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Sunday, 9 January 2011

Review: Paranormalcy

Author: Kiersten White

Release date: UK 6th January 2010
Genre: Paranormal YA
Target Audience: 12+
UK Publisher: HarperCollins

Summary from Amazon:
Sixteen-year-old Evie has always taken comfort in the fact that she is normal, even though her best friend is a mermaid and her ex-boyfriend is a lunatic – and a faery.

In a world where paranormals are monitored and controlled, Evie works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency because of her unique ability to see through glamours. But someone – or something – starts killing vampires, werewolves and other paranormals, and Evie must figure out what’s happening before they all disappear.

Paranormalcy is a fresh and witty twist on the supernatural genre!

Evie has been in the Center since she was eight years old. Now sixteen, she is feeling the loneliness of living away from other teens and not having a proper family. Evie has a special power. She can spot paranormals. She can see through their glamours to the truth beneath and so the IPCA use her skills to locate them and protect the human society. In Evie’s words she “tags” them and then sends them on their merry way to the assigned destination. Evie is not miserable at the Center. She has her best friend Lish and her mother-come-boss Raquel to keep an eye on her. But even though Evie is not looking for trouble, it finds its way to her when someone breaks into the Center.

I had no idea what to expect when I started this book. Obviously, there was going to be a paranormal element but beyond that I didn’t have a clue. I was delightfully by the story that unfolded in the pages of the book though and am pleased to say that Paranormalcy is worth investing in.

The characterisation of Evie is both comical and enchanting. She has a pink taser which she uses to disable paranormals. In fact she pretty much loves anything pink. Her greatest desire is to be normal and go to school, have a boyfriend but especially a locker. It made me chuckle but it also really endeared her to me. On first glance she could be irritating but it is the dialogue between her and the other characters that really compelled me to read on.

No annoying love triangles here so we give the book an even bigger thumbs up for that! The plot of the novel kept me guessing but it didn’t frustrate me in any way. The pace was constant and without even realising it, I kept finishing the next chapter and then wanting more.

My favourite character is Lend. Ah, Lend! He is the best. I don’t want to say too much though otherwise I’ll give some of the best parts of the story away.

Aside from the fun aspects, the vampires, the hags, the faeries and many more paranormals aside, there are some interesting themes explored in this book. It made me think about freedom and how we should belong to no one but ourselves. Strangely it made me think about Guatanamo Bay and how the people there had no rights. The link is a loose one but I guess I think literature can explore these really important issues of our culture without ever even needing to set it in a real world.

Overall, Paranormalcy is a fun, feisty read which is a definite must for fans of the supernatural genre. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will certainly be reading the next book. This is a great new series and is worthy of the investment!

Thank you to HarperCollins for sending the book for review.


Vicki said...

I borrowed this off Lyndsey a while ago and never got round to it yet. Think I'll have to make it sooner rather than later! I agree with your comment about exploring issues without setting them in the real world...I just read Nightshade and that had some very 'real' world themes and issues at it's heart which I totally wasn't expecting at all. Great review Becky!

Book Monster said...

Ahh I loved this book. I love Ren the best, Lend Second :) It was very humorous. Awesome review.

Caroline said...

Aw what a great review! And i love everything pink myself, so i am going to love Evie ha! I am glad that the tone is fun and that there are no love triangles ;)
It made you think of Guantanamo Bay? Then i definitely *need* to read it! x

Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

Great review! I really have to put this book on my wishlist, as I love the paranormal genre and Paranormalcy really does seem to offer something fresh and unique.

BooksforCompany said...

l have to admit l have seen it everywhere but have never had a dying need to read it. Now though l am! It sounds great.
Books For Company

Christina/Book Addict said...

I'm so glad you liked this one, too! You are right---it's fun and feisty! It definitely took me by surprise- it was so cute. My students love it as well. It's always flying off my classroom library's bookshelves. Great review, Becky!

GABY said...

I really need to read this one, everybody loves it!

The Slowest Bookworm said...

Loved reading your review. No love triangle eh. Great stuff :) Hoping to get to my copy soon!

Dazzling Mage said...

I can't wait until I receive my copy! Thanks for the review. =)

Nikki-ann said...

I have my copy on order and can't wait for it to arrive. Great review :)

asamum said...

I also loved the utter girliness in comparison to the kicking paranormal butt :D
Hands off my water boy aka Lend :D