Laura Burks’ first novel Altered is a captivating bundle of mystery, suspense, and forbidden love. I would definitely recommend this book for young teenage girls, typically from ages 14-16 (especially if they also enjoy the book series Twilight).
The intricate story begins very interestingly. Jenna Larson, the protagonist of the novel, hears a mysterious voice whisper her name. Right from the beginning, the book has already captured your interest. Readers will wonder, what voice? Who called? From then on, the plot only gets more and more boggling. After hearing the unexpected name call, Jenna gets curious and attempts to find who whispered her name. She proceeds into the forest, discovers an abandoned cabin, and finds a worn, strange book under the floorboards.
When I reached that point of the book, I was a little miffed. I found it unrealistic how Jenna tried so hard to find who whispered her name. It seemed like Burks was just trying to find some reason to get Jenna into finding the empty cabin. Also, in my opinion, the discovery of the old book was almost cliché in a way. I thought I knew immediately what the story would be about. The book would have magical powers…have things written in it by itself…be some evil object belonging to some evil person…I figured the rest of the plot would be a knock-off to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Surprisingly, Altered took a whole different turn away from the odd book and more into romance and danger. Jenna soon encounters a beautiful adolescent man named Jess Parkin and of course, love begins to cook between them. However, complications occur and this is when the disturbing, suspenseful parts of the book fall in.
This novel is told in first person. That allows the readers to really understand and feel Jenna’s emotions. The readers can relate to her feelings as well. All teenage girls have felt their heart jump and their bellies go nuts with butterflies whenever they’re talking to someone they like. If the story was told in third person, I think the book wouldn’t have been as spellbinding and relatable.
Altered always keeps you reading. You have no choice but to read, it’s too riveting. You’re forced to keep guessing, and when you think you know what happens next, the author always manages to surprise you. It’s one of those novels that once you start reading, you can’t stop.
Laura Burks began writing at a young age, mostly in a diary. Later, she started to write as a creator of a monthly business newsletter. Her love for writing grew immensely from then on. She started Altered (which is her first book) in March 2009. During this time, she spent a lot of time editing and browsing Internet publishing option until Wings ePress offered to print and publish her book. Besides being a writer, Burks is also a wife, mother, and a teacher of “Get Real About Violence” and a Youth Legislature program. She is also a member of Romance Writers ofAmerica and HeartLa.Reviewer: Iris Park, Allbooks Review Int. www.allbooksreviewint.com
Author: Laura Burks
Publisher: Wings ePressInc
No. of pages: 352
Date of Review: Oct. 2011