Saturday, January 15, 2011

Review: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, 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 Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal. (from

Evie isn't normal. She has no family and lives in a government facility. Her best friend is a mermaid who lives in a big fish tank and has to speak using a machine like Stephen Hawking. She works for a company that gathers up supernatural creatures like vampires or werewolves; her job is to find and tag them so that they're "neutered," or no longer able to harm anyone. She is starved for teenage interaction and obsesses over a television show akin to 90210. Evie is a kind person who only wants to be good. And don't forget, normal.

At first, I wasn't sure what to think of Evie. Sometimes worldly but more often naive, she jumps when her "boss" and surrogate mother, Raquel, says how high. She has to occasionally fend off her faerie ex, Reth, stalker that he is, and this makes her seem, well, normal. But then she wanders around IPCA's facility, blithely going along, not questioning anything. This is basically her life until she catches an intruder, a shape-shifter boy named Lend, who is breaking into Raquel's office. He and Evie hit it off right from the start even though the IPCA has him in a cell and wants to know what his agenda is. Lend helps Evie open her eyes to what her life is like and moreover, to herself. Is she human or not? Why is she always so cold and what is she to IPCA - an employee or an inmate? By the end of Paranormalcy, I had a much better sense of Evie and so did she.

Paranormalcy is a nifty little YA novel. It took me only a few hours to read it (just finished this evening, actually) but it kept my eyes riveted to its pages throughout. I could have lived without some of the more stereotypical teenage stuff like the prom but with a heroine who aches to be a typical teenager, what else could I have asked for? With an interesting (if not a bit predictable) plot and a likable heroine, Paranormalcy is a good addition to the YA genre.

The next chapter in Kiersten White's trilogy, Supernaturally, will be released in Fall 2011.

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