Author: Kiersten White
Dimensions: 352 Pages, 6 x 8.75 x 1.13 in
Published: August 31, 2010
Publisher: HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS
ISBN - 10: 0061985848
ISBN - 13: 9780061985843
List Price: $18.99 CAD; $9.17 US; $9.54 CAD
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
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White was pretty much like nothing I’ve ever read-it’s a bleeping wicked ride of paranormal fun. At first I was really skeptical. From everything I had heard, my hopes were insanely high; I was anticipating nothing but wonderful things. Then I began reading and I found myself struggling. I’m not sure why - perhaps I was just restless and wasn’t gripping the story like I had hoped. However, I wasn’t going to start judging a book based on reading only 1/3 of it.
Now that I’m finished the book all I can say is, Kiersten White where did your wonderful mind come up with such an interesting and unique idea/concept? I’m thrilled with myself that I didn’t give up when I found myself forcing my way into Evie’s world. Usually when I take to a book I’m pulled through the pages. What began with what felt like an intrusion, ended with me feeling accepted - as if I belonged beside Evie for the ride. The novel had excellent pace but the character development wasn't entirely finished. This makes perfect sense however. It's only the first book and it takes time for characters to fully bloom. If you knew everything there was to know, what point would there be in another book? That said, the characters were all unique and different. I found myself warming up to them and not wanting to let go when Paranormalcy was over.
This world was so different from much of the paranormal books I’ve read. There is an agency - the International Paranormal Containment Agency (IPCA)- which sees our heroine literally tracking, bagging, and tagging paranormals. Paranormals are contained in order to protect both themselves and the mortal population. Evie is the only one who has the ability to see through paranormal glamour, which makes her the key to the IPCA operation running successfully. Disclaimer for those Edward looking, vampire fans out there...vampires aren’t pretty. They are actually pretty disgusting, just ask Evie. She can see through their glamours to their corpse like frames. No hottie night walkers here folks....anyways moving on. You also never know who Evie should trust. Should she trust the Agency- her home? Or should she trust the strange and unclassified Lend, who the agency is reluctant to trust?
Evie is both courageous and scared. I really enjoyed the two combinations together. Minus her ability, I think it makes her relatable to a lot of sixteen year old girls out there. She is still innocent in so many ways. It speaks volumes to the innocence that teenage girls have lost. It is blissful to think of sixteen girls acting like Evie’s character. More often than not, teenage girls are growing up way too fast, and it’s nice to see a heroine who has been shielded from the corruption of today’s society - although she’s still corrupted in other ways. She kicks butt, goes marching off into insanely terrifying situations, sarcastic, and wears a ton of pink. I think she's a great role model for girls her own age. Did I mention her best friend is a mermaid who bleeps a lot?
hmm and this is where I believe my initial reluctance came from. I think I struggled at first with the bleeps which may have caused my momentary apprehension towards the rest of the novel. I overcame that quickly though and found the absence of curse words rewarding.
Lend is a kind, gentle, and amazing shapeshifter, who I think all will come to love, adore, want to kidnap and take home.....
Reth is a faery (mysterious and gorgeous) who reminded me of David Bowie in Labyrinth. The way Evie describes her little faerie ‘friend’ takes me back to the ballroom scene in the movie. Anyone else get that vibe? Everything from Reth’s movements, his looks, his riddles, the way you can’t help but like him even when you hate him, and the way he always wants to dance with her. He’s 100% Jareth in my mind and she’s his Sarah. He's also sketchy and his intentions with Evie are hardly clear - does he want her as a girlfriend, partner in crime or is there something much more dangerous and sinister with his Evie attachment?
Kiersten has created a world and characters that are not only perfect for the YA demographic, but her world transcends the pages and speaks to those outside the YA bubble. Evie’s world is full of mystery, magic, and secrets; the paranormal never looked so different-literally. Great debut novel and I can’t bleeping wait to read Supernaturally in 2011!
Thank you Melissa at HarperCollins Canada for sending me this ARC for review!