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Thursday, December 30, 2010

'Paranormalcy' by Kiersten WHITE

From the BLURB:

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.

Putting the ‘normal’ in ‘paranormal’

Evie has a fairly typical life. She has an annoying ex-boyfriend who won’t leave her alone, an amazing best friend and a serious obsession with TV show ‘Easton Heights’. Never mind that the ex is a fairie, the best friend a mermaid and Evie lives in a reform centre for paranormal’s. Yeah, totally normal.

Evie may only be sixteen, but she is fairly high-ranking at the International Paranormal Containment Agreement, IPCA. Because of Evie’s ‘gift’ she has the job of bagging and tagging everything from vampires to werewolves, trolls to hags and bringing them to the IPCA for reform and rehabilitation. Because Evie’s gift is very useful to the IPCA – she can see through glamour’s. No vamp or werewolf can hide from Evie, and that makes her invaluable.

But one day there’s a break-in at IPCA headquarters – a shapeshifter boy called Lend who can be anyone’s Döppelganger tries to steal the IPCA’s information about a slew of paranormal deaths. . . and suddenly Evie’s dreams of normal adolescent behaviour is rudely interrupted.

Rehabilitate your Imagination

I absolutely loved ‘Paranormalcy’. I was only a few chapters into this seriously cool book when I knew that I had discovered a favourite new YA series. . . ‘Paranormalcy’ is the first in what will be a trilogy, with second book ‘Supernaturally’ coming out this in fall 2011.

The concept is very unique and Evie is a protagonist like no other. The story takes place mostly in and around the IPCA headquarters, the only stable home life Evie has ever known. She is constantly surrounded by rehabilitated paranormal beings and the humans who ‘monitor’ them. Evie believes herself to be a human with unique gifts, until a slew of paranormal murders and a facility break-in leads Evie to discover some unsettling truths about who (and what) she is. . .
I felt like my mind had short-circuited. I always knew I was weird. But I figured I was a normal human who could do something paranormal. Not a paranormal who could do some things human.
“Evie,” Lish said, waiting until I met her eyes. “You have always known you were different. Do not let this change the way you see yourself. IPCA is – ” She paused and then moved closer to the glass. “IPCA is not always right about everything. You are not paranormal.” She smiled at me, sadness behind her wide, green eyes. “You are special. There is a difference.”

I loved the IPCA centre setting. Evie is surrounded by high-tech gadgetry and characters from childhood fairytales. Her tutor is a werewolf, her best friend is a mermaid and everybody travels via faerie portals. Brilliant! The IPCA centre has a ‘Hellboy’ and ‘Heroes’ feel to it and offered an utterly fascinating landscape.

Epic Love

Evie’s world is shaken-up by a shapeshifter boy called Lend. Lend is a Döppelganger, able to shift forms to look like anyone. . . except Evie is never fooled because she can see through glamour’s, even Lend’s. Lend may be able to ‘lend’ other people’s faces, but Evie is always able to see his watery-self below the surface. And actually, his almost invisible face is really cute, and as the only other seventeen year old in the IPCA centre, Evie gets quickly attached to Lend and his tales of normal human life. . . like high school lockers and proms.

Lend and Evie are easily one of my favourite YA couples, seriously! These two are so cute. I knew from the get-go that these two would be special – Lend as the boy without a face of his own, and Evie the only girl who can see the real him. So freakin sweet! Evie has never had a proper boyfriend (a psychotic faerie doesn’t count!) and Lend is the first boy she has been able to try her flirting techniques out on. Likewise, Lend has never felt himself around anybody (for obvious reasons) but finds himself being open with Evie since he can never hide himself from her. . . *sigh*. These two have a very tender and sweet romance that is no less epic for the gentility of their affections.

Damn Faerie’s!

Evie has another ‘boy’ on her plate. . . her ex, faerie Reth. Reth is cold and smothering in his affections and attentions towards Evie. Regardless of his creepiness, I did find myself oddly fascinated by him. Faerie’s are, by nature, elusive and secretive. Reth drops a few hints throughout ‘Paranormalcy’, and while I’m sure I was supposed to be freaked out by him, I found myself intensely interested in his role in the next book. Hmmm. . .

Make light

The cover hints at a slightly darker, gothic book than ‘Paranormacly’ actually is. Yes, Evie is an orphan in the middle of a killing rampage and government conspiracy. . . but she’s also funny! Evie is obsessed with the TV show ‘Easton Heights’, has a taser called Tasey, wears copious amounts of pink and replaces swear-words with the word ‘Bleep’. She’s a modern Buffy, complete with all the witty trimmings and bubbly attitude. I really loved Evie because while she’s fun and flirty on the outside, on the inside she’s battling some serious demons. . .

Wear your Heart on your Sleeve

Evie is very up-front about her problems. She’s lonely, and feels like all her life no one has ever wanted her (her parents abandoned her at the age of three, and she went through the foster care system until IPCA discovered her at the age of eight). Evie is very open about having nobody in her life beyond the IPCA, and how she craves Lend’s normal family life and his typical teen behaviour. White has definitely written Evie’s heart on her sleeve – and sometimes I wished that, as a reader, we’d had to work harder to know her fears and weaknesses. That being said – I thought Evie’s personal obstacles were fascinating, and very relatable teen problems (if, heightened). Evie just wants to fit in – she wants normal and she wants to be wanted. There’s real heart in this character, distilled in those very wants. . . and I think her cravings for family and normalcy will be an interesting grapple throughout the next two books.

To Read is to Obsess

‘Paranormalcy’ is a blockbuster new YA paranormal read. A kick-butt heroine, epic romance and conniving faeries. . . this book has everything! Evie is an adorable teenage protagonist, and her romance with Lend is swoon-worthy. There’s action, conspiracy and destiny that coalesces into a thrilling plot and unforgettable debut book. White’s ‘Paranormalcy’ series is my new obsession, and I can’t wait for second book ‘Supernaturally’.

5/5

2 comments:

  1. awesome review! I bought this one a while back and it looks I'll have to bump it up on my TBR! =D

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  2. I loved Paranormalcy, but in my opinion, the sequel is a letdown. It's too normal, like a normal high school and too many boyfriend issues.

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