This series by Jennifer Rush was a rush (he he) and I ploughed through both this novels in virtually one sitting. Anna is an artistic 17-year-old girl and in her basement is a lab where four boys with amnesia (who look like teens but are actually in their twenties) are being experimented on. While Anna doesn’t necessarily like it, she helps her father in his work because she wants to keep seeing them (and they’re cute so who wouldn’t?). Her best friend is Trev, she enjoys Cas’ cheeky company, steers clear of grumpy Nick and she crushes hard on the closed-off leader Sam. But one day, the boys escape and take her with them, running from the mysterious Agency as they try to get to the bottom of the experiments, the erased memories, the genetic manipulation and how Anna plays a bigger role than she ever could’ve imagined.
There are two sides to this series. On the one hand, it appears geared towards teen girls because, really, who wouldn’t want four gorgeous young men protecting you as you’re on the run from an evil secret agency. It starts off with the standard relationships: Trev the best friend yet clearly being friend-zoned while Sam remains oblivious (or does he?) to Anna’s crush, Cas is mainly there for his comedic timing and Nick would rather be anywhere else. As much as they fall into the standard YA cliches, it was still enjoyable and then Rush begins to play with these expected relationships, which makes things a little more interesting and less predictable.
The other side is the development of Anna. She goes from being a pretty meek teen girl who likes to draw but doesn’t have a whole lot of self confidence to a survivor and a protector in her own right. As much as the boys look after her, she eventually becomes the one to look after and even save them. She struggles with her own sense of morality as she kills someone for the first time and feels more comfortable with a gun on her than without. By the end, she is a strong, independent woman who can kick arse.
It was a fun series, easy to read with a few twists as the characters track down a series of clues left by their pre-erased selves. The Agency could’ve been a little more intimidating (and maybe less personal) and there were some boundaries that could’ve been pushed further, but overall they were both enjoyable reads.