February 28, 2013

Latest Read: Altered

Here are the basics ...
Altered (#1) by Jennifer Rush
Publication date: Jan. 1, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Category: Young Adult - Science Fiction
Source: Borrowed from library

Summary: Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch 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 and Anna is forced by her father to run with them. There’s just one problem. Sam and the boys don’t remember anything before living in the lab, not even their true identities. 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. (Adapted goodreads.com
My thoughts…
The good: Anna's father is part of a secret government project which requires them to live on a secluded farm and.. house four hot guys in their basement (!). Not a bad deal for Anna right? All joking aside though - this was exactly the kind of book I was in the mood for. Fast-paced and entertaining with characters I was immediately intrigued by and twists I didn't see coming. The four guys - Sam, Trev, Cas and Nick - they're not just living with them. They're all genetically altered to become super soldiers and Anna's father runs tests and experiments on them every day. Because of this, Anna has never had a normal life. Her days consist of helping her father and befriending the guys despite the fact that they "live" in glass rooms in her basement. There is a literal wall between them but that doesn't stop her from getting to know them, attempting to become their friend and crushing on Sam.

I thought Anna was a great protagonist. Her character goes through a rollercoaster of emotions from beginning to end and her voice was clear throughout. She's vulnerable and scared when her life gets turned upside down by the government but somehow she manages to stay strong. She's a fighter and while I loved the moments she stood up to people, I also loved her girly moments of giving into her feelings for Sam. Sam is easily my favorite of the four guys. Maybe it's because we see him through Anna's eyes but I got his appeal. He's quiet and guarded but he's someone you can always count on. My other favorite is probably Cas because he brings some some much-needed laughter to the drama. Trev is the best guy friend who provides Anna with a hug (or quote) when she needs it. And Nick is kind of an ass but he's got a heart underneath all his moodiness. Together the five of them formed this unconventional unit/team/family and I enjoyed reading about their interactions. Even when it involved showdowns with the government.

(Super minor) reservations: This is the first book in a series, so I should expect some unanswered questions. But I did want a little bit more about the characters' pasts. The guys don't remember anything about their lives before the lab and with all the running away and digging (literally) that they do, I was hoping we'd get more answers. For our sake and theirs! I'm hoping we learn more in the next book. And that we find out how old everyone is. Strange thing to say, I know, but there was this moment in the book where I found myself pausing and trying to figure out how old they all were.

Do I recommend?: If you like action-packed fast reads with likable characters, this is a great series to check out. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Happy reading!

12 comments:

  1. This book sounds really good! I'm in need of reading a good action book, so Ill probably pick this one up from my library sometime soon! Plus, who doest want to read a book where there are 4 hot guys living in your basement?! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahah exactly! It's a very entertaining book in my opinion.

      Delete
  2. I think what interests me most about this book is the fact that there are four amazing-sounding males in it, lol. A bit shallow, I know, but really, who could resist? I think I'd be interested in finding out what the conspiracy really is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What? That's not shallow at all ;) And the dynamic between the female protagonist and the four guys was really interesting, especially as more secrets are uncovered.

      Delete
  3. I liked it but was a bit disappointed at the same time. I would have liked to have known a bit more of the back story. And how does she let them "live" like caged rats in her dad's lab for so long? That's just weird to me. I will pick up the next in the series but if it doesn't excite me then I will probably give up on it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Understandable, I wouldn't have minded more back story like I said. I think the "stage" is set though and the second book will delve more into it. At least that's my assumption/hope.

      Delete
  4. While its a shame the author didn't provide readers with more answers, its true that this is a series, so hopefully it won't be a major issue for the rest of the storyline. And likable characters are great, plus a really interesting concept.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With a lot of the series that I've read, I find that I end up liking the second book more. I guess because we already know the characters, their world, the history. I'm hoping that'll be the case here. And I got enough answers in this book to still feel satisfied.

      Delete
  5. I read this one at a time that I really needed a fast paced/fun book as well! And it WAS entertaining, the guys were appealing, and the plot got more and more complex as the story unraveled, which I really appreciated. I loved Sam as well. I hope we get lots more of him and Anna. I agree, I want more info about all of the guys. I was totally trying to figure out their ages too! Especially, because it seems like they accomplished a lot before their 'confinement' and they'd been there for 4 years! I'm always trying to work out timelines. Anyway, great review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right?! I was thinking the guys can't possibly be teenagers? But I dunno! haha. I hope they elaborate on that in the second book!

      Delete
  6. I love this book for four reasons... Okay, I love it for more than just those guys haha. I also loved how protective they were of Anna and the lies and mystery and plot twists (OMG!) and I really liked it! I also wish there was a little more background, both for the guys and Anna, but overall, I was very impressed by it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha I feel like if you've read and reviewed this book, it's impossible NOT to focus on the four guys a little bit ;) Like you, I loved their dynamic with Anna and their protectiveness. They were like a little family unit in this weird messed up way. I'm starting to expect that when I start a series, that there will almost always be details left out from the first book.. but should (hopefully) get revealed in the second. I think that'll be the case here. Glad you enjoyed it too!!

      Delete