Review: Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy #1) by Kiersten White

by Kiersten White ;
Editions: hardcover, paperback, ebook
Published August 31st 2010 by HarperTeen
Source: own copy
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.~ Goodreads Blurb

I know, I know, this week’s RAWBL didn’t go as planned at all. Late review is late, sorry guys!

1. What were your thoughts on the world-building?

I was very intrigued by the whole IPCA idea, intrigued and slightly horrified. Leave it to governmental agencies to meddle in everything and mess with everyone’s phunk, right?
Because of Evie’s job, I ran into a lot of paranormals, vampires, weres, hags, elemental spirits, all sorts. But they all had their own twist on the pop notion, like the vampires and the fairies all had glamour going hiding their true appearance, and then of course there was Lend the Awesome, an entirely fabulous concept.
So I felt the world of Paranormalcy was rich and original, without going over the top. Lovely.

2. Did you feel you could relate to the characters and connect with them? Had a favorite?

The characters, as constructs, were my favorite part of this read. While young and light and funny, they had incredible strength and I got a very strong identity for the main players in the plot, without even getting the feeling the author was trying to give me that. It felt superbly natural and clear, from the first lines of a character I got a strong picture of who they were as a person. I really loved that.

I did connect with them, though I didn’t relate. It’s one of my issues with reading about really young characters, and Evie is really young. The fact she works for IPCA and lives pretty much in a bubble made me feel for her even more, and while I liked her wit and sense of humor I wasn’t there 100%. I liked her, she was the sweet, brave, admirable little girl I’d love to go all maternal instinct over, but honestly I felt a bit strange reading about her story and putting that together with her persona – this mainly has to do with age again.
She seemed more child then young adult a lot of the time, if you know what I mean, and I had a hard time bringing that together with going around with an admittedly hilarious pink taser to bag & tag paranormals.
Lend was lovely as well, and I felt they had a very sweet kiddish chemistry, their budding crushes were fun to read about, but I’m more of the less “awwww” and more “wow” sort of girl when it comes to these things.
The whole thing would have’ve sit much better with me if they’d been a tad more mature as characters.

3. What did you think of the plot?

It was a really fun ride, filled with all sorts of spice like mystery and intrigue and a lot of emotion. Though Evie wasn’t gushing all over the place, I was very emotionally involved in the story and how it affected her.
It was also a lot of fun for me to read something that focuses more on the inside world of the character then the outside, and I felt with this novel that’s where the focus was. Without getting tiring and over-anal, of course, but the focus was on the inside, and I found that uber-awesome.

4. How did you feel about the writing?

Like the characters as structure, the writing was beautiful. The author did a magnificent job at painting the world in fabulous strokes without even lingering on details, and a lot of it was thanks to the strength of characters.
The focus was very balanced and without leaning much in any one direction it gave ample view on basically all aspects. With a gracious pen, the author managed to make it crystal clear what was going on inside of Evie, outside of her, with characters around her. A beautiful and complete view without at any point feeling cluttered or forced.
I also loved the fact that though there was enough action going on in the plot, it never once felt like an action movie, you know? I like action, but more on the derriere plan compared to character development, therefore I loved the writing and felt utterly at home reading.

5. What was the strong point of the book, for you? What about the weak point?

The writing, a definite strong point. The structure and built of characters, as well. The weak point for me was the age-group, really, would I have read the same plot, with the same characters, but a couple years more mature, I would have been squealing about it, I’m absolutely sure. While I have gotten out of my YA phunk recently, I find this beautiful novel was more ‘young’ then I sort of expected it to be.
(Yes, I didn’t look into details about it, I don’t like having them when I read. That’s why I don’t give them away when I review either, I think.)

I didn’t much like the vampires – Romania connection, meaning it’s one of those stereotypes I’m really not a fan of. Dracula would have been proud to know that vampires were supposed to report to Bucharest, lol. But it wasn’t in your face, just this tiny little thing, right up there in the first chapter, that made sort of snort. It was the only thing that made me sort of snort.

6. On a scale of 1 to 5, what would you rate this book?

For all the aspects possible it would be a 5 butterflies, beautifully done, entertaining story, good structure of characters, effortlessly charming writing. For my personal chemistry with it, I think it would be more of a 3, while it was a very fun read it didn’t engage me as much as I thought it would.
Therefore, it’s an overall 4.

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