Saturday, February 9, 2013

Book Review: Altered

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. Quoted from Goodreads


This was one of those books I couldn't put down.  It was basically all chase scene/mystery, so while it's over 300 pages, it didn't ever feel that long and left me excited for the next one.

Like I said, everything is action, move on, more action, find a clue, move on, more action.  I thought Jennifer Rush did a good job with the pacing and the clues they followed.  There were one or two I thought a little obvious, but then there were others that were genius, and it made for a fun ride. Plus there were some awesom twists I never saw coming, some of which left me a little stunned.

Probably the most interesting part, for me, was the genetic modifications, super stregnth, how they manipulated the relationship between the subjects, and especially how they planned to control them.  There is still plenty of mystery  left and I have all sorts of questions for the next two books, but I found what they did kind of fascinating. I won't give too much away, but it's an interesting idea. Now I'm excited for even more back story.  

Since none of the boys remember their lives outside the lab, much of the book is still a mystery, but at the same time everyone had known each other for years.  Anna is thrown into all this craziness, but it's with people she knows, plays games with, and made cookies for. So often a girl meets the new boy, and that's what changes her life, adds the mystery, etc.  Here, she knows the characters, or at least thinks she does, but at the same time they are forced to face something completely new.  

Each of the characters is very distinct,with their own voice and personality that they bring to the story.  I found Anna to be a fun, strong character who did a good job handling the constant pressure of almost being caught by people she always trusted, and the boys, Trey and Cas, were just as good.  Even Nick, who is so often a pain, never came off as one dimensional.

Then there's Anna's relationship with Sam.  What's a young adult book without a little romance?  And this one delivered perfectly.  Their relationship built slowly throughout the book, but on top of that, they've known each other for four years.  Yes, they still have a bunch problems to work out, but Jennifer Rush gave them a solid base, and I really enjoyed it.

So, yeah, here's another author to add to the list of people whose books I should always read.  Altered for me is a fantastic 4 stars, and I can't wait for the next book to come out. It's light, high-speed fun and I enjoyed it.

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