- Age Range: 12 - 17 years
- Grade Level: 7 and up
- Series: Altered (Book 1)
- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (January 1, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780316197083
- ISBN-13: 978-0316197083
- ASIN: 0316197084
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 206 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,237,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Altered Hardcover – January 1, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Four hot guys are locked in rooms below Anna's house: Trev (literary, erudite, yoga practitioner); Cas (artistic, funny, sporty); Nick (cynical, grouchy, vain); and Sam (caring, agile, a leader). Now 18, Anna has interacted with "the units" imprisoned in her father's underground lab for five years, and when she's not being homeschooled, baking cookies, or doing combat training, she helps with blood draws and data collection, occasionally sneaking down for midnight chess games. She's developed special ties with Trev and Sam, and a crush is turning into love. The action kicks in when representatives from the Branch (the secret organization overseeing project OP ALPHA) arrive to take the boys to a new location. They turn the tables, kill most of the Branch team, and flee with Anna as willing accomplice. The science behind the "altering" process is vague. Rush often tells readers that the information is "classified," but she does reveal that experiments in genetic alteration have given the boys a special connection and made them "more than human." Their memories were wiped clean in the process, leading to puzzles dealing with coded scars and tattoos. Those expecting hard science fiction will be disappointed, but readers seeking a "teens on the run" plot featuring surprising twists and turns, romantic entanglements, hard stomachs and curved muscles, and innocent-but-mischievous smiles will come away satisfied.-Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TXα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Anna lives with four boys who are not her brothers—Nick, the brooding bad boy; Trev, the thoughtful intellectual; Cas, the carefree jock; and Sam, their mysterious leader. What sounds like a lighthearted shojo manga in novel form is actually a rapid-fire thriller as Sam leads the escape from the farmhouse, where all four genetically altered boys were imprisoned in the basement. The boys, who don’t remember anything about their lives before they were imprisoned, take Anna hostage as insurance, and slowly, Anna and the boys begin to piece together the true nature of their relationship. This exciting debut novel does not break any new ground, but it provides enough twists and turns to keep readers engaged and wondering if there will be a next volume. Fans of the Hunger Games and Maze Runner series seeking more dystopian titles would likely enjoy this new adventure. Grades 7-12. --Candice Mack
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Anna has built her life around helping her father with his experiments and befriending the four boys who are prisoners in his lab. Her best friend among them is Trev but it is Sam who is the object of her crush. Nick scares her and Cas is a light-hearted goof. When the Branch decides that it is time to remove the boys to whatever secret thing is next for them, the boys manage to escape taking Anna along with them at her father's request.
Since the boys have all had their memories wiped, they are all trying to follow cryptic clues tattooed or carved into their bodies. They are also trying to keep ahead of the Branch agents who want to recover them at all costs.
Along the way, Anna learns that the life she led might have been just an elaborate fake. Her perceptions of everything from her past change and her world is remade. There was a bunch of action and dangerous situations in this one. There was also a growing romance between Sam and Anna.
This book begins a three book series and, so, leaves questions unanswered. I know it made me want to read the rest of the series as soon as possible.
Seventeen year old Anna has spent the last four years working with her father in his top secret lab underneath their farm. She is in charge of entering data obtained from the four young adults imprisoned there: Sam, Trev, Nick and Cas. Over the years she has developed a deep relationship with each; Sam being her crush, Trev her best friend, Nick her enemy and Cas the clown.
When The Branch decides to take the boys away, her father helps them all escape and sends Anna with them, charging Sam to take care of her. Sam is the only one who has a slight memory of who he used to be and so they follow clues to dig deeper into who the young men were and what experiments might have been done to them.
But, all is not what it seems and if they can't figure out the truth, they will be separated, permanently.
I'm glad I took a chance when this bargain came my way. The base story itself is not so unique- Amnesia, top secret government experiment, super soldiers, however the search for the truth behind the four boys and Anna is the real page turner.
Anna is by far my favorite character. She has been raised by a single dad obsessed with work. She is home schooled and doesn't seem to have any friends besides the boys. No wonder she grows attached to them. What really pulled me in was her desire to remember her mother. She treasures this book of recipes that her deceased mom made, drawing a connection by including her own recipes and drawings inside it.
Sam is the love interested, and really, he is hard to understand. He is the leader of the group and remains remote. I wish the author had given us more to like about him. Maybe some hints of feelings for Anna before the climatic end.
Of course there is a big twist, and I actually didn't see it coming. I think I was so focused on the Anna and Sam relationship that I missed hints from the author. I think young adults will enjoy this beginning of a series. It is a thriller with hints of romance and sci-fi. 4 stars!
I didn't really find a "voice" for Anna. But they again, where the four guys are highly skewed to certain sides of the spectrum, Anna is a little bit of everything.
Jennifer has an amazing use of words to paint quite the picture. The whole style of how she describes a scene isn't too overbearing, nor is it too bland and grey. She finds a happy medium between art and a strong story.
So this book seems to be around a Supersoldier kind of book. The guys are enhanced or "Altered." Their memories are wiped, and they are crazy strong and basically better than any regular guy who are trained to be total badasses and DEADLY warriors. I have to say I like it. Though I am sure the whole Supersoldier theme has already been used(but then again, almost every theme has been used, all we can do is write with out own twists), Jennifer adds her own unique twists and interesting characters which makes this book an original idea. Especially since there is one HUGE (I'm talking gargantuan)twist that really surprised me.
This book is a must read. IT was a great book and hooked my interest. So in retrospect to all of the qualities in this book. It is five stars. I am sure people would LOVE it.
But to me personally, it didn't really make me 100% wowed. I'd give it a 89.99%. This is a book that's definitely a great read, and I will most definitely be reading the whole series. But it just didn't completely reach out to me. She did not do anything wrong or anything I didn't dislike, so this book should be a solid five, but this is my review and I ONLY write honest reviews. So for that I am giving four stars.