Okay, so I've come to a conclusion: I <3 Aliens.
And apparently so do a lot of other people :-).
Aliens are making a comeback, and I'm loving every second. I was a big Roswell fan back in the day (still am, actually--Liz and Max, Michael and Maria, Isabel and Alex…yes, yes, YES). There's this new show, Star Crossed, which I like more than I thought I would. There's also an Asian drama with an alien/human romance that I'm watching, My Love From Another Star. FYI: I love me some Asian drama!! I haven't read Obsidian (yet), though a lot of people fangirl over it. Didn't love I Am Number Four, didn't hate it.
Anyway, my point is aliens are a thing, like a real trend in books and other media, and I'm enjoying the ride.
Alienated is another nice addition to the alien/human romance category. Although I can't say I fell in love with the book, I did like it. From the idea of an alien exchange student to the adversity of humans vs. aliens to the chemistry between our two MCs, this story had a lot going for it.
My favorite thing about Cara was how she stood by Aelyx the entire time. She was loyal to him and, more importantly, to her convictions. Even when her friends gave up on her, Cara didn't give into the ignorance of fear and hate, and I really respected her for that.
Different anti-alien groups rose up, distrustful of the L'eihrs, and tried to force them to go back home using scare tactics and violence. But they also targeted Cara and her family. This kind of plot really works for me. The discrimination against a new race of people, the fear, the hatred of the unknown. Even if you don't believe in aliens, history has shown that people do react this way, and it makes the story more believable.
(Star Crossed does this--a bit better imo--which is one of the reasons I enjoy it.)
The chemistry was there as well. Cara and Aelyx, two opposing personalities who can't help but be attracted to each other--and one is a super-intelligent, super-hot alien? Yes, please! Also, I loved how the L'eirh vs. human mindset differed about things like romance, emotion, food etc.
I didn't like how Cara's "best friend" Tori abandoned and then betrayed her. I didn't like that two of the people Cara considered her friends would become part of the anti-L'eihr hate group--and hook up behind her back. I mean, WTH? I've read a couple books in a row where the BFF ends up stabbing the MC in the back, and I am not a big fan. Sisters before misters, always. Also, I didn't love the ending. I know it's a series, but there were a lot of things left up in the air.
Again, I <3 Aliens--but did I <3 Alienated? I'm not sure I'd go that far, but I did enjoy it. Guess you'll have to make up your own mind on this one ;).