“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 has 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.”
I don’t know why but all the recent books I’ve read have just been meh. It’s no different with this one. There were things I loved and there were things that didn’t sit right with me. Let’s begin a list of meh! I know it’s just a great name for a list…
1. The idea behind it all! It was a great idea! Genetically altered people that are hidden in a lab under someone’s house? Sign me up! Except it lacked a whole ton of background. When the story got going, all I could really think about was what on earth was happening. Like the whole Branch thing? What is even Branch? Is it a program for the government? Is it like the Bourne series? What’s the objective? Is it illegal? There were no answers and what answers we did get were half-thought out and I had a hard time stringing things together. Maybe it’ll be okay in the next book, who knows?
2. The plot was great! Until it wasn’t. It was truly great at the beginning… and then things started happening so fast and some things were explained after the fact except in a round-about way and I was terribly confused. It reminded me a lot of the later books in the Maximum Ride series when there are villains left and right and stuff coming and going and everything is going to hell. Yeah. But! The journey that they all go on as they try to find who they were before and what the truth is was nice to read about. It kind of reminded me of Red Glass or perhaps Song of the Sparrow because of the transformation that each character undergoes.
3. The lovely characters! The characters were a bright spot in this book. I really liked seeing the different dynamics with each personality and how it all interacted when the big reveal happens at the end. However, I didn’t really like how Sam and Anna never really deal with what’s between them.
4. The ending. I have mixed feelings about the ending. On one hand, it seemed to all end rather abruptly and some things just weren’t wrapped up. I understand that this is a series and all but plot lines were left open when they should have been closed off before starting another plot line. On the other hand, I really loved that surprising reveal – I definitely didn’t see it coming and it makes it all quite interesting. Because of that, I’ll be reading the second book in the series.
The Final Verdict:
This book had such a good idea going and the characters and ending were quite good. However, the plot lines were kind of confusing and not a lot was explained: it was just thrown and you had to collect the pieces in a half hazard fashion.
“You found anything?” Nick said.
“I found a twig.”
“I closed my eyes. His fingers found mine. I buried my face on his chest, my vision hazy. “I won’t remember you.”
“You will,” he whispered into my hair. “Someday. I’ll find you.”
“What color would you use?”
“I think he’s delirious,” Cas said.
“Don’t die on me,” I ordered.
“I wouldn’t dream of it,” he said right before he passed out.”
“You lost your shirt, Sam?”
“Anna was looking over the tattoo.”
“Yeah.” Nick grunted. “It looked like it.”
“Pumpkin?” He nodded at the cookies.
“Anna Banana, I love you.”
“I smiled. “You trust me more than Cas?”
“Cas would choose a case of beer over me.”
My laughter echoed through the cemetery. “That’s not true!” I brushed the hair from my face. “The others have your back.”
“Yet you were the one who saved my life.”
“You’re the only person I trust. That’s not something to waste.”
“Hope is a waking dream.’ I let the words echo in my head. The quote reminded me of that feeling you get when you start to wake from a dream you don’t want to leave. That crushing sensation in the center of your chest, like you are losing an important piece of yourself you won’t ever get back.”
“You and I are the sum of a void left by the absence of someone we love.”