For Anna, waking up in the middle of the night to sneak down into her basement is something she has been doing since she was 13. And you would too if your basement held four hunky guys locked up in cells who you don’t know why they are there but that your father is doing some kind of experiments with them. In Altered by Jennifer Rush, Anna slowly comes to find out her father works for a group called Branch, and when she gets older, her father pulls her into the basement to work with the four young men. She knows they have been in her basement for around 5 years or so, and has some idea why they are being held, but is never sure. One thing they all know, none of the boys can remember anything about their lives beyond living in the cells in the basement of Anna’s house.
One morning, during what she believes will be a routine check by some higher ups from Branch, a gunfight erupts and Anna is forced to flee with the four young men. Anna has always felt connected to the boys in some unexplained way, but especially to their leader, Sam. She worries Sam knows how she feels about him, but as they are forced to flee and follow the clues that might lead them to their past lives, the connection between Anna and Sam is tested.
If you enjoy a great romance, lots of puzzles and breaking codes, gun shoot outs and non stop action, this will be a great read for you. I luckily was on vacation when I started this book and was able to read it straight through. I have a feeling you’ll want to do just that too!
Recommended for 8th grade and up.