When you can’t trust yourself, who can you believe?
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, Cas, Trev . . . and Sam, who’s stolen Anna’s heart. When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them.
Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind in the safety of her everyday life. But her father pushes her to flee, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. There’s just one problem. Sam and the boys don’t remember anything before living in the lab—not even their true identities.
Now on the run, Anna 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.
Release Date: January 1, 2013
Published By: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Review Copy: ARC, 323 pages
*Received through ARC swap
So my confession on this book is that I wanted it before I even red the description. The guy on the cover was seriously calling to me. Then I read the description and there was an undeniable burning desire to have this book in my possession. What I didn't realize until I read it was the significance of the shadows of the tree until I read it. Prior to reading it didn't make sense but once read it just wouldn't make sense not to have it on there. Though I will admit it wasn't exactly what I expected, it undeniably pulled me in!! There were twists galore and enough action and tension to keep me right attached to this one from start to finish.
The boys made me want my own group of Sam, Cas, Nick and Trev. Not just because they were seriously attractive but they each held their own unique attraction. This is also a chunk of the appeal for the story. Though the story is well written and easy to read through, it's the boys that make it. One little detail didn't escape me though and even if I did see it coming I was still shocked that I was right. Truth be told this little twist seriously disappointed me and I wished, wished that I had been wrong. I'm not sure how many other people seen it coming but it could be easily lost within the other twists and stops that are pulled out as the story progresses. With the boys being altered to be something more and not remembering anything prior to their time at the lab there is a lot to be discovered.
I liked Anna for the most part. She was so torn between what she was told was right and what she thought was right. Totally get the problem, if you are raised one way but your conscience pulls you another way what way do you follow? In the end I was glad it was her heart and conscience that pulled through but was there ever really any doubt with Sam dangling in the mix? Not really but I did worry she was going to be stuck in the "Daddy's perfect Princess" role for awhile. This girl also came to some harsh and sad realizations throughout the novel and I felt for her. It's like being told your entire life the sky is green only to step outside and see it is really blue. Her growth and determination did make her a worthy character in the end.
There is much to be said about each of the boys so I will have to cut it short and give you the best of each one. We will start with Sam. He was the only one Anna hadn't really figured out but he was also the object of her affection. The only thing that was really clear with him was that he was the leader of the pack and truth be told I was not all that sold on him. His tattoo kind of got me but the other guys held more of a draw when it came down to it. Cas was kind of the class clown. He was about making Anna smile and eating everything in site, though he never gains an ounce. Oh ya he is one of those guys! Trev was the one Anna felt closest to and I will admit I was a wee bit infatuated with him myself but that wore off as the book. Nick is my crush. Those of you that have read this book are going WTF. I know he is a little moody and pessimistic but hey he has me hooked and I think that there is way more to him than what we saw.
Biggest confusion for me came in the romance of this one. Not that I didn't love the Anna/Sam thing but there was way more than sexual tension going on. Sam made it out that he had used Anna where it seemed clear he felt for her but the confusing part came later. As sad as it makes me I can't even share it with you because it will ruin the surprise but Sam loved someone else. Who it was made it hard for me to get over the possibility of his feelings for Anna. It just seemed so jaded after the big surprise and was kind of surprised that Anna didn't act differently after the news. In fact when they found out there wasn't even any waves made, things between them just continued as if nothing had ever happened or been found out.
From start to finish the action and non stop thrill of this book had me hooked. There is absolutely no denying that I was addicted and wanted more and someone please tell me that there is more! Jennifer Rush did a bang up job of creating believable characters that are easy to enjoy and even easier to fall in love with. The constant twists and turns make every page, every chapter more exciting and more enticing. There are so many ways that this could have gone but to me Mrs. Rush picked all the best ways. Pick this one up when you are in the mood for something fast paced.
For some reason everything I said and did around Sam felt weightier. As if merely his presence could shake my soul, make me feel. He savored every detail I gave him, as if I were his last link to the real world. I guess in some ways I was.
On my way down to the lab, I grabbed the new tube of tennis balls I'd bought for Cas. I swear that boy had ADD, though his unwavering attention when food was present indicated he had some focus skills.
It wasn't fair that he could look so good after going so long without a shower. He just had that perfect kind of wavy, bordering-on-curly hair that looked presentably even when unwashed. Silently I wondered if he was dying without his organic shampoo. I hoped so.
"God. You're so annoying!' I said between bursts of laughter.
"But charming." He fell into step with me. "Let it be known if you're ever in need of a good make-out session, I happen to be available Tuesday nights."
My hands walked up his biceps as his fingers threaded through my hair, sending ribbons of heat down my skull. He pressed into me as if he couldn't get close enough, and I pressed back. Because I wasn't close enough. Because I had spent the last several years of my life wishing I could be closer.