Saturday, 10 September 2011

Review: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

First published in Great Britain in: 2011
By: HarperCollins Children's Books

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 begins to suspect there is a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths, and even worse, that she is at the center of a dark prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures. 

My review:

This book was much more fun than I expected. I'm not someone who's fed up with the 'sad girls in pretty dresses' covers, but I do object when covers give a false impression of the book. Far from being a dark, tortured paranormal romance in the vein of Hush, Hush or Fallen (which I think the cover image suggests), Paranormalcy has much more in common with Hex Hall - they both approach the supernatural in a humorous, light-hearted way, poking fun at the stereotypes of the genre. I think if you are a fan of Hex Hall, then you will definitely like Paranormalcy; the latter often reminded me of the former, in style and tone.

Paranormalcy tells the story of Evie, a teenage girl who grew up in foster homes, before her special ability was discovered by the IPCA - a group which tracks and captures paranormal creatures. Since then, Evie has led an isolated life working for the IPCA, living and being home-schooled at their centre, with only her boss, Raquel and her best friend, Lish, for company. Evie's job is to spot paranormals and then bring them in but one day, she catches someone breaking into the IPCA centre. It's Lend, who can shapeshift into anyone he wants. Evie, however, is the only person who can see the real him underneath - and she likes what she sees.

Like I said, this book is fun. Evie gets a lot of Buffy-esque snappy lines and her growing relationship with Lend is adorable. I also think it was a stroke of genius on the author's part to capitalise on every girl's childhood fantasy, by making Evie's best friend a mermaid - I couldn't help but squee a little when we were introduced to Lish.

The main plot thread involves a creature who is killing all supernatural creatures and Evie discovering who she really is and how she might be linked to it. But the most enjoyable parts of the book are Evie trying to have the normal teen life she craves - flirting with Lend, watching her favourite teen soap, gabbing with Lish and even seeing a real-life locker. I think Evie is such a charming character that you just enjoy spending time with her and hope she gets what she wants.

I think this is absolutely a book I am going to recommend to my younger students. It's a nice read for someone who wants a taste of the paranormal, it's age-appropriate and not too dark and it's really just a good time.

Rating: 4 stars


  1. I thought Evie was a bit of a Buffy in the making as well. I really enjoyed the witting writing in this book. I was just so frustrated at Raquel and it really put me off wanting to read the next book. My favourite character was Lend and seeing that Evie and Lends relationship started off gradually instead of it being instant was great.

  2. Lan - I did find Raquel frustrating but I thought she had the potential to eventually be a good villain. I'd prefer it if she was just bad instead of wishy-washy and Evie's emotional conflict over fighting her might be interesting.

    I loved Lend as well and his scenes with Evie while they are getting to know each other are so cute.

  3. I've had this one on my shelf for months but haven't got round to it. I did like Hex Hall so I may push this one up the list.
    Great review, thanks. :D

  4. Great review. This book is a lot of fun :)

  5. This definitely a series I want to check out along with the Hex Hall series. Thanks for following me I am following you back.

  6. My friend told me that she really liked this book, and after reading your review, I'll be sure to check it out!!


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