Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Review: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Author: Kiersten White
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: Paranormalcy #1
Pages: 335
Genre: Paranormal
Release Date: August 31, 2010
How Received: Won

SummaryWeird 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.

So much for normal.

My Thoughts:
My. Bleeping. Goodness. Those three words were pretty much all I could think of while I was reading. It was that good. I had been apprehensive about listening to all of the hype around Paranormalcy, and I’m mad that I waited until now to read it.

Paranormalcy has such a unique take on paranormals. There are paranormal beings that follow the general “guidelines” that we all know – vampires that drink blood, werewolves that become wolves during the full moon – but Kiersten makes them her own. Each paranormal has the ability to glamour themselves to humans, and each species had little distinctions that made them unique to “normal” paranormal mythology.

Evie was honestly one of the most enjoyable characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. She reminded me a bit of Sophie from Hex Hall and Rose from Vampire Academy mashed together. She’s witty, she’s snarky, she has attitude, and she carries around a badass pink taser. But she’s also extremely sheltered, innocent, lonely, and has insecurities. There are so many dimensions to Evie’s personality that I think I could keep writing a few more paragraphs just about her. She’s so dynamic and extremely vibrant. In a huge, “underground” paranormal world, Evie is definitely not normal and yearns to be normal. Evie was such a teenager: it was almost endearing to listen to her caring more about her favorite TV show and wearing pink clothing than tagging paranormals.

I freaking loved Lend. It was hard to not love Lend. He reminded me of your typical paranormal-next-door. At the beginning, he carries a lot of intrigue because we don’t know who this person is. We don’t know his powers or what he does. But as the story progresses, little bits and pieces of Lend come peeking through his “mask” as Evie and him become closer together. And that was probably the best part about Paranormalcy: Evie and Lend get to know each other before they even come close to being in a relationship. Whenever Lend got nervous around Evie, I would squeal like a little girl. It was so cute.

The pacing was great. I ended up finishing this book in a little under 5 hours (with distractions) – I was that hooked! The plot was so unique. Humans that try to control paranormals by “tagging” them? A girl who can see through the paranormals’ glamour? Mass-murders from a seemingly unknown source? Combine that altogether, along with kick ass characters, and you have a great story, which is exactly what Paranormalcy was. Paranormalcy only touches the edges of the world Kiersten has developed – there is a lot more to the world and I really wanted to find out more about it.

Just trust me when I say this: Paranormalcy is bleeping awesome!

Cover Musings: Uhm. Gorgeous. I love that the cover is an example of what Evie wears to the prom. I didn’t realize it until the end, but still.. very pretty. <3

Memorable Quotes:
“If you fail to report within the next twelve hours, you will be terminated. If you attack any humans, you will be terminated. If you attempt to remove the tracking device, you will be terminated. We look forward to working with you.”
I always thought that last line was a nice touch. (pg. 4)
“You’re IPCA?” one of the vamps asked. The others were shifting nervously in place.
“Yes. I’m going to have to ask you to line up for tagging.” I waited for them to start laughing. (pg. 52)
“You aren’t going to kill us?” the speaker asked, giving me a suspicious look.
“Why does everyone keep asking me that?” Seriously, did I look like some sort of psycho assassin? Maybe it was the pink sneakers. Or the heart earrings? (pg. 52)
“You’ll come back, right?”
“Sure. You’re the coolest person here.” He started to smile, so I shook my head, putting on a mock-serious face. “Don’t be flattered—most of your competition is undead.” (pg. 92)
I sighed heavily. “Gosh, now I don’t even feel like watching another episode of Easton Heights.”
Lend put his arm around me and patted my shoulder. “At least there’s one good thing to come of all this, then.” (pg 126)
“We’ll talk about it later, okay? I’ve got a date to get ready for.”
“It’s gonna take you three hours to get ready?”
“I don’t know. My date’s pretty freaking hot—I’d better look good.”
He laughed, letting go of me and climbing off the bed. “Yeah, mine too. Maybe I should change?” He shimmered, switching to blond hair and blue eyes. “What do you think? Does this face make me look fat?” (pg. 267)
We sat down and Lend put his arm around me. Every single jaw at the table dropped.
“Man,” John said, shaking his head. “All this time I was pretty sure you were gay.”
I batted my eyes innocently. “I’m sorry, John. Are you disappointed?” Everyone laughed, and John grinned.
“Maybe a little,” he answered, scooting into Lend’s free side to cuddle up. (pg. 271-272)
“Lend!” I burst through his door. He looked up, surprised. Still in basketball shorts and a plain T-shirt, he was lying on his stomach on the bed, sketching. I stopped and frowned. “Aren’t you going to get ready?”
He laughed. “Remove clothes, put on tux. Should take all of two minutes. You look hot though.” (pg. 299)

Overall Thoughts/Final Comments: I haven’t been so pleased with a novel in a while, which is why Paranormalcy was such a great read. I was so engaged in the book that I whizzed through it within a few hours. Evie was a strong, sassy female lead, while Lend was more mellow and laid-back. Their personalities contrasted well with each other, and their developing romance was such a pleasure to experience. The plot was unique (and coming from a huge paranormal genre for books, that’s saying a lot!) and interesting and... Just. Gah. This book was so addicting. I highly, highly recommend it!

Rating: 5/5

**This review was submitted in the 2010 Debut Author Challenge!


Angela Tolsma said...

a PINK taser!!! I was hooked before that sentence but now I really want to read it!!! awesome review!

Erika said...

I've been hesitant to pick this one up because I was afraid it wouldn't live up to the hype surrounding it, but it sounds so good! Its interpretation of the paranormal genre sounds quirky and refreshing, and the romance between Evie and Lend sounds genuine. I like that they don't jump into a relationship immediately. Going to have to pick this one up now. Thanks for the review!

Jenny said...

YAY Kristina! I adored this one as well for all the fantastic reasons you listed, Evie and Lend are definitely two of my favorite characters for the year. I thought their relationship was just too adorable for words and it actually took a while to form - hooray for realism! Fantastic review:)

Amelia said...

Kiersten really lucked out with the cover! It's bleepin gorgeous! I WANT THAT DRESS!
And it's Lend spectacular? It's been awhile now, but I definitely remember liking him :) Great review!

Rowena said...

Thanks so much for this review, this book has been on my list of books to buy since it came out and I keep forgetting all about it. But after reading your review, it's back on my radar and I'm going to get it soon. I can't wait!

Literature for Lunch said...

Great review! I enjoyed this book as well - Evie and Lend were really memorable, enjoyable characters, and I liked the sassy voice used throughout. I am looking forward to the sequel!

Kristina Barnes♥ said...

Namine: RIGHT?! It's pink with rhinestones. How much more awesome does it get? :P

Erika: Trust me, I was hesitant to pick it up too. Very hesitant. After my let down with another debut that had a TON of hype, I swore I'd never "fall for it" again. So it took my over three months to pick Paranormalcy up, and I'm kind of mad I waited so long! I loved Evie's voice, I loved the paranormal take on this, and I loved reading about the romance between Evie and Lend. ♥

Jenny: Yay, awesome! I totally agree with you - Evie took a spot as one of my top favorite characters of this year! The pair of them together was just so cute! I'm pretty sure I was giggling like a little schoolgirl the entire time Evie and Lend had scenes together. :P

Amelia: ISN'T IT?! I want that dress too! And I don't even wear dresses, so that's saying something! :P

Rowena: I was the same way. I just had other books I wanted to put before it, yknow? I hope you enjoy it when you read it! :)

Jen: I loved her sassy voice, too. ♥ So far I've only encountered two MC's that sound similar to her (the ones I mentioned - Sophie from Hex Hall and Rose from VA). But even if had a similar voice as them, she's totally unique in her desire to be normal, pink-lovin' ways. :)

Danna (Bananas For Books) said...

OMG I loved this book! I agree, Lend's amazing. I wish I had my own Lend. Can't wait til Supernaturally comes out! Great review Kristina:)

Sniffly Kitty said...

Heh~~ I definitely still need to get around to reading this one ^.^

Sniffly Kitty
Sniffly Kitty's Mostly Books

Jen (@ Jens Book Closet) said...

I felt exactly the same way! I loved this book this the very exciting end and simply cannot wait for the sequel. Evie was so funny and so amazing that I couldn't help but love her. Her best friend I adored til the bitter end and I will miss her more than I can share. But, Lend was adorable and lovable and an amazing change from the norm. *swoon* I'm a little bit in love, I think.

In the Closet With a Bibliophile

Anna said...

I've been meaning to read this for AGES now. So happy you enjoyed it :)

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Love the way you review. You have a new follower here. :) Oh I so want to read this book! I still haven't gotten it, if you can believe it! So glad you enjoyed it.

Kristina Barnes♥ said...

Danna: Right?! I want my own Lend as well. :D Maybe we can share him around, haha. :)

Sniffly Kitty: You do! I think you might like it. :)

Jen: I can't either! It's almost cruel that we have to wait so many months to get a sequel, hehe. I loved her best friend, too. I was so upset that she... well... yknow. ;_;

Anna: You need to pick it up! :P It was insanely good. ♥

Melissa: Thank you! :) I can believe it, actually - I waited THIS long to read it, too. It was one of those books that I put off, but I ended up mad I put it off. :P

Emi said...

PFFFT, YES. I TOLD YOU YOU WOULD LOVE THIS BOOK. <3 Its so bleeping awesome. I think we need to get a cloning machine so we can all have our own Lends. I stalk Kiersten White's blog, and can't wait till the next book comes out. She's funny.

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