Published:January 1 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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.
First of all, that cover is gorgeous. The neon green jumps out at you and basically screams to be picked up from the shelf. The four boys, Sam, Nick, Trev and Cas are all such unique characters that it is impossible not to fall for them right away. Some more than other’s admittedly, but a few, I won’t say which, are so adorable and loveable. Each character is very well developed and the reader gets intimate interactions with each and everyone of them and develops a connection very quickly.
Rush’s fast paced writing is extremely exciting and very descriptive. The lab in the basement is a clinical, cold place but the boys, and especially Anna actually make it seem almost comfortable. You almost forget that they are confined to a lab as experiments. And Anna is a really cool character. She has this sense of anonymity that has the reader second guessing everything you may know about the book. She is instinctively a badass but the boys’ driven need to protect her is fantastic for the story line as everything unfolds.
Sam, as the leader, is unbelievably badass. A lot clinical but justified in his actions. Trev, as Anna’s best friend is the calm one. He thinks things through and can be a voice of reason. Cas is the goofy, fun loving guy who puts a smile on your face every time he comes up in the book. Nick is the character who is the least friendly and the most bitter. He is this great cause of tension- along with almost everything else in this book- between the group that creates a great dynamic.
The non-stop action and memory loss throughout the book makes this story into a cool YA Bourne-like novel that was impossible to put down. It was clever and the romance wasn’t the dominant factor in the book, which was a refreshing change. In Altered, it is all about the action and the plot twists.
I give Jennifer Rush’s Altered 5/5 stars.