Altered (Altered #1) by Jennifer Rush

Posted January 23, 2013 by Kaitlynn in 5 stars, debut, Jennifer Rush, review, science fiction, series / 12 Comments

book cover of Altered by Jennifer Rush

Title: Altered (Altered #1)
Author: Jennifer Rush
Release date: January 1, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown
Pages: 336
Source: BEA
Reading level: YA

Altered (Altered, #1)

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.

Altered is a seriously impressive debut novel from Jennifer Rush.  Full of mystery, suspense, romance, and betrayal, this book has it all.   

The characters were both the best and the worst  part about Altered.  Truly it’s the only complaint I have about this book.  The boys were fabulous and I’ll get to them in more detail in a second but Anna had a few flaws that really got on my nerves.  The biggest one was her obsession with Sam.  All she could think about, even in a life-threatening situation was him.  I get that she’s had a crush on the guy for years but crushing and obsessing are two very different things and Anna was definitely on the obsessive side.  Other than that though I thought she was pretty kick-ass.  She might seem meek at the beginning but she definitely comes out of her shell throughout the book and I loved her after seeing her more bad-ass side.  
The guys were the best part of this book, at least to me.  Each boy had a very unique personality and it never got confusing with them.  I think the best part about the boys was that they weren’t perfect.  Each boy had his own flaws.  Nick was very surly.  Cas was a huge goofball who very rarely took things seriously, even when he should.  Trev had quite a few secrets.  As for Sam, he was kind of a jerk at times.  I know he didn’t mean to be but he truly did come off that way.  Whereas I normally wouldn’t like that in a love interest, it gave him a bit more depth.  And he was never a jerk in an abusive way.  The guys definitely made me love this book as much as I did.
The relationships between the characters were so dynamic.  The boys interacted with each other very differently.  Sam was clearly the leader but that didn’t mean his authority wasn’t questioned.  Sam and Nick were always at each other’s throats.  Sam and Cas, on the other hand, were always joking around.  Trev wasn’t really close to the boys but he was best friends with Anna and he was always there for her.  Nick hated Anna and he never stopped letting her know.  As for Anna and Sam, they had such an odd relationship.  There was always so much tension between them and I just wanted to shove them together and make them kiss.  While they both clearly had feelings for each other, they didn’t rush right into them and do something stupid while they were on the run for their lives.  I loved that about them. 
The story is just plain awesome.  It starts off a little slow, giving the reader background information and really setting things up.  However, it very quickly takes off and it never slows down after that.  Anna and the guys are on the run and they are never safe.  As they look for glues regarding Sam’s past they start to realize that they are a lot more clueless than they originally thought and that somehow Anna is all tangled up in everything.  I can normally predict what’s going to happen in books but that was not the case with this one.  There were so many things that shocked me.  I was truly kept guessing until the very end.
Overall, Altered is a must-read for pretty much all YA fans.  It has something for everyone and I think everyone will really enjoy it. This may be her debut novel but Jennifer Rush has already made a fan of me.

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12 responses to “Altered (Altered #1) by Jennifer Rush

  1. I love, love, love this book. I’m a Nick fan after this … I’m so glad Jennifer said he’ll be prominent in book 2! Sucks waiting a year for it, though. Sigh.

    Great review, Katie! You’re so right about each of the boys having very distinct personalities. It was easy to keep the straight off the bat.

  2. I loved the unpredictability too, and the uniqueness of all the characters! I definitely can’t wait for the next one now.
    Awesome review, Katie, and thanks for adding a link to my review 🙂

  3. This looks SO good, and it is one of my most anticipated debuts of 2013. I am beyond excited you loved it. Great review!

    Annie 🙂

  4. I can’t wait to read this one because all of the guys sound awesome. I love when there is a good character dynamic going on and each personality of the different characters sounds interesting.

    Thanks for the great review, I’m glad you enjoyed this book!

  5. I too really liked the character dynamics. I liked how a lot of plot twists were based on those layers we hadn’t known about the characters. And the boys definitely made for some of my favorite parts of the book as well 🙂

  6. I’ve had my eye on this one for awhile! I was waiting for a few reviews to come out before I fully committed myself to reading it! I like books that start off slow because then it can always go up from there! But when it starts off right into the action or drama you know there is going to have to be a slow part eventually and I’d rather have it at the beginning! Anna’s obsession might really annoy me too, I hate clingy love interests.

    Great review, Katie. 🙂

  7. This book sounds exciting! It is so nice when characters have such distinct personalities that you can keep them straight without any problem! I’m going to be adding this to my pile after reading your review! Thanks Katie!!

  8. I’ve seen non stop great reviews for Altered but I keep pushing it back in my TBR because I’m just not convinced I’ll enjoy it. But I have to admit every review like this wears down my resolve a little

  9. Christina Kit.

    This was a wonderfully written scifi novel, and I have to say I was just as intrigued by the backstory (especially the secret behind the girl’s real family) as I was by the realtime plot.

    The boys were awesome!

    Lovely review 🙂

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