Monday, December 26, 2011

Yay for YA: Paranormalcy review

I'm writing this with a fever and chills, so I may need to revisit this and revise it when I'm feeling better.  Anyway, here's my review of Paranormalcy by Kiersten White.
Checkouts: Coming soon to the library
Typical reader: Middle school to teen girls who like paranormal fantasy/romance
Source: personally purchased at the Scholastic Book Fair

Synopsis: Evie can see things no one else can - she sees beneath the glamour of all sorts of paranormals.  She works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, bagging and tagging paranormals around the globe.  Life is good with the IPCA; her best friend is a mermaid, she has a pretty pink taser, and she often makes it home in time to watch her favorite teen soap.  But then two things happen to shake up her life: paranormals are mysteriously dying, and a weird shapeshifter breaks into the IPCA.

My Goodreads rating: 4 stars

I do have to grumble a little bit over what probably won't be a concern for the average reader of this book: the binding.  This book is 335 pages in the paperback format, and squished into a width less than two centimeters (at least in the Scholastic edition).  Gah.  Heaven help the librarian that has to rebind this, if it ever has pages come loose.  Also, even if you're as careful with books as I am, you'll probably end up creasing the spine somewhat.

But you're not here to read about the worries of how a book is made, are you?  You're here to learn about what's inside, what the author has to offer with her writing.  Overall, what's available is pretty dang good.

Paranormalcy comes across fluffy on the surface, but really has a lot of depth.  Evie is both a lighthearted girlie-girl who loves pink, fashion, and teen soap operas, and a teen searching for herself without knowing the extent of her powers or what she really is.  She also yearns for a normal life with a locker.  The sum of all parts of Evie is a strong, complex heroine that is both delightful and someone readers can relate to.

My favorite character was Alisha, the mermaid.  (Lish the fish?  Really?)  She lives in a tank in the IPCA, in the central processing room, loving her job and being Evie's best friend.  Since she's in a tank full of water, she talks through a computer, giving her a mechanical voice that will not translate when she swears.  Her reassuring Evie about how her faerie ex-boyfriend is no good in a series of "bleeping" is funny and endearing.  Indeed, the lack of actual swearing and lack of other "adult themes" make this a YA novel that I could comfortably hand to an older elementary student.

There is romance in this novel.  Just because there's an ex-boyfriend in the picture as well as a new hottie attracting Evie's attention doesn't make for a love triangle, though, thank goodness (there's something overdone in YA romance these days).  Reth, the faerie ex, was dumped by Evie after a show of scary violence.  And she still wants nothing to do with him, despite his advances and attempts at following whatever his strange agenda is regarding her.  Smart girl!  No, the romance is between Evie and the weird shapeshifter that breaks into the IPCA, whose name is Lend and comes across as a pretty nice guy.  After all heck breaks loose there, the plot focuses on Evie and Lend in a completely different environment.  It starts to reach the point of "blah" but soon gets back into plot and action.

I had a little problem with the writing/plot.  Multiple times, I guessed what was going to happen, and was proven right.  It was a little too predictable for my tastes.  This is a fun novel, but predictable.  The predictability does not hinder the experience enough to lower my rating, or to keep me from wanting to read the next in the series.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds enjoyable enough for the right audience. Good to hear that you're getting so many decent additions for the library.