“Hope is a waking dream.'
I let the words echo in my head.
The quote reminded me of that feeling you get
when you start to wake from a dream you don't want to leave.
That crushing sensation in the center of your chest,
like you are losing an important piece of yourself you won't ever get back.
That's what hope was.
Clinging to something you weren't sure would ever be yours.
But you had to hold on anyway, because without it,
what was the point?”
--Jennifer Rush, Altered
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 336 pages
Publication Date: January 1st, 2013
Source: Borrowed from Library (Will buy to re-read before next book comes out)
I am 4 for 4 of 2013 debuts. Shoot and swish. Damn I hope I do not jinx myself with this. Still. Altered. Hot damn. And I mean hot. 4 boys. Locked in a lab. 1 girl. Get your mind out of the gutter it's not one of those books! *smirks* But seriously, that's pretty much the premise of the book. 4 boys are locked in cells in the basement of Anna's home. Her father? The man who administers tests to them to mark their intelligence and strengths. The reason...well, that's a secret they'll never tell.
I was enthralled by this book. It is extremely fast-paced. It keeps you on your toes. The plot continually twists and turns and it is one of those books where info is revealed intermittently and when it is...oh boy, watch out. You really never know what is coming next. There were so many plot points I would have never guessed about, and I'm good at that! 9 times out of 10 I can smell a twist coming. This time, nuh uh. Not at all. I loved being surprised.
The characters. Anna is great. She has a massive crush on Sam (uuum, who wouldn't?) and is so adorable about it. Trying to coyly flirt, be his friend, when she has no clue what she is doing. I love it. That hopeful feeling you have when you like a boy, you hope beyond hope he might feel the same way. That crushing feeling when you realize that he may not feel the same way. Oh my goodness it gave me PTSD to my entire high school experience. So needless to say I identified with Anna well. Her growth throughout the book from naive assistant to her father to badass chick is awesome to see. She evolved from a watcher to a doer. And her loyalty is unquestionable.
The boys. Hotachacha. For realz. All 4 boys have very distinct and unique characteristics. Cas, baby-faced and always a sarcastic joke to boot. Trev, the deep and intelligent best friend to Anna. Nick, the rough around the edges type guy who has never warmed to Anna...ever. And Sam. The quiet and brooding one who Anna is hopelessly in love with basically. They are all fantastic. Sam is the the leader of the group and his assertive leadership is just swoonworthy to the max. Him and Anna have so much tension and of course you never know what Sam is really thinking. So frustrating! But that's what makes him who he is. And when we do get a few answers about him, it is that much more rewarding. Speaking of tension, not gonna lie, I love Sam, BUT while Nick and Anna hate each other, there was so much pent up aggression I kinda wanted something to happen with them. I don't know what it is, but I just think there is so much more to Nick than meets the eye. I cannot wait to hear more of his story.
The science of this book is so interesting. I just am such a geek and am obsessed with books like this. The science of fiction can take stories anywhere and everywhere. There is no limit to where the plot can go when you enter science and genetics into the story. It gives the story so much more oomph. I love the mystery behind the boy's identities, the constant questioning of the whole reason behind this project. It is just awesome.
This book was so much fun to read. I didn't want to put it down. The story had the perfect amount of tension and romance. The book ends with so much amazing drama and it actually ends. There is no huge cliffhanger, it is a complete circle for now and I loved this as well. I feel sated with the story for now...but I can't wait to see what happens next.