Friday, 22 May 2015

Altered by Jennifer Rush

Series: Altered
Author: Jennifer Rush
Page Count: 323
Published: January 1st, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown, Books For Young Readers
5 Stars ★★★★★

Anna lives with her father and four boys. The four boys, Cas, Trev, Sam, and Nick, all reside in their own individual cells in the basement of Anna's house, as a part of The Branch.

Anna knows there's something different about them, but she doesn't know the details. They're potentially dangerous; after all, she isn't even allowed in their cells unless they have been exposed to a sleeping gas. Sometimes at night, she sneaks down to see them, especially Sam, with whom she has a special yet mysterious connection.

When Connor and Riley, Branch officials, arrive with the intention of taking the boys away, Anna fights back and she and the four boys flee. Together they journey from place to place, following cryptic clues and piecing the truth together.

What is The Branch? Why have they kept the boys locked away for so long? What has The Branch done to them?

What has The Branch done to Anna?

I bought this book on impulse. It was on sale in the kobo store and I was in a book-buying mood. 

I'm so glad I bought it.

I loved the writing style! The author described things in intricate detail and the relationships between the characters evolved significantly throughout the book. I found myself stepping into Anna's shoes every time I resumed reading, and I absolutely understood every single one of her decisions as if they were my own.

Each of the boys were unique and I often found myself appreciating the fact that they weren't the cliché boys you find in YA books all too often. They weren't perfect, they weren't strictly good or bad, and they each had their own personalities. They weren't "copies" of each other or other YA characters, they were original and that made this book very interesting.

I also found the plot of this novel incredibly original and intriguing. The mystery of the characters' situations, identities and futures were explored thoroughly, I was constantly forming my own theories on their life stories and circumstances. While I'm a big fan of paranormal stories, this sci-fi mystery was a pleasant surprise and a breath of fresh air. It had me wondering if I should pursue more sci-fi novels in the future. 

Another thing I appreciated was the lack of love triangles. Love triangles can be engaging and emotional, but sometimes they can become cliché, and the idea of romance, ruined. While there was definitely some tension between Anna and the boys, there was no real love triangle. There was romance for sure, but it was balanced and didn't overpower the other aspects of the story.

A very enjoyable read! I am looking forward to getting hold of the sequel.

I recommend this book to readers of YA, sci-fi and mysteries, and to those tired of love triangles. If you want an intriguing mystery with a hint of romance and amazing characters, this book is for you.