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 absolutely loved this book. This was an excellent debut on Jennifer Rush's part!
I loved all the characters in this book, yes, including Nick. Nick can be very hateful towards Anna at times, but he has good reasons for it. And I'm sure you'll find out more of those reasons later on in the series. Trev is considered Anna's best friend. He the brains of the group, and Anna always looks to Trev when in need of a quote to boost her mood. But, the character I loved most was Cas. Cas is the joker of the group, always having fun or trying to lighten things up when things are down in the dumps. One of my favorite conversations with Cas:
" He hooked an arm around my neck and messed up my hair. 'You're so cute when you're upset.' He let me go after I shrieked.
'God. You're so annoying!' I said between bursts of laughter.
'But charming.' He fell into step with me. 'Let it be known that if you're ever in need of a good make-out session, I happen to be available Tuesday nights.'
'Maybe Thursdays, too.' "
But, sorry, Cas is not the love interest. Sam is. Sam's the leader of the group. He doesn't show his feelings easily, but somehow made Anna notice him. Sam's very guarded, but on good days, he'll show that he does in fact care about Anna and the others.
Anna is the main protagonist of the story. Altered is told in Anna's point of view. At times she acted weak and naive. There are instances within the book where her actions caused the others to sacrifice things for her. Though, Anna is otherwise a very likable character. I enjoyed reading it in her point of view.
This book is a series of twists and turns everywhere. And I loved every single one of them. Some of them you can say you might have saw them coming (although, that's doubtful), but others made your jaw drop and think "NO WAY."
All in all, this book is an action filled, has an original plot, and an amazing potential to be a great series. If you haven't picked it up yet, I'd recommend doing it soon. Two thumbs up to Jennifer Rush's debut novel!