Book Review: Altered by Jennifer Rush

Altered #1
Author: Jennifer Rush
Reading Level: YA
Genre: Science Fiction/Dystopian
Release Date: January 2nd 2013
Review Source: Little, Brown & Co.
Available: Amazon

Summary: (from goodreads) 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.

My first impression of Altered, based solely on its cover, was a positive one. I loved the branches spreading across the cover model’s back. It was neat to tie in the meaning of those branches, as the story evolved. The main character, Ana, helps her father with his very secretive research for a division called the Branch. They observe 4 young men who have been genetically altered to be “super soldiers” in their basement over the last few years. As Ana gets to know each of them, and grows to consider them her family, she envisions their freedom and has her doubts about them being locked up as they are.

The boys are all very like able characters and their different personalities serve the story perfectly. But even with their differences, they have all been programmed to be tied to each other, like a primal instinct. The Branch decides to step in and remove the boys from Anna and her father’s care. After monitoring them for so many years, her father tries to stall the Branch and tells them the boys are not ready yet. Anna is confused as to what he means, but then the boys stage their escape. Her father urges them to take Anna with them and pleads with her to go along and not come back.

Of course, there is a love interest along the way. Anna and Sam, the leader among the boys, share a connection unlike the one she has to the others. I really loved Sam! He was so brooding and mysterious and strong. How could a teenage girl NOT fall for him? While Anna finds a best friend, a brotherly love and even butts heads with the other boys, I kept hoping she and Sam would be able to lay their cards on the table about their feelings for each other. I guess it was hard to do when they’re constantly on the run and secrets are revealed at every turn.

The twists and clues leading to all of the unexpected reveals in Altered, had me hooked. I couldn’t stop turning pages late into the night. The dynamic combination of Anna, the boys and the Branch chasing them down played out in my mind’s eye like a movie. I am SO excited that there will be a sequel to Altered! I really can’t wait to spend more time with this handful of characters and see what awesome action Jennifer Rush has planned for #2.


  1. Great review! I had not heard of this one, but will be checking it out now. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. :)

  2. Thank you! :) hope you love it as well..

  3. Great review! I love books that play out in your mind like a movie. Altered sounds like a fantastic read. Can't wait!

  4. Wow, thanks! I'm always, always looking for a good Dystopian that has that "something" that separates it from the pack. :)

  5. okay definitely adding it to my TBRs it sounds super good!

  6. I really enjoyed this one. There wasn't a dull moment, and I loved the sparking relationship between Sam and Anna.


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