CA: 4th February 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

In the Houses of Montague and Capulet, there is only one goal: power. The boys are born to fight and die for honour and – if they survive – marry for influence and money, not love. The girls are assets, to be spent wisely. Their wishes are of no import. Their fates are written on the day they are born. Benvolio Montague, cousin to Romeo, knows all this. He expects to die for his cousin, for his house, but a spark of rebellion still lives inside him. At night, he is the Prince of Shadows, the greatest thief in Verona – and he risks all as he steals from House Capulet. In doing so he sets eyes on convent-bound Rosaline, and a terrible curse begins that will claim the lives of many in Verona… And will rewrite all their fates, forever.

Máire Claremont
A Lady Undone (Mad Passions, Book 2.5) [novella]
Penguin Signet Eclipse (US: 4th February 2014); Hachette Headline (UK: 4th February 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Duchess Clare Ederly is lucky to be alive. Having outlived her violent, abusive husband, she decides to put her significant inheritance to good use helping other battered women by opening a refuge for those seeking to escape. But not everyone is pleased with her work. Someone wants to see her sanctuary torn down – at any cost. Her only hope of protecting her home and tenants is a former spy, whose skill at tracking deadly men is matched only by his dangerous charm… The Earl of Wyndham has done his part for Queen and country; he has had his fill of plotting and politics and simply wants to retire to the pleasant life of his club. But Duchess Clare’s razor-sharp wit and fierce determination awaken new purpose and admiration in him. To protect her, he will once again delve into the treacherous world of espionage. To win her love, he will do almost anything…

Melissa Landers
Alienated
Disney-Hyperion (US: 4th February 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

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 realises 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.

Marissa Meyer
Cress (Lunar Chronicles, Book 3)
Macmillan Feiwel & Friends (US: 4th February 2014); Penguin Puffin (AU: 4th February 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and prevent her army from invading Earth. Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she’s just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she’d ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

Saundra Mitchell
Mistwalker
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (US: 4th February 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

When Willa Dixon’s brother dies on the family lobster boat, her father forbids Willa from stepping foot on deck again. With her family suffering, she’ll do anything to help out – even visit the Grey Man. Everyone in her small Maine town knows of this legendary spirit who haunts the lighthouse, controlling the fog and the fate of any vessel within his reach. But what Willa finds in the lighthouse isn’t a spirit at all, but a young man trapped inside until he collects one thousand souls. Desperate to escape his cursed existence, Grey tries to seduce Willa to take his place. With her life on land in shambles, will she sacrifice herself?

Jenny Trout
Such Sweet Sorrow
Entangled Teen (US: 4th February 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Never was there a tale of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo… But true love never dies. Though they’re parted by the veil between the world of mortals and the land of the dead, Romeo believes he can restore Juliet to life, but he’ll have to travel to the underworld with a thoroughly infuriating guide. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, may not have inherited his father’s crown, but the murdered king left his son a much more important responsibility – a portal to the Afterjord, where the souls of the dead reside. When the determined Romeo asks for help traversing the treacherous Afterjord, Hamlet sees an opportunity for adventure and the chance to avenge his father’s death. In an underworld filled with leviathan monsters, ghoulish shades, fire giants, and fierce Valkyrie warriors, Hamlet and Romeo must battle their way through jealousy, despair, and their darkest fears to rescue the fair damsel. Yet finding Juliet is only the beginning, and the Afterjord doesn’t surrender souls without a price…

February 2014 Releases

Done with January 2014 Releases? Here are February 2014 Releases. For future releases, check Reading Wishlist.

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Now Available for US Pre-Order

Ann Aguirre: FORBIDDEN FRUIT: 8th May 2013: Buy (US)
Julianna Baggott: BURN: 4th February 2014: Buy (US)
Megan Crewe: THE LIVES WE LOST (paperback): 7th January 2014: Buy (US)
Megan Crewe: THE WORLDS WE MAKE: 11th February 2014: Buy (US)
Rhiannon Held: REFLECTED: 18th February 2014: Buy (US)
Melissa Landers: ALIENATED: 4th February 2013: Buy (US)
Karen Mahoney: HUNTING THE DARK: 6th February 2014: Buy (UK)
Mary E. Pearson: FOX FOREVER (paperback): 18th February 2014: Buy (US)
Jennifer Rush: ERASED: 7th January 2014: Buy (US)
Kristen Simmons: BREAKING POINT (paperback): 7th January 2014: Buy (US)
Kristen Simmons: THREE: 11th February 2014: Buy (US)
Angie Smibert: THE MEME PLAGUE (paperback): 13th August 2013: Buy (US)
Amanda Sun: SHADOW: 1st June 2013): Buy (US)
Carol Lynch Williams: THE HAVEN: 4th March 2014: Buy (US)

6 New Covers (Armstrong, Elliott, Holzner, Landers, Locke, Verday)

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8 New Deals (Aguirre, Dane, Landers, Mead, Slaughter, Spann, Tracey)

Ann Aguirre‘s Horde (2013) to Feiwel & Friends (World English). Final book in the dystopian Razorland trilogy.

Ann Aguirre‘s edgy paranormal revenge trilogy to Feiwel & Friends (World English). Doctor Faustus meets Mean Girls, set in a dark world of secret societies, twisted bargains & forbidden love. Book 1: Mortal Beauty (2014). Book 2: Dire Charm (2015). Book 3: Dead Lovely (2016).

Lauren Dane‘s Going Under to Berkley in a 2-book deal to Berkley, for publication beginning 2013. Both books continue the Bound by Magick series.

Melissa Landers‘s Alienated in a 2-book deal to Disney-Hyperion (World). A high school valedictorian takes in an extraterrestrial exchange student in order to receive a college scholarship, prompting a national controversy that spins out of control, only to find herself falling for her mysterious alien friend.

Richelle Mead‘s Gameboard of the Gods in a 2-book deal to Dutton (World). 1st novel in new adult paranormal series, Age of X, featuring an unlikely pair charged with investigating mystical phenomena in a futuristic world that was nearly destroyed by religious extremists.

Karin Slaughter‘s next untitled book (2013) to Delacorte (NA).

Susan Spann‘s Shinobi in a 3-book deal to Thomas Dunne Books. A new samurai mystery series featuring a Samurai & a Portuguese priest, who must clear a teahouse entertainer of murder, with each book focusing on a different aspect of 16th-century Japanese culture.

Scott Tracey‘s Moonset (2013) in a 2-book deal to Flux (World English). 5 children of warlock terrorists must struggle against the destructive legacy left by their parents, all the while resisting their own capacity for darkness.