From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Four hot guys are locked in rooms below Anna's house: Trev (literary, erudite, yoga practitioner); Cas (artistic, funny, sporty); Nick (cynical, grouchy, vain); and Sam (caring, agile, a leader). Now 18, Anna has interacted with "the units" imprisoned in her father's underground lab for five years, and when she's not being homeschooled, baking cookies, or doing combat training, she helps with blood draws and data collection, occasionally sneaking down for midnight chess games. She's developed special ties with Trev and Sam, and a crush is turning into love. The action kicks in when representatives from the Branch (the secret organization overseeing project OP ALPHA) arrive to take the boys to a new location. They turn the tables, kill most of the Branch team, and flee with Anna as willing accomplice. The science behind the "altering" process is vague. Rush often tells readers that the information is "classified," but she does reveal that experiments in genetic alteration have given the boys a special connection and made them "more than human." Their memories were wiped clean in the process, leading to puzzles dealing with coded scars and tattoos. Those expecting hard science fiction will be disappointed, but readers seeking a "teens on the run" plot featuring surprising twists and turns, romantic entanglements, hard stomachs and curved muscles, and innocent-but-mischievous smiles will come away satisfied.-Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TXα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Anna lives with four boys who are not her brothers—Nick, the brooding bad boy; Trev, the thoughtful intellectual; Cas, the carefree jock; and Sam, their mysterious leader. What sounds like a lighthearted shojo manga in novel form is actually a rapid-fire thriller as Sam leads the escape from the farmhouse, where all four genetically altered boys were imprisoned in the basement. The boys, who don’t remember anything about their lives before they were imprisoned, take Anna hostage as insurance, and slowly, Anna and the boys begin to piece together the true nature of their relationship. This exciting debut novel does not break any new ground, but it provides enough twists and turns to keep readers engaged and wondering if there will be a next volume. Fans of the Hunger Games and Maze Runner series seeking more dystopian titles would likely enjoy this new adventure. Grades 7-12. --Candice Mack