I’m currently convinced that Kiersten White is some kind of YA genius. I mean, YA paranormal romance is “the genre” these days (well it was before dystopians came along)—everyone and their pet turtle is writing something paranormal. And for my little historical fiction loving self, I’ve always been on the fringes of that genre. Well, let’s just say that if I were ever to write a paranormal romance for myself, I’d want it to be almost exactly like Paranormalcy.
For one, Paranormalcy isn’t a very serious book. In comparison to all the doom and gloom paranormal novels out there, this one is suprisingly upbeat and fun. It’s like a paranormal beach read or something. It’s so girly and cute, contrary to the dark and mysterious cover.
The best part about this paranormal is that it has it all. Literally. Vampires, werewolves, mermaids, faeries, trolls, hags, nymphs. It’s like the supernatural family get together. Supes R Us or something. And it totally turns the whole “only one kind of supe per series“ thing right on its head.
And like I said, Paranormalcy is totally girly. There’s kissing and prom and soap operas. Expeditions to the mall and conversations about makeup. It’s just really fluffy and totally not what I was expecting.
Now okay, Evie, the main character is a teensy bit shallow and is most likely a Mary Sue. However, she was really fun. I mean, she carries around a pink rhinestone taser named “Tasey” and has an obsession with clothes—especially pink clothes. I don’t know, she’s just so girly that she’s adorable, and yeah, maybe she’s kind of unrealistic, but hey, she’s got a personality that’s pretty unique for the genre, so I’m not going to complain.
And, of course, there’s the obligatory YA romance. For one, Lend is invisible. For two, he’s pretty sweet. For three, it’s a YA romantic pairing—they’re all pretty much the same and there’s not much to touch on. I definitely didn’t hate the romance, all told.
Anyway. Sign me up for book number 2! (Yeesh, my wallet is getting skinny.)
Verdict: I was totally surprised by Paranormalcy, in the best way. It’s a cute, fast-paced read featuring a funny protagonist and a great collection of supes. What’s not to like?
After reading the summary foreshadowing a faerie prophecy about death and destruction, you would think this would be a dark and twisted, serious read. But that is so far from the truth! Paranormalcy had its moments of darkness, but its an overall light and fun read.
At first all of Evie's references to pink and glitter had me inwardly groaning - I was picturing another Zoey Redbird bullpoopie situation. Fortunately Evie's naiveté and obsession with the colour pink makes her endearingly charming. Her love of normal teenager things, like owning a locker and going to prom, adds to her charm and I couldn't help but get caught up in her excitement for what I take for granted.
The plot moves along nicely and we soon learn that there is more to the organization IPCA, for whom Evie has worked for since she was 8, then we originally thought. As Evie starts to realize that her nobel intentions may have been met with not-so-nobel ends, she starts to question both everything she knows about the paranormal and herself.
Evie is a wonderful protagonist. She's insecure enough to be relatable, without being weak. When she begins to question her beliefs and the ethics of how paranormals are treated, I can see her inner struggle, which only adds to my ability to relate to her. She is fun, and opinionated and while she fears the repercussions of telling the truth, she is brave enough to face the consequences. She's not perfect, but the choices she inevitably makes are the choices you want her to make.
Her relationship with Lend is adorable. Unlike most YA romances out there, it was not love-at-first-sight, and we get to watch the relationship grow from one of convenience to one hinting at love. It was refreshing to watch Evie realize her feelings for Lend might be deeper then just friendship, and the following insecurities about whether her feelings were reciprocated. I loved watching them go from the barest of touches, to the innocence of just holding hands, to their first kiss(es). Again, it was adorable and completely believable; it was exactly how I picture a relationship should develop when its both your first real relationship and you're only sixteen.
The only (not-so) negative thing I have to say is that I felt some of the supporting characters were slightly underdeveloped. I didn't feel the motherly bond between Evie and Raquel (that Evie sometimes mentions) and while I know Lish is Evie's best friend (because I am told so), we don't see Lish in the friendship role very often and so it was hard to see her that way. Reth was an interesting character, and I would have liked a little more history on him, but I'm glad that he was presented as an obstacle to overcome versus an object of Evie's affection, thus creating a love triangle. I hope to see more of him in the future, if only to get some questions answered.
A member of the International Paranormal Containment Agency, all Evie has ever known is the sanctuary of the Center and kicking paranormal butt. All she wants is to go to school, to benormal. She's convinced she's human, but how come she's the only one with abilities like hers? It seems a dream come true when all of a sudden IPCA centers all over the world begin to be broken into and destroyed. Her own Center is broken into by a dark faerie, and Evie escapes with her friend Lend to his own home. The trouble is, the dark faerie isn't out to get anybody. She's out to get Evie. I loved this book. If weren't for the fact that I was reading this in the middle of the night with the lights turned off (minus my wonderful Mighty Bright Book Light), then I would be LOLing the entire time. Kiersten White is absolutely hilarious. She makes Evie not only a kick-butt agent, but a totally normal teenage girl with dreams of being able to do normal things. I mean, seriously. From the very beginning, I was hooked. The first chapter made Evie an instantly likable character and I just loved the setting of the novel.
SPOILERS: The characters were
well-developed and the storyline was intriguing. I thought the ending
was quite abrupt though. Overall, an excellent book and I look forward
to the next in the series. I really liked the descriptions of each of the characters and how Evie could see through the glamors. I thought that was a very nice touch.
Evie was such a stereotypical teenage girl, but in a good way! Her fascination with all things high school was hilarious. Especially when paired with her lack of high school experience (One word: lockers!?). The real world was as foreign to her as the paranormal world is to us. In fact, the paranormal world White created was amazing. She certainly put her own creative spin on some of the common mythical creatures. At times I could get overwhelmed by all of them but, I never did get bored within the pages of this book. Id definitely suggest it to anyone riding the paranormal wave out there.
*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.
The Story: Evies always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, shes falling for a shape-shifter, and shes the only person who can see through paranormals glamours.
But Evies about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.
So much for normal.
--via Barnes & Noble
My Review: One word: FUNNY.
I just finished this book about a week ago and I can't sayParanormalacywas addictive because I could put it down. I needed more. But it was decent and what I enjoyed most about the author's writing style was that she is FUNNY! And the ending did leave me wanting to read more. Hoping for more, I could say the book got the job done. I was glad to find out that there will be two more sequels to Kiersten White's NYT Bestselling novel. What I would love to see in the sequel: More gripping moments between Lend and Evie. As for Evie I have to say I liked her; Evie's pretty in pink but don't underestimate her because she's a sassy badass. I especially loved her pink taser named Tasey -- a girl's best friend.
Rating: FOUR Gold Stars!!!!
Here is one of my favorite (spoiler-free) quotes from Paranormalacy:
Steve: "What, imminent death isn't exciting enough for you?" -page 1
Evie has been with the IPCA, International Paranormal Containment Agency since she was eight. Her ability to see through paranomals' glamours makes her valuable to the IPCA. Evie longs for a normal life, and finally starts questioning her role in the agency once Lend, a shape-shifter is caught by the IPCA. With Lend she starts unraveling secrets about the agency and herself, with her ex-boyfriend bugging her the whole way.
I thought this book was pretty different from all the other paranormal books I've read, so I was interested from the beginning. Evie's character was relatable, and she could put up her own in a fight. Lend's ability as a shape-shifter was kind of creepy, but also cool. I liked Reth, the faerie ex-boyfriend. I don't know if I was supposed to since he had that evil, creepy vibe, but he kept things interesting. Overall the book was fast-paced and engaging, so I'll definitely be picking up the sequel.
I officially have yet another great book to add to my 2010 favorites list and a brand new author to keep an eye out for. Kiersten White has that new author shine and her writing is proof enough that she'll be around for a long time to come. In fact, can I have the sequel already? Paranormalcy hasn't even been put out on the shelves and already I'm dying for more.
So let's get right to it shall we? The things that go bump in the night and hide under your bed that keep you awake with terror....they're all real. And they put up these crazy glamours (a.k.a. camouflage) to appear just like you and me. Scary right? Only one person can see through them, drum roll please....enter Evie! She's the star of the show but readers will soon find out that even though Evie's talent makes her unique and special, that might not be all it's cracked up to be. We can go home and watch TV and listen to music, while at the drop of a hat Evie could be getting paged saying she has another mission: track down the bad guy (because she's the only one that can separate the bad guys from the normal people) and use yourself as bait. When they're close enough (close enough to hurt or kill you that is) knock them out and take them into custody to be processed. Piece of cake right? Ha...so wrong, no thank you, I so do not want any part of that job. She has a talent for seeing spooky things so she doesn't have the luxury of being around normal people, doing normal things like going to school, attending prom, or even having human friends around to grab a slice of pizza with. Instead she's best friends with a wicked smart mermaid (I adored Lish), has an ex-boyfriend who's a faerie with bad news written all over him (but of course he's stop you in your tracks gorgeous) and now she's got a crush on a yet to be determined/labeled paranormal that can shape shift to look like anyone he wants to. So you can imagine it would take a lot to stress her out or worry her.
So when paranormals all over the world are turning up dead and the ex-boyfriend starts taking the term "stalker" to scary new heights, Evie is getting nervous and she might be the only one who can do anything to help. But she's going to need help too and protection, not to mention answers, and lots of them. So will Evie and her crew of crazies (just kidding) be able to stop the deaths? Will the ex-boyfriend get what's coming to him? You'll have to read the book to find out of course but you certainly won't regret it. And Kiersten, if you're reading this review (long shot I know)...I'm dying for the sequel and anyone who reads Paranormalcy will be counting down the days until the release too!