Altered is a well written story that can be enjoyed by a variety of readers. Action, suspense, romantical tension and plot twists keep you engaged and on edge. The Sci-Fi elements are entertaining and not the least bit overwhelming. As a non-Sciency person, a book that makes me think too hard or causes my brain to hurt is one I will zone out of in about five minutes.
These characters are interesting and I found Anna, the MC, to be a good mix of innocence and strength. We get watch her go from a naive girl who has no clue of what's really happening with the boys to a bad-ars young woman who faces challenges head on and stops at nothing to protect the ones she cares about. *fist bumps her* All four of the guys, yes, four, are physically appealing (code for "hot"), but also posses qualities that make them unique and completely "crushworthy".
Sam is tall, dark and broodish, managing to hide both his secrets and his pain pretty well. He's the one Anna feels most connected too and is convinced she's in love with. Their relationship is complicated from the start and thankfully doesn't fall into the, "Instantaneous love affair at the first chance of freedom." trap. Even though they spent almost every day together for years, and there's a definite attraction, the issues that arise while they're hiding from The Branch will leave Anna wondering if Sam is the "Sam" she thinks she knows (and loves) at all.
The other guys, Trev and Nick are a yummilicious blend of brains, brawn and bravado but my favorite is Cas. *sighs* He's full of snark and fun and his obsession with food resembles a hilarious misguided love affair. He's hardly ever still and seems a bit scatter-brained but when he's needed, he's all focus and brute force. Unless, he's hungry. Then you're on your own. JK! (I wonder if Jenn would let me borrow Cas too? You know, as long as I promise to return him without any jelly doughnut stains.)
This really was a fun read (even if my heart ached for these characters at times) and it ended in a way that was satisfying but also left me eager for the next book! I'm a visual person and being able to "see" the story's setting and/or characters through the author's eyes takes the reading experience to a whole new level. Jenn has an Altered pinterest page where she's pinned pictures of what the boys look like (Anna too). Just try not to drool all over your screen, I hear it's not good for it. ;)