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YA Book Review: Altered by Jennifer Rush

Altered definitely made my “best so far” list of 2013. It wasn’t what I was expecting from a book with a shirtless boy on the front (I mean, yes, there were shirtless boys in the book- don’t you worry). You’ll see…

Book Review: Altered by Jennifer Rush

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altered by jennifer rush

Title & Author: Altered by Jennifer Rush

Genre: YA – Science Fiction, Futuristic

Release Date: January 1, 2013

Series: Altered #2

Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers

How I Got the Book: Bought


“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 My Opinion

As I’ve learned from Project Runway (Season 11 is currently on) many times, the play of hard and soft is a beautiful thing. Altered portrays this very well – Anna and her feelings toward the boys in her basement (more on that in a sec) are so soft. She cares for them like brothers…well, all except Sam, who she doesn’t see in a “brotherly” light at all.

And yet, the boys themselves are far from soft. They’re super strong and talented. Sam is the unspoken leader, while Trev has a photographic memory and Cas has extreme dexterity.

So, why are these boys in Anna’s basement? Oh, no big deal, they’re being experimented on. Only Anna doesn’t know why – just that her dad is testing different infusions on four teenagers for a secret government group called the Branch.

Altered was a very balanced book. It kept me guessing while throwing punch after punch of action and adventure. Without revealing too much, Anna and the boys are launched into a race for their lives. And every step they take reveals new, startling information about their past (which is murky in the boys’ minds) and their uncertain future.

Even Genetically Altered Boys Are All the Same

I’m sure if I ever read a straight-forward romance, I’d fall off my couch in shock and potentially boredom. Rush likes to keep the readers guessing.

Have no fear: there are not love triangles in Altered. BUT, the relationships certainly have a distinct “back-and-forth” quality to them. Which is both nerve-wracking and frustrating.

The thing I liked best about Altered was the motivation I felt to keep reading. I was hooked from the beginning and had so much trouble literally putting this book down.


If you’re looking for a strong young adult science fiction book, then definitely pick up this book. It’s a strong debut that will keep you up late and keep your heart racing. Altered definitely one of my favorite books so far this year.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.