So here’s how this went down: It’s Tuesday night. I have miraculously finished my assigned reading for class at a decent hour. It’s half past eleven, and I decide to pat myself on the back by reading until midnight, where I will then fall asleep and wake up rested, at a reasonable hour. Because I only have 30 minutes of reading time, I don’t dither over what book I’ll read. I just grab one. The book that I grab, fatefully, is Paranormalcy by Kiersten White.
The next thing I know, it’s 2 AM. 2 EFFING AM! Sometime in the past two hours, I stumbled up to close my window so everyone outside couldn’t hear me totally losing it. So there I was, clutching my book, laughing my head off in my stifling room, which was slowly suffocating me to death since I had shut the window. And I didn’t even care. When I finished the book at 3 AM, I didn’t think about how I would be waking up to a full day of classes. NO. REGRETS. The only thing I was semi-aware of during my reading was the decreasing number of pages to flip.
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.
Yes, Paranormalcy was incredibly fast-paced – but that’s not what had me turning the pages late at night. Sixteen-year-old Evie is an incredible leading character. She desperately wants a normal life, but she makes the best of what she has: a mermaid for her best friend, a pink taser for stunning paranormals, and an obsession with a teen TV show (with drama reminiscent of Gossip Girl). She manages to keep a funny perspective on everything around her, and I love, love reading from her point of view for her observations, feelings, and thoughts.
There are so many things to love—like Kiersten White’s take on vampires. Yeah, they’re not sexy otherworldly creatures; they’re rotting corpses casting attractive human glamours. The workings of Evie’s government agency employer, IPAC, is also very interesting – especially how Evie goes about doing her job. I was also very intrigued by Reth, Evie’s ex-boyfriend, who is perfectly diabolical. Reth’s faerie maneuverings and manipulations were a major source of sinister tension in the book. A suspenseful plot is woven into the laugh-out-loud humor. I’d go from gasping for air because I was laughing so hard, straight into holding my breath from anticipation.
I think anyone who enjoys reading paranormal fiction will love this as a quirky addition to their library. However, I have friends who don’t read paranormal genre fiction (I know, I don’t get them either), for various reasons, and this is a great book to introduce them to the genre – lighthearted, but not lightweight.
Paranormalcy is the first book in a planned trilogy. I definitely appreciated that Paranormalcy can stand alone – and yet I love the characters so much that I want to read more about them. The first sequel, Supernaturally, comes out August 2011!
Lee likes all things spy, smelling books, and is almost always craving a cheeseburger. She tweets from @lkyim about reading books NOT assigned for class. Also she likes Greek mythology. And dogs.