Friday, July 29, 2011

Book Review: Paranormalcy

Kiersten White

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.

Star Rating:

This actually has nothing to do with the book itself, but as I was typing up the summary, I realized that Kiersten White spells it "faeries" and not "fairies" which makes me incredibly happy, as I've always done the same. ... Ahem. On to the review.

My approach to Paranormalcy, as a reader, has been different than any other book I have ever read. I bought it because I accidentally stumbled on to Kiersten White's blog and was immediately charmed by her vivacity and quirky sense of humor. I bought her book because I respected her as a person and enjoyed reading her posts everyday. This is the only book I've sought after "meeting" the author, as opposed to seeking the author after enjoying the book.

The first thing I latched on to was Evie, and her voice as the narrator. I am anything but a girly girl, and so, I didn't love her character (personal taste - no attack at all on the writing style). What I did love was her energy - Evie is full of life. High on life. Even in the darkest times, she's one of those people that seems to find a glimpse of hope to bring her happiness, to help her move forward. It's not the raw determination and vengeance sought by so many protagonists - it's innocence. I loved that about her.

However, despite the pleasure I found in the mood of the book, I did have to keep reminding myself - "This is YA Urban Fantasy. YA. Yes, the characters are going to be immature. They are written to appeal to a younger audience than myself." They were shallow and impulsive and downright silly at times, but I've worked with high schoolers long enough (and been one recently enough) to remember that level of innocence and the "drama llama" that comes with it. And adult reader cannot go into this book expecting a mature cast and serious story. This book is pure fun.

That said, there seems to be an underlying layer of seriousness - darkness - with the faeries. I very much enjoyed those characters, because of how mysterious they were. Even at the end of the book, you got the impression they were still hiding something, a clever trick to maintain interest for the next book.

White also gets brownie points for unique fantasy creatures, mixed among the usual choices (vampires, werewolves, mermaids). If I said what they were, though, I'd ruin the book.

Ultimately, I will be picking up Supernaturally at some point in the future. I think that even though the series is definitely intended for teenagers (and the young at heart), White accomplishes everything she intended to with the book.

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