Monday, July 15, 2013

YA Review: Altered (Jennifer Rush)

Altered (Altered, #1)
Title: Altered
Series: Altered, Book 1
Author: Jennifer Rush
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: January 1, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Romantic Suspense
Rating: Older Teen (some strong language, violence, sensuality)
Told: First Person Singular (Anna), Past Tense
Format Read: ARC
Find It On: Goodreads

SummaryWhen you can’t trust yourself, who can you believe?

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.

Three Words: Hot, dangerous boys.

Writing: Easy and quick - just the way I like it.

Setting: The real world with the usual secret scientific advancements. They jump between several American states over the course of the story, and while I've never been to the locations, they felt realistic enough.

Story: We start out with four hot boys locked in a girl's basement - a very good place to start, in my opinion. Under her unassuming farmhouse, Anna assists her father as he tends to four "altered" amnesiac boys, part of a secret project she knows little about. But when she helps the boys escape, she gets caught up in a mess of danger and mystery as she discovers that even her own life is not what she thinks it to be. The story pulls back and forth between fighting for their lives and following the clues Sam left for them to figure out who they were and why they were made to forget. Some of the pieces of the mystery puzzle were a bit too far-fetched for me - the whole thing felt more like a very elaborate scavenger hunt - but the progression was easy to follow.

Characters: While Anna's single-minded obsession with Sam got on my nerves at times, she was a relatively strong and capable girl, and I liked her. For the boys, they were a nicely balanced bunch, both as a whole and for Anna - Sam: strong leader and romantic interest, Trev: loyal, dependable best friend, Cas: comic relief, and Nick: dark, hostile, and devil's advocate. I loved each one individually, but it was as a group that they really shone.

Romantic Relationship: Anna and Sam's "relationship" was complicated and wrought with uncertainty, and there was a question of exactly why they liked each other that had me just as confused as them. I'll be interested to see how it progresses in the next book.

Conclusion: In many ways, I would swear Jennifer wrote this book just for me. It was a total guilty pleasure, and I'm really looking forward to Book 2: Erased.


  1. I saw this one at the library the other day and didn't pick it up. Now that I've read your review I feel like that might have been a mistake. Seriously, this book sounds so exciting. And I'm always down for a bunch a hot boys too! Great review!

  2. I believe you review just convinced me to read this! I need to check this one out. Who isn't okay with a bunch of hot guys? lol :)

  3. wow that was great blurb and then the book look great

  4. Love the blurb.. a definite read!

  5. This appears to be different than I thought it to be. Thank you for your review. It sounds like a book I would enjoy.

  6. Your review makes me want to read this book! Totally not what I perceived Altered will be...