***Review posted at The Eater of Books! blog***
Altered by Jennifer Rush
Book One of the Altered series
Publisher: Little, Brown and Co.
Publication Date: January 1, 2013
Rating: 5 stars
Source: Won a giveaway
I got this book from a wonderful author, who pre-ordered it for me. I am going to be honest - I may have asked for this book because of the cover. I usually try not to do things like that, but the synopsis actually seemed interesting as well. It seemed like a win-win situation. Nevertheless, I was not disappointed.
Summary (from Goodreads):
When 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.
What I Liked:
First, I would like to say that this book is not a contemporary, or a dystopia. It is a thriller, as said by the author. And what a thriller it was.
The characters: I was almost immediately intrigued by the four boys in Anna's basement. I liked how each boy's personality was distinct. I have no favorite of the four, because, despite the duration of the book, and the ending, I liked them all. Anna herself was an intriguing character. I liked the way she thought and reacted. Many times I have difficulty understanding the motives of teenage heroines in Young Adult novels. Anna was a truly likable character, with good instincts and a strong will. She handled things, no matter what they were, with dignity and a clear head (most of the time).
The plot surprised me. In a way, I expected some things (which I will not mention), but I did not expect many points towards the end. The plot is solid, in my opinion, and by solid, I mean not filled with gaping holes and that make me wonder whether Jennifer Rush knows where she is going with everything. No, the plot was superb.
Romance: NO LOVE TRIANGLE YAY!!! That I can see, there is no love triangle. I hope everything stays this way for the rest of the series. I am a love triangle hater in almost all cases, and I am extremely happy to see no love triangle in this book.
And can I say how happy I am about the science in this book. Go genetic engineering! I love the addition of science in Young Adult books, and Jennifer Rush did an excellent job of utilizing genetic engineering into this book.
Also, this book was engrossing. I read about half of it on an hour-long car ride to Northern Virginia, and the second half on the way back. I usually have to put the book down and absorb, but not with Altered. I found myself unable to rip myself away from the book. I needed this book in many ways; with my senior year of high school completely taking over my life, I needed a book that was fresh, original, captivating, and enthralling. I got all of those things and more with Altered.
What I Did Not Like:
That is ended? I know this sounds ridiculous, but there was not much that I did not like. I have soooo many questions, but I have a very good feeling that Jennifer Rush is going to answer at least some of them in the next book, and if not that book, then the third book. I cannot complain with Altered!
Would I Recommend It:
YES YES YES SO MUCH!!!! I am already declaring this book one of my favorites of 2013. It is THAT GOOD.
5 stars (can I give it more?)
GO READ THIS BOOK NOW!!! Trust me, it is worth it. Not just for the shirtless boys (although there is a lot of that. *wink wink*)