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Monday, November 1, 2010

Review - Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Goodreads summary:
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. 

Warning: Mild Spoilers. After reading several reviews on Kiersten White's debut novel, I expected great things. A girl who arrests vampires with a pink and rhinestone studded taser named Tasey? Sounds awesome. But the delivery wasn't all there, for me at least. With that description, I was expecting a girl with Buffy-like attitude and moves, and while the attitude was killer, the moves definitely weren't. What does Evie do the minute she encounters 20 vamps at once? She calls for a fairy to save her - the same fairy who's been giving her nightmares and wants to "fill" her. Yeah, not too smart. Not that I expected Evie to win every encounter, but there are really only one or two scenes in the whole book where she shows her battle side. The rest of the time she's fainting over her TV crush, shopping and mooning over how much she wants to be normal. Now I'm not saying that I disliked Evie's character completely. I was glad she resisted the fairy who was trying to control her and I was proud of Kiersten White for not going the route of MC crushing over hunky stalker guy. But, I guess that I just expected more after all the hype. 

The other thing that got to me was the way that the tension fell flat in the middle of the story.  Instead of working to keep the tension really high, White deflates it by having Evie do what? Go to high school. I get that a big part of the book was about Evie's quest to be normal, but it just seemed a little strange that while there's this killer on the loose and she's connected to it somehow that she would be out shopping and hanging with her new friends.

Things that I really liked about the story:

1. Lend's character was awesome and definitely crush-worthy. He was mysterious at first, and then just plain cute. I liked the way White emphasized the uniqueness of his shapeshifter abilities and Evies' reaction every time he changed. That was very insightful and well done. 
2. The voice is also well done and carries much of the story. There were some great lines there.
3. Every paranormal author invents their own interpretations about paranormal creatures such as vampires and werewolves, and I really liked the way White saw them and how she explains things.

Overall the writing was effective and the plot was inventive. The MC was just not exactly what I expected given all the hype. Finally, for those who are expecting sexy scenes or even a bit of edginess, beware, this book is very PG. Not a bad thing, just saying. Final score: 3 stars. 


Nomes said...

Ooooh - fab review. It's given me a real feel of the book. I was kinda pumped about this because of the hype but gradually a few reviews leaked through that have made me realise it's not entirely my thing. I'm going to try it out if my library gets it in :)

and hello! Hope you're having a lovely day!

Angie said...

Hi Nomes! *waves excitedly*

Yeah, given your tastes, I really think you'd B-list it. Not that it's bad, just not as good as it's been hyped up to be.

Funny thing is that while I was reading it, I was thinking that the tone is very much like NW, only a little more PG. And now it has me thinking of how I'd rate my own book. Then again, I never set Nikki up to be really kickass, and she obviously never had to deal with vampires. Still, it's kind of insightful.

E.J. Wesley said...

Nice review, Angie! I like that you gave a 'rating' on the adultness of the books. I don't see a lot of people doing that for their YA reviews, and I think it serves a purpose. (for both adult and non-adult readers)

Phoebe said...

Nice review! I started this one but didn't get very far. It seemed a bit fluffy for my tastes--the cover made me crave something dark.

KO said...

thanks for the review!! I have been wanting to read this, and it's good to hear what you liked and didn't like.

Bee said...

I was so pumped for this.
But no Buffy-esque asskicking?
*falls back against chair*
I might read this but I'm not sure if I'd go all out to buy it. Doesn't seem like my kinda book.

I really liked your review. Gets your view across very succinctly.

Angelica R. Jackson said...

I downloaded the sample of this to my Kindle, and was somewhat intrigued but not enough to hit buy (unlike Soulless, Changeless, and Blameless by Gail Carriger). I figured I'd look for Paranormalcy in the library.

10 stars for the cover, though. I'm a photographer and I love how atmospheric (and yet still focused on the character) the art is.

Melanie said...

Since you say there are spoilers, I'm going to hold off on reading this review until after I've read the book. It's on my list to read (haha...and so are about 20 other books!!)



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