Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Title: Paranormalcy
Author: Kierstan White
Series: Paranormalcy #1
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 335 (Hardcover)
Age: +13
To Buy: Amazon.com


Evie's always though of herself as normal. Sure, she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her best friend is a mermaid, she's being stalked by a faerie, and she's the only person who can see through the paranormals' glamours, but still. She's just your average 16-year-old girl. Yup. Totally normal.

But now, paranormals are dying. Foul play is suspected, but nobody seems to be able to see any evidence that proves it. Well, nobody except Evie. She's been having dreams filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies, and quickly realizes that there may be a link between her abilities and deaths happening all around her. Not only that, but she may be the subject of a dark faerie prophecy promising war on the rest of all paranormal creatures. Now Evie must work with the paranormals she had worked to contain in order to stop the murders from happening.


Oh bleep, I honestly don't know where to begin. I could gush about this book for hours, even though I wasn't exactly sure what to expect when I first picked it up. I usually have mixed feelings about urban fantasy novels due to the abundance of cookie-cutter whiny characters that seem to show up within the pages, but I absolutely adored Evie and the supporting characters in this book. Evie was hilarious! Every one of her lines is filled with a touch of wit, and I loved the fact that despite the un-normalcy of her life she tries to act like a regular teenage girl: she loves wearing crazy clothes, she freaks out if she misses an episode of her favorite TV show, and she wonders when she'll get her first kiss as she backhands vampires. All of this adds up to a sassy strong and endearing character with a refreshingly original story without the angst.

In addition, the romance in this novel was adorable. Lend (the love interest) is an endearing character as well, with unique powers and a mellow personality that compliments Evie's. He shows up early on in the book, after failing to successfully break into the International Paranormal Containment Agency. When caught and locked up, he and Evie become fast friends after recognizing that they have a mutual curiosity for one another. We get to see their relationship progress naturally throughout the entire book, and White really takes the time to make them get to know each other before they become a couple. I hate it when characters jump into a relationship because they fall in love at first sight, even though they know absolutely nothing about each other. Though we all wish that we could be Disney Princesses, really, how often does it happen in real life? Marriage after 48 hours is not that cool.

But I digress.

The concept of working with a global secret society was really cool too, and is something I haven't seen in YA urban fantasy (yet, anyway). Though we don't get to see everything that the organization does, the part of the department that we do see is well described and detailed. The technology used to contain the paranormals was grounded enough in reality so that it was easy to visualize. For example, Evie carries around a pink rhinestone tazer. Easy to picture, no? The paranormal creatures also leaned more towards the traditional side of mythology and legend, which was sort of relief when one considers the flood of literature that likes to "spice things up" when it comes to the paranormal. Vampires don't sparkle, and werewolves just turn into monsters during the full moon. In a way, probably due to Evie's snarky comments, I felt like Paranormalcy was subtly making fun of the flood of crazy paranormal characters while fully participating in the genre. If wrong, then I give Kiersten White permission to smack me silly.

Anyway, the book ends on a sugary-sweet note, but left me wanting more. With a prophecy to address and a rouge faerie to find, I'm sad that I have to wait until next October for the second book. I swear, this has been one of the best books I've read all year.


8/8 Tentacles


Alison said...

Yay - another person who loved Paranormalcy. It was fabulous. I love Evie - both tough and girly. And Lend was a fabulous guy. He seemed real, oddly enough. Like a guy you'd actually want to date.

Jenny said...

I just got a copy of this so I am glad it's got the Emi stamp of approval! I'll be reading it next.

Kristina Barnes♥ said...

Are you SURE this will make me laugh and be happy? Gosh, I've been reading only depressing books and I need a change really bad. I heard great things about this from the lady who sent it to me and I've been meaning to pick it up. If it won't make me want to wrist, this will probably be my next book. xP

Emi said...

@Alison: I know, right?! Lend was awesome. I have no doubt in my mind that if I met him in real life we'd get along. I think that's one of the main reasons I enjoyed him as a supporting character so much--he was actually real and attainable for Evie.

@Jenny: I hope you do! I think you'll really enjoy it too. If anything, it's great for a good laugh. :P

@Kristina: YES. YES, I'm sure it'll make you laugh and be merry. Trade it for the razorblades the other books have made you pick up. xD

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