Saturday, April 28, 2012

Book Review: Altered

Media Type: Ebook
Title: Altered
Author: Aubrey Coletti
Publisher: Escape Artist Press
Pages: Paperback; 272
Release Date: August 19, 2011
Source: Author / Lightning Book Promotions
Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Violence, Harsh Language
HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers looking for an adventure with dark twists and turns, but are okay with some grittier content.

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
When Toni, Joseph and Charlie arrive at their new boarding school, they are glad to leave their families — and respective problems — behind. Isolated as boarders, they meet a handsome senior with a personality like iced snake’s blood, teachers with a penchant for physical punishment, and four other outcasts who reveal that their being brought to the Academy wasn’t random at all. When the arrivals discover that their new school is engaged in “behavior modification” through electric shocks, isolation, restraints, and an ever-evolving set of methods to “fix” them, they declare war on their Academy. During their campaign of sabotage, they fight, hate, scorn, love, and begin to uncover the reasons why they were brought to the school. But as their war against the school escalates beyond their control, will they become the very things the Academy believes they are: dangerous, delinquent — and mad?

The story opens by introducing the reader to the Academy. This is a school that takes in all kinds, but one things remains the same. Every boarder at this school is there because no other school wanted them. Starting out like that makes Altered very intriguing. Especially once it is discovered that all the characters have a common link. There is something different about them all. Something unnatural. These are characters who are very easy to relate with, even if you don't always understand what motivates them.

One thing I can say about Altered is that the dialogue is very realistic, albeit confusing sometimes with the slang that the kids use. The language that the adults use towards the characters is probably the most accurate I've seen in a long time. However the balance between dialogue and forward movement in this story is fairly askew. There is a lot of talking, and not too much doing. I liked that I was able to get into the heads of the characters. I didn't like that it slowed down the plot a lot.

In fact, the first half of the book moves really quickly. From the moment that the reader finds out what is really going on with these kids, things take off at a rapid pace. Then, towards the end, the story started to slow down and almost stagnate. It was a bit of a battle for me to finish Altered, and I did it mostly because I wanted to see where Coletti would take this next. I'm not sure if I'll be reading the next in the series, but the end does leave a nice opening for another story. 

At the end of the day, I am glad that I read Altered. It was a refreshing read after so many in a row that were similar. There is a lot to mull over in this story. The treatment of the students, the way that they interacted, and even the animalistic tendencies that surface. I see a lot of potential in Aubrey Coletti's writing. As I said, I'm not sure if I'll be reading the next in the series, but I'm sure I'll be keeping an eye on future projects.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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