Sunday, February 17, 2013

Review: Altered by Jennifer Rush

Published: January 1st, 2013 (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Pages: 336

Rating: 5/5
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. [Description from Goodreads]
Um, wow.
I totally…I can’t even… *gives up on being coherent, runs off*
*comes back*
Loved it. I loved it. Absolutely and completely. And I really want more, NOW.
Anna’s always helped her Dad unquestionably with the project taking place in the basement. His work. The four genetically-altered boys. She’s never wondered why they’re there, or how they got there, or how long they’ll be there. They’ve always lived in her basement, and as far as she’s concerned, they always will. Sam {insert Anna’s dreamy sigh here}, Nick, Trev, and Cas. Her boys.
Until one day. The day the big guys, Riley and Connor, come from the Branch. The day the boys break out. The day her life changes.
 Realizing she’s been living a lie, Anna leaves home on a whirlwind road trip/adventure with the boys as they uncover their forgotten pasts. Little does she know that she’s more a part of this than she ever could have imagined.
Let me just say that Altered will most likely be one of the best YA novels of 2013. At least on my list, that is. The action is non-stop, in your face, shocking. In fact, the action is almost too much. Almost. The romance was less than I expected, but I wasn’t sorely disappointed. Which leads me to what did disappoint me…
Throughout the whole book, Anna pined for Sam. Just like she always had. But gosh, she really pined for him. No matter what; no matter if he was completely indifferent (he was) or if he was as romantic as a stone statue (most of the time he was) or if he didn’t reciprocate her undying affections in the least (he didn’t). He could have violently killed all the joy in her life and she still would have run after him like a lost puppy. I think the term is needy. Girls, please avoid ever being like this.
Also, I would have liked to see Sam be a little more emotional. He seemed very…stiff. Protective, yes. Bold, yes. Expressive? No.
*sigh* Ok, so I might have gotten a little, teensy bit tired of Anna. And I might have wished Sam could be more outwardly expressive. But man, otherwise? I was totally obsessed. This is not one you want to miss. I liked it enough to want to buy one to keep on my shelf. I liked it enough that I’m already dreaming of the day it becomes a movie (though I do that with a lot of books). I liked it enough that I wish I could make this review five hundred words longer just so I could continue gushing about it. But alas, I think you get my point.
P.S. - Um, that cover? I totally had to lay the book facedown wherever I went to avoid getting those funny stares. “No, it’s not like that! It’s not one of those books! It’s actually pretty good!”
Quick Content Review: *may contain spoilers*
Language: Heavy (a variety of words, ranging from the “d” word to the “f” word, scattered throughout the book, mainly coming from Nick…)
Violence: Heavy (lots of shooting, blood, etc. Very descriptive.)
Sexual: Mild (some kissing; the boys run around shirtless pretty often)


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