Altered by Jennifer Rush
Series: Altered #1
Published: 01 January 2013
by Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Hardcover, 323 pages
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.
Altered is definitely going on my unrecorded (but still pretty legit) favourite YA thriller/action novels list. It was filled to the brim with excitement and adrenaline, without a single dull moment and also one of my favorite debuts this year. Set in our present time, the story was told from Anna’s POV.
Anna was definitely awesome kickass female lead material. She’s actually very relatable and cool, one of those characters who seemed like they could be your best friend in real life. I loved that she was smart enough to know when to and when not to speak, a wonderful skill which I myself sometimes lack.
As for the boys, Sam, Trev, Nick and Cas are all fascinatingly different. Although the fact that they were all attractive was slightly overrated, their personalities definitely outshone the predictability of their outer appearance. Despite Cas, Nick and Trev’s personalities being so defined, Sam was slightly more mysterious. It was unquestionable that he was the leader (something which Jennifer Rush showed amazingly well) but his true self, his likes and dislikes, were all pretty shady.
That, however, did not equate to Sam having a lack of personality. He’s just mysterious. Moreover, his ability to make good judgement under stressful circumstances was so swoon-worthy! What’s not to like about that?
The pace and romance in Altered was also impeccable. You would expect an action novel to be somewhat lacking in the romance department but actually, it was oh so good! I found how fragile and delicate Sam and Anna’s relationship seemed at first but grew and developed as they went through more perilous experiences together very engrossing. Every event that tries to separate them just makes me ship them more!
To wrap this up, Altered was like one of those action movies with an okay underlying meaning but with supercalifragilisticexpialidocious action. Yes, I had to resort to the longest word in the English language in encompass the greatness of the action in this novel. Would I recommend this? Without a doubt, yes.