Author: Jennifer Rush
Pages: 336 pages
Format acquired: Hardcover
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Published on: January 1st 2013
Source: Purchased from Fully Booked
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble
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.
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads)
If I were to describe Altered in three words, they would have to be: FourHotGeneticallyAlteredGuys. WhoAreOnTheRunFromEvilPeople. OhAndTheresAGirlToo. Yup, three words! Here's to hoping that Geraldine doesn't see this lest she disowns me. But seriously, Altered essentially revolves around a lot of action. A lot. Which is definitely fine by me since these guys (and the girl) are on the run so it's expected that there'll be a lot of running, shooting, shirtlessness, maiming and blood. The only issue I had with this book is that there really wasn't enough romance for me in it. I get that they're all too busy running away but can't they find the time for one sneaky smooch or something? But more on that later though, moving on...
I actually tore through this book really quickly, there's a sense of urgency that you'll feel once you're reading Altered. The book is definitely fast-paced and Jennifer Rush doesn't really take much time elaborating on unneeded details, she's very straightforward and gets to the point as quickly as possible. I love how there's a twist in every turn that you arrive at and there's always something to anticipate. There's a Bourne Trilogy feel to the book, you have four guys (and a girl) trying to figure out who they are by following a trail of clues left by someone and are faced with a lot of obstacles. The clues that were left and the puzzles that they had to piece together gave Altered an element of surprise that made it all the more exciting and mysterious.
While Altered may have been filled with a lot of action, mystery and suspense, it lacked in its romance aspect. There just wasn't any spark and definitely no steamy scenes between the characters. I was waiting for something to happen but all I got was unrequited love and shirtless guys. Not that I'm complaining regarding the latter one. Ahem. I honestly didn't really understand how Anna could've fallen in love with Sam. I get that he's tall, dark and handsome but the guy is just so... stoic. He has his sweet moments but I just can't imagine falling in love with someone like that. Which leads me to wonder, does Anna really love Sam? After all the things they found out, is it really love or is it because of... No spoilers. *wink* But Sam really grew on me at the latter part of the book, he made my insides all mushy.
I actually found myself falling in love with the other three hot guys: Nick, Trev and Cas. They really brought the entertainment and flavor (did I really just use flavor?) to the book. Even though Nick is probably the biggest d-bag I have ever read about, I can't really blame him for acting that way. Being stuck in an underground lab for God knows how long will really get on someone's nerves. I can't imagine living that way, being tested all the time, having my blood taken (I can't even stand the sight of needles) on a regular basis will undoubtedly drive me coo-coo. And Trev? Oh, Trev. *swoons* He's every reader's dream. He looks foreign, he's smart, HE LOVES TO READ and... I don't even need to say anything more, do I? But he actually only gives off the "best-guy-friend" vibe and not "boyfriend material" which is really sad. And last but not the least, there's Cas. I absolutely loved Cas. He's the fun-loving type of person who will always put a smile on your face. I always looked forward to Cas's scenes with the other characters because he never failed to crack me up. It's these three characters that made me love this book so, so much because they provided me with a lot of heart, soul and a whole ton of body.
Now let's talk about our darling Anna. Anna Banana. Bananaaa. Is it obvious that I am currently delirious? Because I am. Ha! Anyway, I really felt bad for Anna in Altered. She obviously did not know that this was going to happen to her (but who would? Living in a farmhouse with a secret lab and four genetically altered boys is sooo not weird at all.) I honestly did not really care for Anna at the first half of the book but as I read on, I couldn't help but appreciate Anna as a character and a heroine. Okay, she might not be the most badass protag out there but she's got a lot of guts and drive to be a wanted runaway. I felt that she wasn't really much of a person at the start but as the book progressed, she was definitely more exposed and grew more as a character. Who knew that underneath that shy kitten exterior was a tiger that just needed someone to pull its tail to be unleashed.
I love the fact that Jennifer Rush was able to answer most of the questions that were asked in the first part of the book but also left some unanswered to tease the readers. I loved that plot twists that were presented at every turn of the page and that you really wouldn't be able to see most of them coming. And mostly, I loved each and every one of the characters that will grow on you as you continue to read on. All in all, I enjoyed every single minute I dedicated to reading Altered and it is definitely a book worth reading. I will be waiting anxiously for the next one. (I loved the ending, by the way. Like, looooved.)