Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Blog Tour and Character Focus: Altered by Jennifer Rush

Today we have the pleasure of hosting the Altered Blog Tour!!!!  As a part of the tour, each stop has been assigned a character.  Our character is one of the hottie guys-TREV!!!!!  Check out the excerpt and then Jennifer's thoughts on Trev below!!!  Then, be sure to read my review of Altered at the end of this post!!!!  (It's amazeballs)
Altered excerpt for Trev:
I’d been so focused on Sam and what my life would be like without him that I hadn’t taken the time to consider what it’d feel like to lose Trev, too. The sorrow was immediate, and pressing. “I’ll miss you, if you go.”
He waved the idea away. “I’m not going anywhere. No matter how much I want to.”
“Come on. Someday, you’ll be free. Just promise me you won’t leave me for good.”
There was a long pause, and I thought maybe he wouldn’t answer. His eyes were glossy, like some far-off thought had summoned forgotten emotions. He blinked before I could ask, though, and whatever had been there disappeared. “I promise.” (Altered, page 126)
Jennifer's Thoughts:
Trev. Oh where to even start with him.

When I first began revisions on Altered with my editor she said the boys, especially, needed to be distinct characters. There are four of them, after all, and they’re all genetically altered, all badass and nice to look at. They had to have different personalities, and when I failed to do that in my first round of revisions, she suggested (though as a last resort!) that perhaps I should consider combing Cas and Trev into one character. As any smart author would, I gave the idea a good amount of thought, even though every fiber of my soul said NO WAY IN HELL. My editor is wise, and I wanted to be sure I took the suggestion seriously!

But then I realized that what she was really saying was, Don’t let these characters down! Get to the heart and soul of them and make them unique!

With Trev, it was a bit harder than it was with Cas. Trev is the kind of person who says one thing, but really means another. Whose advice is wrapped up in code. And this scene is no different. It may seem like a simple enough conversation, but when Anna notices that his eyes are glossy, that he seems somewhere else, it’s true. He is somewhere else. He’s thinking about a promise he thinks he made to someone else, and whether or not that promise will interfere with the one he’s about to make Anna. He wants to make her happy, more than anything. Though she doesn’t realize it, he loves her. As a sister, or something more, it’s not immediately clear here, and maybe Trev doesn’t even know himself. But he doesn’t want to let her down. When he makes her a promise, he wants to mean it.

But this one is a lie. He may not be certain of his past, or his future, but he knows he won’t be able to keep this promise and that kills him. Words are important to him, and using them to deceive Anna is the worst possible thing he could ever do.

Monday, January 7th –YA Bibliophile
Tuesday, January 8th –YA Sisterhood
Wednesday, January 9th –Confessions of a Bookaholic
Thursday, January 10th –Once Upon A Twilight
Friday, January 11th –Icey Books
Altered by Jennifer Rush
ARC received through trade
Published by:  Little Brown BFYR
Release Date:  On Shelves Now
Reviewed by:  Middle Sis Jenn
The Sisters Say:  Action-packed and intriguing
When you can’t trust yourself, who can you believe?

Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, Cas, Trev . . . and Sam, who’s stolen Anna’s heart. When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them.

Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind in the safety of her everyday life. But her father pushes her to flee, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. There’s just one problem. Sam and the boys don’t remember anything before living in the lab—not even their true identities.

Now on the run, Anna soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they’re both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.
Danger lurking around every corner, conspiracies threatening to push loyalties, and desire pulsing to be released—Altered is perfect!  It’s The Bourne Identity for teens, only better—with a plot that puts a high speed chase to shame.  Full of mystery and suspense, romance and intrigue, Altered is a MUST READ!!!
Before reading Altered, I was in a reading slump.  The books I had read were good, but not great.  You know, they weren’t the kind of books that you text your friends and family to read right away.  But Jennifer Rush blew my bore streak right out of the water!  Altered drew me in from Chapter 1, and the hits just kept coming from there!  Page after page, I was drawn deeper into the secrets of her world; and by the end, I wanted to turn right back to page 1 and read it all over again!!!
The best thing about Jennifer’s debut novel was that every character had dimension.  I felt like they each had a depth, and even though their secrets went deep and many were not revealed, I still felt like I knew each one.  This was a huge feat, too, since there were so many characters that were in the spotlight.  You have Anna and the 4 guys that she goes on the run with, and each of these 5 characters is a main character in their own way.  I was thrilled that Jennifer was able to bring such life to so many without it taking away from the story or confusing me amongst them.
My favorite character was one that many readers will dislike—Nick.  He is angry and brooding, and he makes it no secret that he dislikes Anna.  Yet, there is something so vulnerable and truthful about him that I just couldn’t help but open my heart to him.  I liked his in your face attitude and his rebel without a cause actions.  It was sexy and provided great conflict amongst the five as they were running for their lives.
Anna and Sam are technically your two main characters, even though the other 3 boys take much of the spotlight.  I really enjoyed the romantic tension between these two characters, and I found myself rooting for them to get over their secrets and fears and just get together!  Anna was intelligent and strong-willed, and she definitely held her own against the four superhero-like guys.  On many an occasion, I thought she was going to shove her fist in Nick’s face!  I liked her bite-me attitude, and she definitely made me run the gamut of emotions.  And Sam…you can just tell he is constantly thinking of everyone else before him.  Now, normally a guy that is too sweet just rubs me the wrong way, but Sam had his superhero alter-ego, so that evened him out and made him extremely sexy!!!
Altered fills the gap in the much needed YA genre of romantic suspense.  It felt like I was reading some of my favorite adult romance suspense authors (Lori Foster, Maya Banks, etc.), only with teenagers.  I loved it!  There just aren’t many YA books out there (I would even venture to say there aren’t any!) that are like Jennifer’s novel.  Rough and seductive—where around every corner lurks a secret and an assassin.  It was perfect!  I wouldn’t change a thing!
I HIGHLY recommend this to all fans of YA and even Adult romance.  There isn’t any sex or naughty content, either, so it’s safe for all teenagers.  Yet, I even think fans of adult romance will enjoy this book!