Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Review: Altered by Jennifer Rush
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.
I’d seen this book around, but hadn’t heard much about it. But when it was offered to me for review, I looked at the shirtless boy on the cover and went “oh all right.” Don’t even look at me like that.
So I put it on my Nook, opened to the first page for that indecisive browsing thing I do right before I start a book. And when I got to the words “the boys” in the first paragraph, I was intrigued, by the time it got to the lab and the setup of it, I realized what this secretly was. Jennifer crack. It’s like Jennifer Rush (the name linkage must have something to do with it) burrowed into my brain and created the ultimate situation that would make me fall in love with a book at first sight. Aka have a lot of hot boys running around.
There’s sexy alpha-male leader Sam with the sexy tree tattoo on his back alà the cover. Trev, the lit nerd and best friend boy. Cas is the snotty, but hilarious brother type and Nick who is so so cranky but somehow sexy in his own cranky way. Four boys who are like brothers, but aren’t, and the girl who’s cared for them set off on a fast-paced race to find out the truth. And the way they all worked together was just magical. It was very much a pack mentality without them, you know, being werewolves or something. I promise they aren’t werewolves. However, this whole setup hooked it’s little claws me and the only thing I did Christmas Day was to read this book. No, seriously.
Then there’s the twisty-turnyness of everything. At various points, I squealed and actually shouted “OH, FREAKING* SNAP!” outloud to an empty room. It’s a strange thing where all the things I guessed with this book haven’t been proven (yet) but I didn’t at all foresee any of the shocking revelations that did happen. I’m hesitant to mention anything here because I don’t want to give anything away on this amazing plot. But I’ll say this, there’s mystery but there’s also action, gunfights, car jacking all the meanwhile absolutely no one can really trust another, let alone themselves.
*Actual expletive omitted.
For the most part the whole year-til-the-next-book thing doesn’t really bother me (hey, I got enough to read!) but this is a book where my eyes get big, I cock my head and tap my nails in the ultimately irritated fashion at the idea of twelve more months before I can get more delicious Nick, Sam, Trev and Cas. Reality is cruel.
Similar recommendations: Anew by Chelsea Fine and Megan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys by Kate Brian.