Title: Erased

Series: Altered, Book Two

Author: Jennifer Rush ♥ @Jenn_Rush

Expected Publication: January 7, 2014

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 288

Source: borrowed ARC

Summary from  Goodreads: They thought they had escaped. They were wrong.

After fleeing the Branch with Sam, Cas, and Nick, Anna is trying to make sense of the memories resurfacing from her old life. At the same time, she’s learning how to survive in hiding, following Sam’s rules: Don’t draw attention to yourself. Always carry a weapon. Know your surroundings. Watch your back.

Then a figure from Anna’s childhood reappears. Is it a Branch setup, or could it be the reunion Anna has hoped for? Uncertain of where her loyalties lie, Anna must fight to learn the truth — before she is betrayed again. Ultimately, the answers hinge on one question: What was the real reason her memories were erased?

Jennifer Rush delivers a thrilling sequel to Altered in a novel packed with mysteries, lies, and surprises that are sure to keep readers guessing until the last page is turned.

Average Goodreads Rating (as of 12/30/2013): 4.21

Celeste read and reviewed Altered (Altered #1). You can find her Top Shelf review of it HERE.

  • Christina thought this title was action-packed and intense. It goes on her top shelf!

**Special Note:** Jaime,  from the hilariously fabulous Fiction Fare, let me borrow her ARC of this title. All quotes, thoughts, and opinions will be of this version and not from the published edition (which you should totally go and buy when it goes on sale).

Initial Thoughts and Rating: Actual rating of 4.5 stars, but I had to round up! This was everything that a second installment should be and more. There were secrets and betrayals that had me guessing and held in suspense the whole way through, tons of  action that made my heart pound uncontrollably, and lots of badassery to be had in this book. So, if you haven’t read Altered,  go read it and then dive into this. If you have read and loved Altered, rest assured that Ms. Rush will do you proud with Erased.

The Lowdown: Erased picks up shortly after where we were left in Altered. Anna finds herself on the run with Sam, Nick, and Cas, jumping from house to house and town to town, always trying to stay one step ahead of the governmental group from which they just escaped. As the treatments that were given to genetically alter their body and minds start to wear off, they’re each slammed with flashbacks from times when The Branch had wiped they’re memories and they’re urgently trying to put all the pieces from their pasts back together. Especially Anna, who is lost everyone and until recently, didn’t even know she was a part of the program.

But just when they feel like the target on the back isn’t as big, a lone figure from Anna’s former life appears and she is desperate to cling to this personal tie and discover the secrets about her family she doesn’t remember. But like Anna has learned before,  just when you feel like you know a person, that trust can easily be broken and at the end of the day, the only person you can truly trust is yourself.

Prepare for a tale filled with twists and turns, ultimate betrayals and redemption, and all the action a thriller like this can summon.

My Thoughts: There isn’t a great deal of this story that I can elaborate on because of all the secrets that are housed in this second installment. I wouldn’t want to spoil the fun for everyone, so I’ll be keeping this portion of my review rather brief. In short, Ms. Rush delivered on this book like I knew she would, but not at all in the way that I expected. I knew there would be loads of action, but it was the reasoning behind all the fighting and heart-racing moments that surprised me. By the end, I didn’t have a clue who could be trusted or relied on, not even Anna herself. It was roller coaster of suspense and a thrilling adventure to read.

By far, though, my favorite aspect of Ms. Rush’s novels are her characters. I love how she writes them- their dialogue, their unique personalities- and how they feel so real to me throughout the entire reading experience. I enjoyed getting to know them even better in the novel and seeing how their dynamics have evolved and changed along the way.

Lastly, I have to say that it takes a strong story for me to not be upset about the lack of a serious romance. Admittedly, I’m a girl that likes to get her swoon on  (and often) in every novel, no matter the genre. It’s just something I like, plain and simple. So, for a novel to be able to stand easily without a romance as one of it’s major plot points, that speaks volumes to me about the author’s talent in storytelling. Don’t get me wrong, Sam and Anna definitely have a special connection, but it’s tender moments and kisses stolen between a lot of violence and being on the run and not an in-your-face kind of love story. Yet, I never found any part of the story lacking at all. Kudos, author lady!

Rec It? Definitely! I loved this book and how it kept me on the edge of my seat. I couldn’t turn the pages quick enough and I read it all in one sitting. I also like that it felt like a complete read, one that built on the first book, but also felt like it could stand on its own with a solid ending. With all that happened in this novel, I’m not sure where Ms. Rush plans to take us in the last installment of this series, but I know I’m ready for that journey.

♥  A very special thanks to Jaime for letting me borrow her copy. Make sure you go check out her (and her twin sister, Erin, and friend, Cosmo’s) blog because she’s a great baker and generally awesome person to see what giggle-worthy gif she’s managed to work into her latest review.

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