Thursday, June 21, 2012

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Kiersten White
2010, 335 pgs

Book Summary from Goodreads
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.

My Summary
I’ll admit it, I read this one cause the cover is Oh So Pretty.

Based on other reviews I didn’t have super high hopes – I was mostly hoping it didn’t annoy me as bad as Uglies and Pretties by Scott Westerfield. The extent of the paranormal content was also off putting for me: Mermaids, Vampires, Faeries, shape-shifters, etc all in the same book? I was really afraid there would be no space for plot. Paranormalcy was a pleasant surprise.

No wilting flower heroine here. Evie isn’t Katniss Everdeen badass, but she takes care of herself. She craves normalcy – loves a trashy teen drama TV show (Easton Heights), loves clothes and shoes, and desperately wants to drive a car and have a locker, not necessarily in that order. She doesn’t enjoy her combat lessons cause she is perfectly content to use her taser (that she named Tasey).

I read a review that mentioned Tasey and it’s one of the reason’s I was afraid I wouldn’t like the book. I feared she would talk like a stereotypical teenager. I don’t care how real it is – I CAN NOT read a book where teens use the word “like” all the time, and I was afraid the author was going to go that route (one of the reasons I wanted to hurl Pretties against a wall). She did not. Tasey was the only instance I noticed of cutesy language. I take that back, all cussing is replaced with “bleep”, but that is explained and I kind of enjoyed it.

“What do you have planned for today?” (Lend) “I’m going to make you realize that Easton Heights, while popular with viewers, is severely underrated by critics.” (Evie) "So Raquel’s resorted to torture.” (Lend) “I’ve picked out three episodes that not only showcase superb acting, but also have unparalleled writing. And you are going to love them.” (Evie)

Believable teenage conversation without clich├ęd slang. That said there’s nothing special about the writing. There are cute lines here and there, but the writing didn’t wow me.

I’d be hesitant to call Evies’ relationships with Reth (faerie) and Lend (shape-shifter) a love triangle. Evie feels drawn to Reth, but it’s a faerie magic thing (I think), she doesn’t trust him and just wants him to stay away. Her relationship with Lend is allowed to develop over time. They don’t fall in love instantly and even once Evie realizes how much she likes him she acknowledges that it’s better to take things slow.

"I wouldn’t have minded spending the night in there, but I wanted to take it slow and figured sleeping in the same bed wasn’t a really smart idea. After all, I’d seen it time and time again on Easton Heights– when the couples hooked up too soon it never ended well."

The existence of other paranormal creatures was so much of a back story that it didn’t interfere with the plot. At times it almost felt like the author was poking fun at the genre (in a good natured way).

And my favorite thing about the book………It did not end in a cliffhanger. Seriously, at this point any book that ends in a cliffhanger loses at least 2 probably 3 stars. If the author doesn’t trust that their writing is good enough to bring me back for the sequel, I’m not going to trust the author to write a sequel I’ll enjoy. I will make an exception for this rule sometimes in book two of trilogies, but the first book better be stand alone. And Paranormalcy definitely ends in an acceptable place, it wraps up the main storyline, but leaves mysteries to be solved and more information I want to know, but it has an ending and that makes me excited to read Supernaturally.

My Rating
7 out of 10 stars

1 comment:

  1. I love Kiersten White. She is such an adorable human being, and I think that comes through in her books. Great review.