Thursday, November 21, 2013


Altered by Jennifer Rush

Anna’s father works for a secret lab.  The specimens in the lab are four boys:  Nick, Cas, Trev and Sam.  All have special skills that are being cultivated through drugs and procedures.  All are “enhanced genetic specimens,” (read "great-looking hunks") however, their minds have been wiped clean.   

Because she is bored, Anna helps her father with the tests, but becomes involved with the boys, even sneaking down after hours to talk with them, or play a game of chess.  Eventually, she falls in love with Sam. 

When the Branch arrives with guns ready to take them away, Anna’s father helps the boys escape, but demands they take Anna as well.  Why?  Everyone is baffled about this, but there is no time to talk about it. 

The remainder of the book is the story of runaways, finding clues about their backgrounds and staying away from the Branch, those out to get them.  Then Anna finds secrets from her past: clues about Sam’s past are tattooed on his skin, and they run from safe house to safe house, as Sam remembers bits and pieces.  

The story is a bit scattered, raising more questions than answers, and although the genetic mutation is never fully explained, the plot twists and turns, giving a wild (and crush-worthy) ride.   We gain some understanding by the end of the book, and while there is a LOT to explain, we are not left on a ledge until the sequel.  Although Sam is as hot as any boy-hero, we will need to wait until book two to see if anything is realized between Sam and Anna.

We know that of course, there will be a sequel or more.  Great, because we still do not know the origins of most of the boys!  Maybe January will tell.

Recommended 14 up

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