March 5, 2014

Latest Read: Erased by Jennifer Rush

Here are the basics ...
Erased (Altered #2) by Jennifer Rush
Publication date: Jan. 7, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Category: Young Adult - Science Fiction
Source: Borrowed from library

Summary: 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? (Adapted goodreads.com)
My thoughts…
The good: Erased managed to turn everything we had learned in Altered upside down. It was fast-paced and action-packed and every other chapter made me question who was trustworthy. Anna, along with the boys, Sam, Nick and Cas are on the run from the Branch and still reeling from everything they've learned about themselves. That their minds were erased multiple times, that they were part of an experiment which programmed the boys to protect Anna at all costs and their memories are re-surfacing. These memories give a lot of new insight into each of them and answered some residual questions from the first book (like - what is Nick's deal?).

It's hard to talk about this book without revealing far too many twists but I will say they surprised me! I didn't expect the series to go in this direction and the history we get on the Branch and Anna's life (which we only had a few details of) were particularly shocking. But it's these reveals that made the book such a quick read because I was clamoring to find out what would happen in the end. (Or as much of an end as you can get with a second book in a trilogy.) 

Balancing out all the action are the characters and the relationships between them. Sam and Anna are together but Anna can't help but think about how he used to be with the older sister she can't remember, Dani. While it doesn't directly affect their relationship right away, as her memories resurface she finds herself thinking about Dani and her past more and more. Sam and Cas take a bit of a backseat in this installment and instead, Nick's character gets fleshed out. Which was one of my favorite parts! I enjoyed seeing beyond his prickly surface and what we learn about him made me really like his character. 

(Some) reservations: As much as I loved fast-paced plots - this felt almost too fast at times and definitely too neatly wrapped up in the end. New characters are introduced that raise a lot of good questions but ultimately get under-used. Also, Anna makes some huge, tough choices throughout Erased that I felt deserved more time. More time to look at the consequences of her actions, more time to just digest it all. I read the author's explanation for the third book (and direction of the series overall) which helped to explain why Erased ended the way it did. But I can't help but still want just a little bit more from Erased than what we got. 

Do I recommend?: If you're in the mood for a fast-paced series where you can just get swept up in the action, I think this is a good one to try. 

Happy reading! 

2 comments:

  1. Sounds a bit too action-y for me... I might try it at some point, though!

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  2. I do love a fast-paced, action story and I loved the first book. Even though it was a bit too fast for you, I think that's what I need nowadays lol. Great review!

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