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It's been two centuries since the Telumiras arrived and settled on Earth, changing everything including the genetic makeup of humans.
Living in the section of land occupied by her own kind, Ness Kimler tries to be a normal teenager, worrying about her career and finding a mate, questions to be answered at her upcoming graduation.
But before that happens, Ness accidentally crosses the Great Fence separating humans and Telumiras. For 200 years, the barrier has been in place, preserving the peace on a planet divided between two species.
What she finds is that the Fence isn't just about keeping the aliens in; it's about keeping the humans out.
And Ness Kimler just broke the rules.
Xenophobia quickly pulled me in and before I knew it, l was completely addicted to this story. In that first chapter alone, I already felt connected to our heroine, Ness. Her voice was honest, captivating and watching her struggle had me curious where this book was headed. You see, Ness was a little bit different then her peers. Ever since the aliens came, humans changed. They have cryptosyms on their skin, which are markings that are meant to help you find the best possible path in your life. They tell you what career, mate, number of children etc, would be the best fit for you. Yet Ness’ markings aren’t easily deciphered like her classmates, and I was more than intrigued to find out why.
Enormous, twisting trees towered behind the Fence, evidence of them. Evidence that humans were no longer the only dominant species. Earth was no longer our world.
The aliens now called it home, too.
The world that was described, and the lifestyle that Ness lived, was fascinating and so unique to me. I loved being in this world! We slowly got immersed while following Ness throughout the day. Which sounds simple enough, until she arrives at home. She lives with her Aunt, and because of what they can afford, they live closest to the border of where the humans and aliens are separated from one another. Personally, I’d be terrified to live so close to the border because of the descriptions of the some of the creatures that sneak into the human side *shudders*. But living in that close proximity is about to completely flip Ness’ life upside down.
Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God. I lowered myself closer to the dirt, but even the surrounding foliage couldn’t hide all of me.
It eyes stopped on my silver boots sticking out, tracing them up to my dress, my arms.
We locked eyes.
Everything that happens, leads Ness to meeting Tevire. And let me hang my head in shame because I didn’t know if I could fall for him in the first few seconds we met him. Yes he’s an alien, and although he looks awfully human, he has many characteristics that make him different. His speech, hair, eyes, nose and the shocker for me was that he even had a tail. But you know what? Tevire slowly seeped into my heart and I found myself completely falling for him. Watching him interact with Ness showed who he truly was. He was selfless. He was protective. He had a sense of humor. He was so many amazing things wrapped up into one beautiful being. But my favorite aspect about him? The things Tevire did to protect Ness was gut wrenching, sweaty palm inducing and entirely swoon worthy.
No one has ever had this kind of chance.
Although Ness and Tevire had a rocky start, I loved how they slowly but steadily morphed into a true friendship. It was such a natural progression. But the more they spent around one another, the chemistry between them seemed to grow hotter and hotter. It got to the point where I wanted to beg them to act on it. I guess you’ll just have to see what happens, since I don’t want to say anything other than they were so much fun to watch.
Xenophobia is truly a hidden gem! There is so much more that I want to talk about, especially with how the story progresses. But this is one of those books where you’re going to want to discover this world by yourself. Xenophobia was such a fun, unique read and I can’t wait to see where this series goes. I will definitely be picking up this authors other books!
*ARC kindly provided by S.B. Roozenboom in exchange for an honest review*