Author: Jennifer Rush
Series: Altered #1
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopia
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, Cas, Trev…and Sam, who’s stolen Anna’s heart. When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them.
Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind in the safety of her everyday life. But her father pushes her to flee, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. There’s just one problem. Sam and the boys don’t remember anything before living in the lab—not even their true identities.
Now on the run, Anna soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they’re both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.
First Sentence: For most of the last four years, I wasn’t allowed in the lab.
What caught my eye was Altered‘s book spine. The book spine you ask? Yes, the book spine. (Yes, I also know I’m a freak.) Just look at it! It’s the coolest shade of yellow-green color I’ve ever seen in my life! Honestly, if it wasn’t for the book spine, I wouldn’t have read Altered until a long, long time later, so I’m very happy I gave it a try. I was a bit indecisive in giving Altered either a rating of 3.5 or a rating of 4, but in the end, I felt that Altered deserved a rating of 4 since the very good outweighed the good in Altered.
Before I started Altered, I was a bit worried how Jennifer Rush could write about the four boys – Sam, Trev, Cas, and Nick – and not make any of them undeveloped, two-dimensional characters or leave one of them out of the book anytime for too long. However, to my surprise, Jennifer Rush managed to nail it down perfectly.
On the other hand, the main character, Anna, really frustrated me sometimes. There were things that she and the boys were investigating that were so glaringly obvious, things that the others confirmed, but Anna still refused to believe. I get that she’s in denial, but sometimes, I just wanted to shake her and yell dude, the facts are all screaming at you, just accept it already! Anna is also slow – I figured out the truth in around three chapters before it finally dawns on Anna.
The things Anna thinks are also just plain weird. So Sam, Trev, Cas, and Nick have been trapped behind glass and brick walls all their lives, being tested on. Anna decides that the boys are locked up because they were made to be some kind of secret strong superheroes or something along those lines. Does that even make sense? Anyone with common sense knows that you don’t keep people that you were experimenting with to make them do good things locked up. I just rolled my eyes when I heard that one.
There were so many twists in Altered that I never saw coming. (For those of you who don’t know me well, I can easily spot and guess a plot twist a mile away. And I’m usually right.) I was very close to guessing one particular plot twist right, but not exactly. Still, what Jennifer Rush bought on just completely stunned me and filled my mind with so many questions.
The ending of Altered was well done, leaving a bittersweet smile on my face. So well done that I could easily ignore the small plot hole near the ending.
I am so looking forward to reading the sequel of Altered. I can’t wait to see what happens next. (I love it when books make me feel that way without using any cliffhangers.) Seriously, if you haven’t read Altered yet, then what are you waiting for? You are pretty much guaranteed to love it!