Monday, November 18, 2013

Erased by Jennifer Rush

by Jennifer Rush
Read: September 4-5, 2013
Published: January 7, 2014 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Net Galley - Thank you, Little, Brown!
Category: Action (Jason Bourne like), Sci-fi, YA
Series: Altered #2
Locate: Goodreads | Amazon 

NOTE: Erased is the second book in a series. This review may contain mild spoilers for the first book. Find my review of Altered, HERE

Official Summary: 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. (From Goodreads)


Erased kept me on the edge of my seat for most of the book. For that this story is a big win. This series continues to be fast paced and fun, while maintaining its kick butt cinematic feel. Jennifer Rush is not afraid to push her characters into situations where they have to make very quick and difficult decisions. We saw some of that in Altered, and even more in Erased. When this book starts, Anna, Sam, Cas and Nick are on the run from The Branch and that means always being alert to their surroundings. I love all the details of the life of these characters while they're on the run. Traveling in pairs, never taking the same route, staying anoymous, monitoring their surroundings at all times. I could literally feel the constant state of suspended tension they were in. And then all of a sudden something happens and BOOM the story takes off at a rapid pace and is at full throttle for the rest of the story. 

Erased, like Altered is focused more on action than character development. Although the action is pretty addicting, I wish that had been a little more balanced out with a focus on how Anna, Sam, Nick and Cas dealing with everything they've faced. On top of being constantly on alert and on the run these four still dealing with large blanks about their past. The dynamic of their missing pasts, coupled with everything they've faced is very intriguing, and though I enjoyed this book, I think it could have been stronger if both were explored in depth. Especially considering some of the intense situations that they are forced to navigate in Erased

In this book we do get several pieces from Anna's past that shake things up for her, and through that we get a better sense of her character. Of course all of this information also added to the drama of the story. The prediction I made at the end of Altered about what would happen in this book was exactly right. But things didn't play out exactly as I expected them to occur, which was a very pleasant surprise. 

Besides Anna, the character we saw the most growth from in Erased, is Nick. We discovered a few secrets from his past as well, and I loved finding out more about him and how he fit into the group dynamic. Though he's also integral to this plot, I really wish that we'd gotten more depth to Sam. He's so guarded and closed off all the time, that it was so hard to feel emotionally attached to him. Anna actually has a conversation with someone in Erased about how guarded Sam is, and I'm thinking his personality is not going to change at this point.

My major trouble with Erased had to do with my frustration with Anna. She was a step behind me in figuring out several important details, and she made some seriously idiotic decisions because of it. One in particular just seemed way out of character for her. It was such a bad decision that was cringing and yelling NO! It also seriously affected how I saw her after. However, she also never gave up fighting for those she loved, and because of that, redeems herself pretty well. 

I believe Erased concludes Anna's narration and the third book will be a companion focusing on Nick. This makes me very happy. I'm excited to find out more about him, especially in light of what we discover in this story. Maybe we'll also get books focusing on Cas and Trev.

Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Low

About the cover: As silly as the half naked boy cover may have been, this one just makes it looks like he's being purposefully blurred out. I actually prefer the original with the vertical writing. Either that or they need new models wearing shirts. 


  1. I'd always wanted to pick up the first in this series, but somehow it got sidelined. I do a good action packed plot that keeps me at the edge of my seat at times and I'm happy to hear there is no dreaded love triangle. Seeing as this wraps up nicely and moves onto another character I might have to give this a go. Lovely review, Lauren. :)

  2. Omg. I can't wait for this. Agreed on the cover. I dont like it at all. Also, Anna infuriated me in Altered already, but she wasnt intolerable. My favorite character was Trev and why oh why did that happen? I want him to have his own book just as bad as I wanted Nick to have one. He's a mystery for me. I agree with Sam being closed off. I was hoping that he'd start to open up a.bit.. eh. Yeah. Will you read the prequel? I'm not going to. I can't stand to watch Sam with someone else. I won't. Can't wait to read Erased though :)

  3. I haven't read Altered, and I'm somehow not interested in it. I think this sequel seems significantly better, at least from what I've read of Altered, but the series as a whole still doesn't appeal to me for some reason. Maybe if the trilogy ends strongly I'll consider giving it a try. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Lauren, and I always love character development. Great review!(:

  4. I was thinking they changed the cover -- I remembered more nekkid-ness. Definitely preferred the first one not so much for the half-nekkid guy (I kind of felt a bit uncomfortable with that, considering they were supposed to be teens) but, like you said, this one looks purposefully blurred and I'm not a fan. Just throw a shirt on the kid and keep the rest of the design.

    ANYWAY, really enjoyed the first one, looking forward to this one, though I'm ready for Anna to step it up and it doesn't sound like she does all that much of it here.

  5. I really enjoyed Altered, but I felt the same way as far as the balance between action and character development. I do like a decent amount of character development in order to be connected to the characters and really love them and it's too bad this book couldn't have more depth in that area. Sometimes books seem to read more like a movie. It's good to know Anna's story is complete with this one, these series are killing me! Great review! ~Pam

  6. I haven't read Altered so I skimmed this review Lauren, but I will say Anna worries me a bit in this one! I haven't met her yet obviously, but that fact that she makes really poor choices in this story has me hugely concerned. Nothing frustrates me more than when characters make quite possibly the worst possible choice they could make in a given situation. I'm glad she keeps on fighting though and you felt she redeems herself a bit by the end:)

  7. Ok--I didn't read this because I haven't read Altered--but it seems like you approve of this series?? Because I am wondering if I should go ahead and start it? I have access to Erased so it's something I have been considering. What say you, L? Is it a 'Heather' book?

  8. Ugh, I liked the original covers better. I didn't like Anna much in this book either, especially that ONE thing she does that was just beyond idiotic. I agree...she was always a step behind in figuring things out, and she paid for it. Nick was by far my favorite aspect of the sequel. I love how integral he is in Anna's history, and I kind of wish he was the love interest because I feel NOTHING for Sam. He's just the strong, silent, brooding-type and I'm over it. How did he get TWO girls to fall for him? Anyway, my review is scheduled for next month, but I wrote it like two months ago, and you're making me want to go see what I said immediately after reading it. I'm pretty sure I felt the same way, then, though.

  9. I didn't like the part where Anna is fatter and shorter than dani. Also there should be more moments where Sam is jealous


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