Thursday, June 7, 2012

Review: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Title: Paranormalcy
Author: Kiersten White
Series: Paranormalcy #1
Pages: 335
Publisher: HarperTeen
Date Published: September 1, 2010
Format: ARC
Genre: Paranormal (YA)
Source: The Amazing Zooey from Dahl's Doll

Weird as it is working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, Evie’s always thought of herself as normal. Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she's falling for a shape-shifter, and she's the only person who can see through paranormals' glamours, but still. Normal. Only now paranormals are dying, and Evie's dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies. She soon realizes that there may be a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths. Not only that, but she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.So much for normal.
My Review:
I've become a bit burned out with regards to paranormal YA books lately. I find myself only reading books in series that are already established or are written by authors that I've read and enjoyed before. It just takes so much out of you if you're reading a constant barrage of books that are about the same things, with only moderately different characters, all.the.fricking.time. Which is why I'm so excited I gave Paranormalcy a try. It's got a lot of the familiar themes and characters of the paranormal genre, but with a certain...frantic hilarious energy behind it. It combines the fluff of a chick lit novel with the mystery and adventure of a thriller, mixed with lots and lots of different types of supernatural creatures.

Evie has been working for the IPCA, a paranormal detective and policing agency, since practically before she can remember. She's always thought she was a human specially trained to capture and take down supernaturals, but lately things have been changing. She's starting to get the feeling that there is more to her powers than just being able to see through supernatural glamours. Now something is taking out the supernaturals and she has the sneaking suspicion that it has something to do with her. All Evie's ever known has been neutralizing paranormals for the IPCA. She's lived within the compound for so long she barely remembers what life is like outside of fighting. It takes the break-in of one see-through shape changer to turn Evie's world on it's head and get her to actually start thinking about what she's being used to do at the IPCA.

I thought that one of the best aspects of the book was the originality of the creatures/characters. Not only was Evie a supernatural mystery, but there really aren't any cliched "type characters" There's no brooding vampires, rowdy werewolves, etc. Instead we get a foul mouthed mermaid, and fairies that would rather kill you than dance among the flowers.  Personality-wise, Evie is actually really charming and adorable. There's a lot more than meets the eye when it comes to her. She is strong, due to her supernatural birthright, but she's got her weaknesses.  These weaknesses can be the bad kind (fairies stalk her) to the hilarious kind (she's partial to pink, shopping, and zebra print). She really loves all the normal things that teenagers get to experience, because she's grown up in the compound and has never had the chance to go to school, or drive a car, or anything that teens usually do. This leads to some pretty hilarious quotes when she finally get's her chance..due to her belief that lockers and classes are actually cool.
“Yes, I have a driver's license."
I leaned back against the wall, sighing. "Man, that must be so cool."
"It ranks right up there with lockers. In fact, sometimes I put my license inside my locker, and it's so cool I worry that the whole thing might explode with the sheer coolness of it all.”
As you can probably tell from that quote, the banter in the novel is fab. Banter and snark is one of the biggest things that get me to warm up to a novel. That and pure friction between love interests. You can feel the heat and chemistry bubbling up between Evie and Lend like it's dancing around in mid-air wearing a sarong. Though I was a tad distracted by Lend's name...Lend. What is that? I mean it's original..but I LEND my books out...I don't lust after a Lend.But once you get over the name it really is smooth sailing. I loved that their relationship developed naturally over the course of the book and there was none of that "we're soulmates!" bullcrap that makes me roll my eyes and want to throw the book across the room. I did love that the one thing that brought Evie back from the edge was her love for Lend. I felt like that made it more real and believable.
I give Paranormalcy 4 Keys! It was a really great beginning to what could be a fabulous Urban Fantasy YA series. It's flirty, it's cute, and it mixes both the dark and the light side of paranormal fiction to create something new and original. You can tell it is geared towards the younger side of the young adult spectrum, and the "first love" theme really makes it appealing to those pre-teens...but as a reader WELL out of her pre-teen years I can still say that I really enjoyed it and am seriously looking forward to the rest of the series.


  1. Yayy! You read it! I remember having a lot of fun with this book. I'm pretty sure this was the first YA book that I had read after months of European classics. I remember being so taken aback at the language and humor. I was like, You can do that!?!

    Anyway, I'm glad you liked it. Oh, and I love the review dear.

  2. I can't wait to read this book. It's ones of the books that I packed in my suitcase for the summer vacation that I took to see family. I can't wait to get to it.

    Great review!

  3. I loved all the different creatures too! I remember loving this book and reading it super fast. i really need to read book 2!

    I also wanted to let you know that the book you won (a million years ago) on my blog is finally being mailed out. I am so sorry that it took so long, things have just been crazy. But it is on its way to you! :)