Paranormal Book Club: Altered

July 22, 2021

Welcome to another Paranormal Book Club post! The Paranormal Book Club is a casual book club I do with my friends Rachel, Kristin & DJ, and it came into being because we decided we wanted to revisit (or experience for the first time) a few older YA paranormal/fantasy books together. Rachel, DJ & I picked up Altered recently, and I was the only one of us who hadn't ever read this one. I knew the other two absolutely love the book, so I was eager to see how I felt about it.

Summary: Anna has been helping her father care for and keep an eye on four young men who are basically imprisoned in their basement. The teens have been ‘enhanced’ by a private institution, giving them strengths and capabilities that no regular old human would possess. Before they can be claimed and used by their ‘benefactors’, they stage an escape… with the blessing of Anna’s dad so long as they bring her with them. Pursued by enemies and unable to know who they can trust, the group must figure out the truth about everything before it’s too late.


What were your initial thoughts about the book? Were you excited to read it?
It’s been a hot minute since I’ve read a sci-fi/dystopian YA book. But I was eager to pick up this series starter from Jennifer Rush for the Paranormal Book Club as I wanted to see if I was going to end up loving the novel as much as my friends Rachel & DJ do. (Spoiler alert: I very much did and proceeded to purchase this book and the rest of the series!) While I fully expected to have fun reading this story, I didn’t anticipate this novel being one of the most compelling stories I’d get to read this year. I flew through this one, simply because I just had to know what would happen next. I found the cast of characters really likable and easy to root for and combining that with a fast-paced plot filled with intrigue and action, well, it was all too easy to get swept up in the tale. Whether it’s due to my minimal experience reading the genre or the fact that it’s been some time since I last dove into a book like it, I couldn’t really predict where the story was going to go either, which kept me on the edge of my seat. It was definitely a pleasant surprise to be so invested in this story and to enjoy it as much as I did! (I also listened to the audiobook for this one, and the format worked very well for this story. The narrator did a great job bringing it to life.)

What was your favorite quote or passage, and why did it resonate with you?
I actually included in the graphic above - "That's what hope was. Clinging to something you weren't sure would ever be yours. But you had to hold on anyway, because without it, what was the point?” Hope is so, so important to have and keep a hold of, and this quote just mirrors the way I feel.

What character did you relate to the most, and what was it about them that you connected with?
Nick is my favorite character in the series, but he’s the one I have heart eyes for and not the character I relate to the most. That distinction belongs to Anna! I really appreciated that her heart was always in the right place. While she’s not prepared for being on the run with the boys, I did like that she was willing to learn and adapt. And I loved that she was so willing to help them, even with so much at stake. Our girl really rolls with the punches and simply gets back up, and I definitely admired and related to that!

Was there anything you wanted to see more of in the book, like more page time for a secondary character or a plot point you wish was explored more?
I’m pretty content with the reveals we get regarding the plot and lore in this story, especially since I went into this one knowing that it was only the start to a series. We get just enough of an explanation to understand what’s going on, as well as see the potential for future chapters in this story. But I do want more page time with my favorite secondary character Nick, a grumpy stoic dude with a heart of gold (and yes, I know, I have a type).

What are your final thoughts? Would you read this book again and/or continue with the series? Would you read another book written by the same author?
I had so much fun reading Altered, and again, it was genuinely such a good surprise to find a series starter that 1) held up really well considering it was written almost a decade ago and 2) really sucked me into the story from start to end. I would definitely reread this in the future, and plan on finishing up the rest of the series as well!

If you're interested in finding out what the others thought, check out their posts below:

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