Altered

Altered - Jennifer Rush This book was such a hot mess of cliches, bad writing, and semi-good ideas. While some of it was enjoyable (the plot was like Bourne Identity for Beginners, fun but not too complex), the rest of it was just irritating. The writing was downright cringe-worthy. It could be used as a textbook on 'show, don't tell.' I swear, she used the line "I still felt guilty [over the death of a bit character]." When she can go on and on and on about her dreams about Sam, about her plans for the future, about her feelings for him, about how hot and tingly his naked chest makes her, how she can't sleep for thinking about him, all that, but only one bland 'I felt guilty' over a dead guy? Yeah, doesn't seem terribly sincere there. And, really, except for the weak 'romance' between Anna and Sam, this is a very 'tell' book. Beyond that, the line editing is clunky and awkward at a lot of points. I would have given this book 3 stars, if not for the terrible writing.The 'romance' was far too forced. It annoyed me from the very start. Anna jumps in early with the angst and doesn't let go. Her very first thought about Sam oh so very tortured and sad. I really don't have any patience for characters that try and tug at my heartstrings before I've even gotten to know them. It makes the whole thing seem quite melodramatic. Anna of the last few pages wasn't too bad, but she basically a useless lump throughout the book, just a dead weight to be dragged around by the boys. I could have done with a few more female characters, too. We get only three named female characters besides Anna: one a 'bitchy' stereotype that does nothing, one sticks around for two chapters and then dies, and one is a bit character. Not a great track record. I really hate it when books aimed at girls, with girl protagonists, still stuff all their active roles with male characters.And the ending, god, the ending! The final few reveals made the whole thing just creepy as all get out. I was iffy on the age difference between Sam and Anna to begin with, but it wasn't too bad, especially given all the weirdness. But that reveal? All I could think of was "ew, ew, ew, so he knew her as an itty pre-teen and then basically molded her into being like her big sister and *then* fell in love with her?" Shades of child-grooming there, author, and I don't think you meant to do that.On the whole, this book left a bad taste in my mouth and I'm not the least big curious about any sequels.