Review: Reborn – Jennifer Rush

Review: Reborn – Jennifer RushReborn by Jennifer Rush
Series: Altered #3
Published: January 6th 2015
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five-stars

An action-packed, romantic, and suspenseful third book in the Altered series.The Branch is in shambles, but Anna, Sam, Cas, and Nick can't rest easy. Remnants of the organization lurk unseen and the flashbacks to their old lives are only getting stronger--especially Nick's.Following scattered memories and clues from his Branch file, Nick sets off alone in search of answers and in search of the girl who haunts his dreams. But the sleepy town where she lives in full of secrets and Nick soon learns that uncovering their shared past may have deadly consequences.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review

This book! Oh this book! To say I’m a huge cheerleader of the Altered series is basically an understatement. When I first read Altered I was blown away by it and still think it is one of the most underrated books out there. Read it people! Read it! And then I read Erased and I was 100% hooked. There was something special about these boys, Sam, Cas, Trev and Nick, and Anna. I wanted to learn more about all of them. We learned about Sam in Altered and Anna in Erased. But we also got a deeper glimpse at Nick in Erased and I knew I needed to know more. Well more I got. Reborn is Nick’s book and it was fan-freaking-tastic.  But it also left me wanting more, more, more.

Reborn focuses on Nick. He has started to remember things from before his memories were altered and they are haunting him. So much so that he drinks to dull the feelings his flashbacks bring on. But no matter how much he drinks he can’t seem to forget a girl that haunts his memories that he may or may not have been sent to kill and that he may or may not have actually followed through on. Making a decision Nick takes off in search of this girl not sure what he will find but needing to know. But with the Branch still out there anything can happen and Nick ends up finding more than he expects.

What I really loved about Reborn was the change of voice. The first two books were from Anna’s point of view which I enjoyed, but I was dying to get into the heads of these boys. Jennifer Rush made a wise move in making it Nick’s head space in Reborn and an even smarter decision in bringing in Elizabeth, a new character, to counter Nick’s gruffness. Don’t get me wrong, I love Nick, he’s my favorite Jennifer Rush boy, but he’s not the happiest of dudes. Having Elizabeth’s voice helped soften him some and brought his back story to life.

Which brings me to the plot. The plot was super compelling. I was hooked almost immediately on the story and the mystery behind it. Both Nick and Elizabeth had fragmented memories of the situation that connected them so the clues they had were limited. But there were some clues that surfaced straight out and subtly that made me wonder how it was all going to play out. I did guess some of the mystery, but there was enough that that didn’t matter to me. It kept me interested and the last 3rd of the book is end of your seat addicting. I just loved it.

Reborn was pretty much everything I had hoped it would be. It was fast paced, entertaining, and everything I expect from Jennifer Rush. I fell in love with Nick even more than I was before and I was invested in his story completely. If I said it once I will say it again, this series is something everyone should need and talk about. It needs buzz and love and I need more books on these boys! Thank you Ms. Rush, thank you.

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Review: Erased – Jennifer Rush

Review: Erased – Jennifer RushErased by Jennifer Rush
Series: Altered #2
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Published: January 7th 2014
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five-stars
They thought they had escaped. They were wrong.After fleeing the Branch with Sam, Cas, and Nick, Anna is 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.

When memories from Anna's old life begin to resurface--and a figure from her childhood reappears--Anna's loyalties are tested. Is it a Branch set-up, or could it be the reunion Anna has hoped for? Ultimately, the answers hinge on one question: What was the real reason her memories were erased in the first place?
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.

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If you read my review of Altered, you know how crazy, cuckoo, insane I was about that book. I told everyone and anyone that would listen that they needed to read it. Actually I told people that didn’t want to listen. So when I was offered to read Erased I was happy dancing all the way to my Kindle. But underneath that excitement there was a hint of worry. What if it didn’t live up to my high expectations of Altered? What if it was okay and I didn’t love it as much? Sophomore slump anyone? Well, let me tell you, I let out the biggest sigh of relief while reading Erased because it was utterly fantastic. It lived up to my very very high expectation and more because…I’m gonna say it…I thought it was maybe even better than Altered. Yup, I said it.

Erased picks up right where Altered left off.  Anna, Sam, Nick and Cas have finally left the Branch and are keeping a low profile. Trying not to draw attention to themselves their world is crumbled when someone from Anna’s past resurfaces and memories are pulled forward and truths are starting to be revealed. Not knowing who to trust the 4 begin a journey that will not only change what they know, but who they are and they may just be getting one step closer to why their memories were Erased, and especially why Anna’s were.

I’m not sure if I can adequately tell you how much I loved this book. Everything that I thought I loved about Altered was just brought to a whole new level with Erased. The action was more impactful, the truths threw an unexpected punch, and Anna’s past really, 100%, truly came to light and changed things and how I as a reader thought about all of the characters.  Anna’s story is really a huge part of everything and having the pieces put in place added some layers to the series as a whole. And Anna’s connection to Nick was really a part of the story that dragged me in.

Nick, oh Nick! As much as I loved your grumpy and bad boy ways in Altered, I was Team Sam as he had that brooding, quiet, charm things going. But in Erased I have jumped ship and now I want to know ALL. THINGS. NICK.  From the start of Erased there was something that I saw between Anna and Nick that I wanted to know more about. Now that’s not to say there is or there isn’t something there, there was just something I personally saw. You’ll have to read and make your own conclusions on the matter. But truthfully I saw a new side to Nick in this book that left me swooning and dying for more of his story and maybe wanting to give him a small hug, okay, a HUGE hug. He has a huge part in this story and I feel like only the surface has been scratched and I now want more.

Basically Erased is a fast paced book with some great twists and turns and even better character development. It’s well written, it’s entertaining, and an excellent follow-up to a book I fell head over heels with upon reading. Rush delivered with her second book and that’s all I can say about that. I don’t want to give away any more than I may have already, but just trust me when I tell you to read, read, read this series.

My Review of Altered

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Review: Altered – Jennifer Rush

Review: Altered – Jennifer RushAltered by Jennifer Rush
Series: Altered #1
Published: January 1st 2013
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five-stars

They were made to forget. But they'll never forgive.Everything about Anna's life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch, at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There's Nick, solemn and brooding; Cas, light-hearted and playful; Trev, smart and caring; and Sam . . . who's stolen Anna's heart.When the Branch decides it's time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape. Anna's father pushes her to go with them, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. On the run, with her father's warning in her head, Anna begins to doubt everything she thought she knew about herself. She soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they're both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.

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First things first, why are more people not talking about this book? I mean seriously, why? Honestly I have had this book on my raider for a while. I remember adding it in June of 2012 and thinking how fantastic it sounded. But as things happen I kept putting it off and putting it off as other books were buzzed about. When I was offered a copy I jumped on it and just picked it up and basically DEVOURED THE WHOLE THING in almost one day. It was seriously FANTASTIC and I’m mad that I didn’t read it sooner, that I didn’t hear the buzz that it deserves, that I didn’t have 15 people telling me to read it. That really bums me out because people, you are missing out on greatness!

Altered is a sci-fi-ish thriller about Anna, and 4 boys, Nick, Cas, Trev and Sam(who Anna crushes on) that are being held in her basement for a secret government project. For years Anna has gotten close to the boys unsure of what the study is about and why the boys have been altered. All Anna knows is that the boys don’t remember a single thing since they were out in the farm house 5 years ago. When opportunity arises and the boys escape, Anna is forced by her father to go with them. What starts as a journey of finding out who  the boys are becomes much more as each unraveled secret leads to the one question they never thought to ask, just who can they trust?

Fantastic sounding right? It’s like The Bourne Identity YA style with 4 adorable boys with varying personalities and Anna right in the middle of everything. I’m telling you I was 6 pages in and I fell head over heels for Sam and as the story progressed and I got to learn more about him both currently and in the past, that love grew. He was such a complex character that held everything close to the vest yet had this small amount of vulnerability to him that was especially brought out around Anna. Anna somehow softened the boys in a way that was almost unexpected. Even Nick who basically hated her was a little less gruff around her. I know there was a reason for this, but it still added to the story.

Now aside from the characters the plot itself was fantastic. Although some of it was predictable and I saw it coming a mile away there was enough that wasn’t. I was utterly engaged through the entire book from either the action that was happening as these teens ran for their lives or the little clues that would pop up explaining the mystery they were shroud in, or the pieces of the puzzle that fit into place. Rush created a high impact action story that kept my heart in my throat and me on the end of my seat. I was completely enthralled by the intricate story that was woven and connected with an easy precision.

Basically if you haven’t gotten it form this review I’m telling you that you need to read this book. You need to tell all your friends to read this book. You need to review this book everywhere and anywhere you can so people know to read this book. Rush’s book was a fast paced story of figuring out a mysterious past while trying to connect what it means for the future and who you are a person.  I promise if you pick this up you will not be disappointed.

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