Author: Jennifer Rush
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Age Group: Teen
Amazon Barnes and Noble IndieBound
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Challenges: Debut Author Challenge 2013
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.
You guys, I’m a total worrier. Basically, if I’m not worrying about something, then I’m not happy. Totally crazy, right? Because worrying about everything is stressful, and certainly not an ingredient for happiness. And I was worrying, because I hadn’t read any books that qualify for the Debut Author Challenge, even though it was only January 9! So when I saw Heidi from YABibliophile‘s review of Altered, I thought “perfect! This looks like fun. I will go grab this from B&N and read it for DAC.” And the best part, I couldn’t put this book down! I am not saying that this is a favorite book, but it was fast paced, and I just had to see what happened next.
Altered is fast-paced book, and gets moving right from the get-go. Although I loved that this book wasn’t slow-paced, sometimes I wished it would slow down just a little, so we could explore the feelings of Anna and Sam. For example. there is a scene shortly after the boys (seriously calling them boys is ridiculous) escape, Sam makes some comment that hurts Anna. I wished that we weren’t rushed through this scene, and that we had a little more time to see Sam and Anna talk more. There were other scenes like that, that I just wanted a little more time to explore the characters feelings, before all the action kicked up again. I did love the action, though. I kept saying to myself “okay, one more chapter, then I will go to sleep.” I stayed up until 3AM reading, because of that.
Each of the “boys,” Sam, Trev, Cas and Nick had their own personalities, although sometimes I had to remind myself who was Cas and Trev to Anna. I am kind of in love with Sam, but I felt like he was way too old for Anna. Anna is 17, and Sam was around 22 (I think). I did find that a little creepy. Not to mention the whole Dani thing. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I tried to not think about that part.
I thought Anna was a pretty interesting MC. She’s sweet, and kind of niave, but she also can hold it together when being chased by the baddies. And by the end of the story, she can certianly hold her own.
Again, I can’t say that all of the plot points perfectly matched up, but I really enjoyed Altered. If you’re looking for something fast-paced, with lots of action, and four good-loooking guys, this is for you. Overall, a great debut by Jennifer Rush!