By Jennifer Rush
Altered – Book 1
Available January 2013
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.
This Blonde’s Review:
They only remember the lab. She wishes she could help them have more.
Anna has always been drawn to Sam, even though there’s been little encouragement. Their lives are conducted on separate sides of glass walls. She assists her father with his work, seldom leaving the lab.
When the Branch shows up to take the boys things take an unexpected turn. The boys escape and Anna’s father tells her to go with them. As they run from the branch there are secrets that come out and memories that start to surface. They have to work together to find out what their connection really is so that they’ll know what they’re dealing with. They need to discover the truth about themselves to survive.
I’ve never been a big fan of the big romance without reason. We don’t know why she’s so drawn to him, I don’t really get the feeling that he’s as interested as she is. Then we find things out that make their romance angle even less romantic, so I honestly had a hard time feeling that aspect of the book. I’d have been much happier if the author had left that out or made the attraction part happen later, maybe something that came as a surprise.
Despite that big part of the book that drives me crazy there were some interesting parts. I did like the connection Anna has with the group since I wouldn’t have expected that, though the author did make the why more complicated than it needed to be.
If I don’t look at her love of Sam I do like the dynamics between Anna and the rest of the group. She has varying levels of friendship with the boys, one is like a best friend down to another who seems to hate her. I liked that there were different relationships within the group, even if they were a little too easily placed in roles. The upside of that is that not everyone really fits the role they play.
The Branch is interesting since it gives this book the real drive. What is the Branch, why are they so invested in the boys, and are they responsible for why the boys can do what they do? These questions are what drove me to finish reading the book even though the Anna/Sam thing drove me a little nuts.
Sadly, I was disappointed in this one. It did end well and the end made me like Anna much more than I had the rest of the book, so because of that I may find myself reading the second book in this series. It won’t be one that I search out or pay for, but if I’m able to borrow a copy from my library I’m sure my curiosity will lead to my checking it out.
If mysterious government organizations, deep and abiding love without reason, and teens who are capable of more than they should be appeals to you then you may like this one more than I did. Please let me know what you think if you give it a try!