Review: Paranormalcy

Review: ParanormalcyParanormalcy by Kiersten White
Series: Paranormalcy #1
Published by HarperTeen on August 31, 2010
Genres: Humor, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 335
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

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.

Paranormalcy successfully walks a fine line between lameness and humor. The book certainly is following on the tail of all of the other paranormal fiction being written now. White does not add anything new particularly, but does do some interesting things with the conventions she chooses to use. Evie, as a heroine, is not particularly impressive. She can protect herself to some degree, she is a little above average intelligence-wise and she is hugely innocent. In essence, she does seem like a real girl. She loves everything in the color pink, like her taser (Tasey) and her knife (no pink bullets, but she would have used them if she had a gun). While I found this absurd, I found it to be so in an entirely believable way.

While romance is a big part of Paranormalcy, it will probably disappoint some teen readers for its lack of sexual activity. The characters keep it PG, even in their thoughts, except for a couple of weak innuendos. The innocence of the characters is actually refreshing after having read so many teen books about seriously sexually active teenagers. While that may be true to life too, not all teens are that quick out of the starting gate. One of the scenes that sold me on White’s portrayal of a teen girl was when the couple has their first kiss (the first kiss for both of them). The moment is awkward and sweet. When it’s over, Evie keeps remembering the kiss, causing the “giddiness [to] set in anew.” (No page number because I read this on my Kindle.) This perfectly captures a girl’s thoughts in such a moment.

No, Paranormalcy is not a paragon of literature, even when limited to young adult titles, but it is a fun read. It is amusing and better written than many. For a fun, quick, humorous read, Paranormalcy is well-worth the time.

2 responses to “Review: Paranormalcy”

  1. Kayla Beck says:

    I haven’t read any of the books in the series, though I own the first two. (I wandered over here from your Endlessly review.) I will be back to discuss after I read Paranormalcy, which has been on my TBR forever.

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