Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Book Review: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White-- Big hit or total miss?

  Book Review: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Pages? 335
Published when? August 31st, 2010 by HarperTeen (an imprint of HarperCollin Publishers.)
ISBN? 0061985848 (ISBN13: 9780061985843)

One word: LOVE. Her ex-boyfriend is a faery, her best friend is a mermaid, and she’s falling in love with a shapeshifter—what?! Well, this is the case for Evie, a sixteen year old girl working in the International Paranormal Containment Agency (IPCA for short). She can see through paranormals’ glamours, which makes her a prized gem in the eyes of the IPCA. Oddly enough, Evie always considered an IPCA-lifestyle normal because really, that’s as close Evie ever gets to being normal. That is, a huge epidemic is occurring with paranormals suddenly dying. Then there’s the weird dreams she’s been having, learning of untold prophecies and voices. Could she be the link between the paranormals dying? Not everything is as it seems. So much for being normal, right?

                I know I enjoyed this book the moment I actually took the time to recommend this to sister, who loved the summary. And I’m not usually one to hand over my book to my little sister, so I thought maybe that little action alone was saying something. It was the summary of the book which had me hooked to begin with, because my fangirlish senses were being overwhelmed by the fact of having so many supernatural and mythology creatures in one place. Yes, yes, YES.

                So, Evie is a rather… interesting character. She’s the main lead of Paranormalcy, and it didn’t surprise me much that she was a total bad ass. I mean, she’s able to take down a VAMPIRE. Yes, Evie can be annoying and has a whiney tone that sounds way too annoyingly teenagery to sound authentic (am I the only one who feels like she talks like a stock character high school girl? Just me?) But she’s very fun-loving, an, and the more her past begins to unravel throughout the book the more interest I came to have for this book. Just the entire universe for Paranormalcy is amazing, is a definitely different take on all the paranormal romance fluff.

There’s just so much realism to when it comes to paranormals in this book. Or in this instance, as real as a paranormal book can sound…? What surprised me even more is how true Kiersten White stood to folklore and mythology while offering her own creative flair. That gets a total kudos from me, a total fae freak here.

What was kind of disappointing is the lack of character development some characters were given. Evie and her gorgeous ex-boyfriend, Reth, had so much development in their characterization—moreso than others. The way the two blended together was amazing. Match Evie’s feistiness with Reth’s suave faery attitude and charm and you get… perfection. When it comes to Evie’s romantic interest, for me, not so much. Don’t get me wrong here, her romantic interest is captivating enough with a shrouded past and an unclear future, and it’s nice seeing how doting upon he is on Evie. He is a shapeshifter, after all and blended into the story well, but I just feel as though there’s a bit of hollowness when it comes to his persona. Same with Evie’s best (and only) mermaid pal, Lish; it was hard to see her as Evie’s supposed “best friend” when the only real interaction they had in the novel was essentially in one chapter. Overall, when it comes to the terms of the characters, they’re not very as deep and thought provoking and emotional as a reader could hope for but fun, which really makes Paranormalcy more of a light read. Evie’s sparkly-tasey-pink personality was a little overbearing, but a bit endearing. She’s sassy, and she’s smart, and that’s just how I like my heroines. *snap*

It does end up being a bit darker than what I anticipated it being (which leads me in reference to the gorgeous cover). When I read the front flap of Paranormalcy’s hardcover, it was surprising to me that Kiersten White actually managed to go that in depth to how the faery courts work, and many different mythological characters that aren’t really represented in books. Rarely. And considering how lighthearted this seemed initially, Paranormalcy and faeries playing a major role in it was a big surprise for me (the good kind of surprises, of course.)

So overall? I do recommend it—but only to a select crowd of readers. I’m not saying for only girls to read it, but Evie’s constant perkiness, shrill, and fangirling will probably appeal to the more romantic readers. I can see it being enjoyed by pre-teens and teenager girls who are going through their own little vampire-werewolf supernatural craze, and perhaps adults too if they love supernatural/paranormalish books. The characters were a bit of disappointment and maybe I would’ve enjoyed them more if there was a teeny, well, bit more empathy given towards some of them. Maybe while the characters are letdowns, I can easily say I did enjoy Paranormalcy and what makes up for my own character displeasure is a fun plot to make this book a lighthearted read.

Happy reading!
With much love,


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