Saturday, January 12, 2013

Review: Altered (Altered #1) by Jennifer Rush

Altered altered #1 jennifer rush little,brown net galley
Altered (Altered #1) by Jennifer Rush
Release Date: January 1, 2013 
Publisher: Little, Brown 
Source: Publisher for Review via Netgalley
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 was a book I was expecting to love. From the cover to the synopsis, Altered by Jennifer Rush sounded like my kind of book. While it was fast and furious, engaging and mysterious, there was something missing from this book that I can't quiet put my finger on. Maybe it was the lack of character building or the plot that didn't much of a plot, I'm not sure.

For starters, I'm jumping in with the characters. Anna, our protagonist, was not a character I felt anything for really. She was rather boring and bland and we didn’t connect. I think the reason I didn’t like Anna (or many of the other characters) was the lack of character development. Yes, I understand that it’s a series and I can’t honestly expect the author to give me everything about the main character but I think there should be enough there for me to actually care about her. Anna was, for lack of a better description, simply there. Sam, on the other hand, was a character I hated and I’m hoping Anna doesn’t end up with him. He wasn’t mean but he never gave her many answers (what he could answer anyways) and I always felt like he was using Anna. Besides being incredibly good looking, there was not much more that drew me to him. Nick, Trev, and Cas were pretty much on the same boat of underdeveloped characters but I actually liked them. There was a way to tell them apart (and yes, Nick is my favorite) and I give the author props for not making them all sound like each other.

The plot was predictable and that was incredibly sad. While there was room for a good mystery I didn’t feel like I got that. I saw many things from a mile away and I was able to guess Anna connections to the boys. I will admit, the whole government and secret experiments is kind of old but I was hoping to get something different from Altered. Sadly, I was disappointed. As I said, there was nothing about the plot that I had never seen before. I am hoping that it changes in the second book but for Altered, it didn’t help. I think there was a lot of room for the author to do something crazy and unexpected but it was more like she simply followed an age-old recipe but did not add any special ingredients.

But I will admit, I am very intrigued. I want to know what they were all like before the experiments came about. Nick is especially an interesting character and I even want to know about Anna’s past. Maybe the experiments made her boring? I guess I’ll have to find out!

Overall, Altered didn’t live up to my expectations but I am willing to continue reading. I feel like Jennifer Rush has a lot to offer and her writing wasn’t that bad either. While neither the characters nor plot got me invested in the story, there was a bit of intrigue. Altered, was admittedly, a very fast read and not a complete waste of my time.
Cover Comments: 
Oh hello hot, shirtless Sam on the cover. While yes, this guy does make sense to the story, it doesn't tell me anything about it overall. I wish it had been something else because I fear that people will automatically think it's a romantic book or something rather misleading!  
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