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I Belong

Review: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Title: Paranormalcy

Author: Kiersten White

Genre: YA Paranormal

Series: Paranormalcy Trilogy (Book 1)

Publication Date: August 31, 2010

Format: Hardcover, 335 Pages

ISBN-100061985848  (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0061985843 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Emmy


Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only one who can see through glamours.

But now Evie’s dreams are filled with haunting voices and cryptic messages–and she’s realizing that she may be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.

Quick & Dirty: With a snarky, almost Buffy-esque heroine and fantastic supporting cast, Paranormalcy begins a fun series where our heroine slowly unravels the truth about herself and the paranormal world.

Opening Sentence: ”Wait—did you—You just yawned!”


The Review

From the first page, where Evie’s taking on a wanna-be Dracula and snarking about it, our heroine had me hooked. White’s narrative voice made this paranormal fun and funny, which is a totally different feel from other YAs. She reminded me of Nas in Immortal Beloved, ignorant about how the world really works, but White manages to convince the reader that our main character isn’t stupid for not knowing. She’s lived a very sheltered life, even if she does Tasey all things paranormal. Evie is innocent, but like any good heroine, she doesn’t stay that way.

She goes out to find the truth about who she is and what the faerie prophecy is all about. I can tell you that the mystery is perfect for this story. Though the who-dun-it is a bit obvious, I was still totally satisfied with the climax. How is Evie human if she has paranormal abilities? If she is other, should that change the way she looks at paranormals? If I tell you any more than that you’ll be able to unravel the whole book. It’s not a deep story line, it’s just plain fun! You have every paranormal character—vampires, faeries, mermaids — all fitting perfectly into one world without a hitch. Seriously good world building here. The pacing is perfect, as a reader you’re never bored, and it’s a really fast read.

Evie is half Valley Girl, half Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and 100% relatable. She’s got a Taser called Tasey and has a shop-til-you-drop mentality that should have annoyed me. I don’t usually get along with Valley Girls of any kind, but especially not the ones who’ve got their heads so deep in the sales rack they can’t see what’s really going on in the world.  Somehow Evie managed to draw even me in — I say somehow, but it was probably all her snarkiness — and it isn’t long before you get to see another more mature side of her as she begins to explore the real world. Evie’s worked for the International Paranormal Containment Agency forever, even though she longs for a normal teenage life. Her ability to see through paranormal’s glamour, no matter how strong, makes her a valuable asset to the Agency. We get to see her learn to be a normal teenager in Paranormalcy, and that’s probably what surprised me most — how normal the characters are surrounded by all things paranormal.

Lend is exactly the kind of guy mother’s want their daughters to date — with just a touch of bad boy. And, minus the shape-changing bit. Dependable and noble — just protective enough to be sweet, but not smothering. He’s a partner to Evie. It’s great to see their attraction grow through witty banter and small moments. It’s not a insta-love, but a bond that the reader can see get stronger with every encounter.  I’ve heard some complaints about a love triangle, but honestly I didn’t see it. Just because the heroine has two guy friends doesn’t mean there’s a love triangle. Unless Reth, her faerie ex-boyfriend, seriously changes in the sequel, I can’t see him becoming a viable love interest for Evie.

I think the emphasis of this review is FUN. Fun premise, fun characters and conversations, fun to read. I laughed out loud more than once and flew through reading this novel because I didn’t want to put it down. For YA paranormal fans who’ve noticed the genre getting a bit dark, this novel is for you.

Notable Scene:

“So you like faeries?”

“Oh, heavens no. I think working with them is the dumbest thing IPCA could possibly do.”

“Why do they keep using them, then?”

“The first named command every faerie gets is to serve IPCA. They think they can control the faeries—I know they can’t,” I muttered darkly. I looked down at his sketch. “Man, you are so good at that.”

“Nice subject. And I like your outfit.” I couldn’t tell from his smile whether he was serious or poking fun at me.

“I can bring you some boots like this along with the shorts, if you want.”

He laughed. “Just because I can look like a girl doesn’t mean I want to dress like one.”

“You’re right. You probably don’t have the calves for them, anyway.” Standing, I stretched. “I’d probably better go. Technically I don’t even know where they’re keeping you.” I winked at him.

“You should take these, then. You can practice.” He handed me the sketchbook and pencils. “You’ll come back, right?”

“Sure. You’re the coolest person here.” He started to smile, so I shook my head, putting on a mock-serious face. “Don’t be flattered—most of your competition is undead.”

Paranormalcy Trilogy:

 1. Paranormalcy

 2. Supernaturally

 3. Endlessly

FTC Advisory: HarperCollins provided me with a copy of Paranormalcy. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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