Book Review: Altered by Jennifer Rush

Posted June 29, 2013 by Debby in Book Reviews

Book Review: Altered by Jennifer RushAltered by Jennifer Rush
Series: Altered #1
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on January 1st, 2013
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

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 go, 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.

3 Stars

Altered came to my notice with only the highest recommendations from Amber (and Judith), and thus there was a considerable amount of hype and expectations built up for me. Did the book meet those expectations? Not entirely. However, all the same, Altered is an action-packed thrill ride with some pretty awesome characters. I did enjoy it immensely.

One thing really kept me from finding this the “asdfjkl; awesome” book I thought it would be, and that would be… Anna and Sam. Both characters, to me, were rather boring. Anna, as the main character, didn’t really have that spark to make me love her. Though she certainly did prove she was strong enough to fight when necessary and wasn’t a Mary Sue character at all, her – freaking – obsession – with – Sam drove me up the wall. It’s not really instalove, since they have a history, and there is, admittedly, a reason for at least part of their undeniable attraction to each other, but the way she was constantly thinking about him just made me shake my head.

And why Sam anyway? Of the four boys, he is terribly boring. His personality can be summed up to the natural leader of the group with tons of drive and motivation and some recklessness. Other than that… sure, he’s a bit mysterious too. But whyyyy is Anna in love with him? Seriously. I don’t understand. Although, sure, Anna, you can have Sam, and then I can have the other three boys. Yeah, you know what, that sounds like a much better plan.

Because the remaining three boys were awesome and my main reason to keep reading. Cas is hilarious and charming. I love funny guys and every time he spoke he managed to put a smile on my face. Nick is the dark, skeptical one (and okay, I seriously ship him and Anna, despite wanting to keep him for myself). Trev is Anna’s best friend, the rock, the intelligent, thoughtful one. The whole time I was reading I kind of felt pressured to choose a favorite and all three kept impressing me so much that I still have absolutely no clue who my favorite would be. (Probably Nick. I dunno.) But anyway, I loved the unique characterizations of each of the boys and how they supported each other throughout the book.

The plot was pretty darn great. It is full of action, constant motion, reminiscent of The Bourne Identity. Plot twists galore. Though they may not have completely shocked me at any one point, there were a few I didn’t see coming. It made for a great reading adventure (quite literally, because it’s like a scavenger hunt). This is the kind of book you keep feverishly reading because you want all your questions answered. I’m still a bit underwhelmed though, probably due to the hype and my high expectations. It was a good plot, but it didn’t exactly wow me.

Summing Up:

Altered hit a lot of highs and lows for me. I loved the action and the mysterious plot. I loved the secondary characters: Nick, Cas, and Trev. But I felt nothing towards Anna and I disliked the romance. At parts I also felt like the plot could have been improved. Overall though, I did enjoy it and I’ll probably check out the sequel too. But not liking the main characters and their romance is a massive stumbling block. So here’s to hoping that Sam dies in Erased and Nick and Anna can happen! Can I get a what what? (JK. Though that would be cool. I almost want a love triangle right now, what is this?)

Full disclosure: I think I may have liked this more if I wasn’t still on the coattails of my All Our Yesterdays high.

GIF it to me straight!

Recommended To:

People looking for an action-packed thrill ride and awesome boys.

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9 responses to “Book Review: Altered by Jennifer Rush

  1. I wasn't planning to read Altered when I first heard of it, but after reading many positive reviews it started to sound better. I think I will really like the three boys you described, but the whole Sam and Anna thing.. I hate it when the MC is completely obsessed with a boy. I love my boyfriend, but I don't think about him 24 hours a day, that's just unhealthy. There are also other things in life, so I don't think I'm going to buy that. And it's stupid when the MC picks the wrong guy :p
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  2. I'm still not sure if I want to read this book. The premise sounds pretty good, but I worry that I'll compare it to other books that feature four boys with "powers' in them (*coughs* Elemental series – which is phenomenal *coughs*). So I guess we'll have to see?
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  3. Oh yeah. But I seem to be a bit of a black sheep – others have LOVED Sam but I thought he was so boring compared to the others. Sad though, if there wasn't such an emphasis on her feelings for Sam, I probably would have liked this a whole lot better.

  4. Ooooh, yeah, I've heard a lot about the Elemental series but haven't read it yet. Maybe that would appeal to me more. I haven't really heard about comparisons between the two, so I dunno. I should get around to that series too 🙂

  5. Judith

    This is pretty much how I felt about this book as well, except that I did like Anna a lot. But her and Sam… maybe I would have liked them more if we'd seen more of their past together, all those late night conversations and chess games. But this way, I wasn't a fan of them. Sam was definitely my least favorite character. I hope the sequel tells us more about his past and what not, but I just didn't care for him at all. The OTHER boys though… I looooove Cas. And Trev. (!) And Nick is so intriguing and I'm happy both the second and third book are about him. Glad you enjoyed this, even though you weren't wowed 🙂

  6. I just found Anna so… bland… forgetable. I dunno. *sigh* YES YES YES. If we had seen their past together and more than Sam just brooding and her obsessed with him… I might have liked it. Ugh. I am looking forward to the sequel for sure 🙂 I mean, more Nick. YAY.