Book Review: Paranormalcy, by Kiersten White

April 6, 2011 at 9:00 am (Book Reviews) (, , , , )

Raised by the International Paranormal Containment Agency, IPCA, Evie hasn’t exactly had a normal life. Her ability to see through glamours to the paranormal beneath makes her an asset beyond value in the effort to tag and contain paranormals all over the world. Her best friend is a mermaid, her creepy stalker ex is a faery, and her main tutor is a werewolf. Her only parameters for normal are what she sees on the high school television dramas. Then she meets Lend, a shapeshifter roughly her own age, and despite the unprecedented threat of paranormals dropping dead all over the world, she starts to feel almost…normal.
Until she finds out that whatever’s killing the paranormals is coming after her.

I’m nearly allergic to pink, and Evie has a serious thing for it. Like a pink rhinestone-studded taser named Tasey and refusing to carry a knife until it has a pink handle thing for pink. There’s something horribly funny about all these people getting arrested by a sixteen year old with a pink fetish.

Once I could get over the sheer amount of pink, though, I fell in love with Evie, who wants more than anything to attend a normal human high school. Her fascination with things as simple as diners, malls, or even drivers’ licenses is a little heart-breaking, yet she does love pieces of her current life. I love her relationship with her best friend Lish, a mermaid who lives in an enormous aquarium in the Center; especially love the fact that Lish’s robotic voice won’t translate curse words. Sometimes when she talks it’s like a tv censor with epilepsy, absolutely hysterical. It also lets Evie have a habit of saying “bleep” when she curses. It’s cute, we still know she’s swearing, and parents don’t have to worry about their teenagers learning any new words.

Reth is so creepy in so many ways, and (at the risk of raising hackles) I am so bleep grateful for a heroine who does not find the stalking at all sexy. Everyone loves a bad boy, but when we have to pull out restraining orders and pamphlets on emotional abuse, enough is enough. Evie’s good sense in recognizing- and discouraging- these behaviors made me love her forever, in spite of the pink. Reth’s behavior is integral to the story, and it’s certainly real, but it was a relief to see a girl who isn’t swept away by the “romance” of it.

The relationship that builds with Lend is slowly and beautifully drawn. Evie’s anxieties are compounded by complete lack of anythng to compare them to, and it’s great to see her insecurities waffle between “he likes me!”, “he doesn’t like me”, “he’s going to kiss me!”, “he’s not going to kiss me”. It’s absolutely hysterical, but SO true to life. For Lend, whose natural appearance is rather like water, Evie’s acceptance of him no matter what face he wears (except when he wears hers) is important, and most likely very new.

Dancing around spoilers here, but there was one character that I did not expect to feel such sympathy for. That my heart broke several times for this person was beyond words. As silly as Evie can be (and often is), and as ignorant as she’s been kept on some very important things, she’s not afraid to looks at the hard questions.

Paranormalcy is the first of three, with Supernaturally expected out end of July in hardback and e-book. Paranormalcy is available in both of these formats, and will be out in paperback at the end of August. Definitely check it out, even if you have a pink allergy, and be swept away by Evie’s boundless energy. Paranormalcy, by Kiersten White.

Until next time~

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