Altered (Altered, #1) - Jennifer Rush
I am sorry I waited so long to read Altered.
I first heard about Altered through a couple of book blogs I follow and was first interested because he cover is GORGEOUS. Not the best reason to be drawn to a book, but I can't lie it happens a lot. Altered's cover drew me in right away and I was really happy to see that the cover ties into the story. Then I read the book blurb and decided it sounded good... maybe even a little different. So after its release I kept putting it off, but it kept pulling me back in everytime I looked at my TBR shelf on Goodreads and finally I decided it was driving me crazy and checked it out at my library. I am so glad I did. I originally got the hardcover from the library, got to about chapter 6 and decided to buy the kindle copy. I only wiah the formatting on the kindle copy kept the different fonts used for the notes, letters, etc... that the kids find. Anyway...
Anna lives with her father in a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere that has a surprising feature. The basement is a lab that has four boys, Sam, Cas, Nick and Trev, locked away in seperate cells. They are part of this program run by the Branch and have no recollection of their lives before those cells. They have each been altered to be something more than human... sort of like super soldiers. The boys are continuously tested and checked and receiving treatements... for what they have no idea. Anna doesn't even know. Her father now includes her in helping with the boys, but won't tell her anything. When the Branch decides its time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape and Anna ends up on the run with them. While on the run Sam and Anna learn a lot about themselves before the farmhouse... and we get a little about Nick, Cas and Trev too. Anna and Sam are connected, but how they never expect. She also has a connection to the other boys that none of them expect.
Altered is fast paced and full of suspense. With twist after twist you never know what to expect and I sure as hell didn't expect what went down. It was a refreshing read becuase it was different from anything else I've read. It was its own unique book and I LOVED it. I liked the pacing alot. Jennifer Rush wrote a YA book, but did not skimp on the details. Fight scenes, were fight scenes. The boys swore, not a crazy amount, but at least it was still there and that made the story more real. The story was honestly something that could be believed to happen. She made the YA story real and not sugar-coat around the gritty stuff. It was another reason Altered was a refreshing read for me.
I'm almost upset I read it because now I have to wait until January for book 2, which I will most definitely be reading and will pre-order as soon as it's available for it! I also think I will buy the hardcover to go with the kindle just to put on my shelf. I hope that the group stays together through the entire series and I really hope that it is told from Anna's POV. I know book 2 is more Nick oriented.
The characters were amazing. Each had a very different personality, but each still worked so well with each other. Anna is generally predictable until she's not. She goes from naive to a strong character, but when she comes off as naive it isn't annoyingly so. She simply doesn't know and that lack of knowledge is what makes her naive. She was made to be that way, but as she learns about her and the boys' lives she adapts, accepts and overcomes. I really liked watching her evolve and hope to see more of that, but I hope she will keep her compassion and her heart and not grow cold as the series goes. I liked that about her. She accepted things, not too easily to be unrealistic, and had a heart even with the development of thick skin and badassness. Sam is a mystery without being a mystery. He was strong and really was the leader of the group. He was smart and well hot. He was enjoyable to read about. He didn't do the whole angsty push Anna away. He was also strongwilled and had great adaptability. I really like Sam. He never gave away too much about himself as he knew himself because he obviously didn't know his past self. He also didn't freak out about things... he maintained a levelhead. Most of the boys did most of the time actually. Cas... I freaking LOVED! He was hilarious and his banter with everyone was great. He was the boy that didn't like to see anybody upset, the goofball, but when it came down to business he was no nonsense. He became a badass when needed. He was sweet and smart and had his own unique set of skills just as each boy did. Trev was super smart and I liked a lot. He is Anna's best friend and who she confided in. He was really sweet and understanding, although he throws some minor red flags at times. Nick was an asshole. No other way to put it. The thing is it's done in a way that makes you wonder why and so you know there's a reason why. We get a small look at the why and I'm excited to see more into Nick in book 2. He was an all brass and balls kind of character and I also fall victim to those characters. Nick sounded really hot and although he came off as an uncaring ass, he really did care. He didn't trust Anna and treated her in a way that showed he didn't, but as the book winds down it SLOWLY begins to change and again I'm anxious to see what happens in book 2.
Altered is most definitely a book that should not be overlooked or missed. It is worth the read and worth reading many times over... because it is that enjoyable, but also to make sure you caught every little detail. Several of the series' I follow ended this past year and I have found very few to fill those spots. JLA's Lux Series and Gena Showalter's White Rabbit Chronicles are two of those and this series stands out for me just as much as those! I will follow it all the way through and I'm anxious to do so. I also found the author's playlist for the book on her blog and added to my Spotify to listen to as I read... I added a few songs on my own too... and its a great playlist and really went well with the book! I always love a good playlist to go with the book! So thanks Jennifer Rush for an amazing book!