So much for normal

Paranormalcy by Kiersten WhiteParanormalcy by Kiersten White
(Paranormalcy # 1)
Harper Teen, 335 pages

Weird 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.

I heard about Paranormalcy early this year, and I even did a Waiting on Wednesday post on it. The thing is, when the book finally came out, I lost interest in getting it. I’m not sure why but it may be because I got tired of reading paranormal books around that time, and sometimes the hype kills whatever want I have for the book. It’s not just for this one, though, so don’t think I’m singling this one out. Sometimes I get disinterested with all the hype, and this just became a victim.

But anyway, I eventually found myself reading Paranormalcy last week after I decided to get it in my Kindle. I was pretty skeptical about how much I would like it because I heard some mixed reviews, but I decided to just go and read and see how much I would like it. I’m not the type to give up on books, so I was determined to see this through.

Thankfully, it wasn’t that hard to see this one through. Paranormalcy tells the story of Evie, who works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency (IPCA), making sure all paranormals in the world are well-accounted for. Evie is an orphan and she grew up in the IPCA, so she thinks everything is normal. Sure, her best friend is a mermaid and she can see through the glamours of the paranormal creatures, but as far as she knows, everything else is normal about her.

But when a shape-shifter breaks into the IPCA and she befriends this shape-shifter, she starts having doubts about her normalcy. Suddenly, she finds herself wondering if she was just an employee in the Center, or if they were actually holding her in for what she can do. It also did not help that paranormals were dying all over the world, and they have no clue on what is killing them, and her faerie ex-boyfriend keeps on stalking her. Suddenly, Evie’s “normal” life is not as normal as she thought.

I enjoyed reading Paranormalcy mainly because of how it was written. I find the cover of the book a little misleading, given its overall dark and depressing tone. However, inside, the story is quite funny. Evie is funny, sarcastic and yes, real. She may be a bit naive at first, believing only what she grew up to believe, but as the story unfolded Evie grew into a character stands up for herself. Another endearing quality is Evie’s innocence of all things normal — the real normal, that is. I found myself empathic of her joy when she was finally able to experience what she could only see on TV before, and I also wished for her to really have all that.

The romance part of the book is pretty acceptable too. I’ve avoided paranormal romance for a while because I feel that there was nothing new about it, but Paranormalcy‘s romance is actually quite cute. I liked how it started with just Evie and Lend talking and then Evie realizing she had a crush on Lend and then…well, if I say anything else, it’s going to be a spoiler now. The romance is very clean, though, and very high school. It did not give me the “tingles” that I got from other books, but it did make me smile, so that’s a plus.

I have little complaints for the story, too. I thought the idea of IPCA was smart, even if it’s not new anymore. In a way, Paranormalcy is like a YA version of Kate Daniels or even Dulcie O’Neil (but in the case of the latter, this has a better plot execution), with almost the same kind of action. I kind of have to agree with Peep with what she said about the paranormal creatures here, though: they seem a bit too weak and seemed to generate little fear among the humans — it was almost like some of them (particularly the vampires) were there more for comic relief.

But that may be just me nitpicking. It still fits in the overall theme of the novel. The ending, while not really that much of a surprise, kind of had a Beautiful Creatures feel for some reason, but it may be because I felt like there was some similarities over the villains from both books. However, I’m pretty sure that’s just me again.

Overall, Paranormalcy is a very enjoyable book. I liked it very much. Not all questions were answered here, though, but that’s because this is book 1 in a trilogy. I think I like this one enough that I will definitely read the next book in the series, Supernaturally, which will be out next year, regardless of the hype it gets near its release date.

Rating: [rating=3]
→ Light, fun paranormal read with just enough romance. Plus you can never go wrong with a heroine that loves pink and calls her favorite pink taser “Tasey”. ;)

2010 Challenge Status:
* Book # 97 out of 100 for 2010

My copy: ebook from Amazon Kindle store

Cover image & Blurb: Goodreads

Other Reviews:
Attack of the Book
Voracious YAppetite
Read Now Sleep Later