Thursday, March 10, 2011

BR: Paranormalcy

by Kiersten White
Paranormalcy trilogy; book I

So since it's release, I think this novel (with a drop-dead gorgeous cover) has been getting major hype and major loving from the blogosphere. So dang, was I excited when I finally got my hands on it (after months of waiting)

Summary (goodreads)

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.

My Expectations: Very high, I thought it would be one of those stand-out paranormal YAs.
Delivery: Fell short, but not for the reasons I thought it might have (like cliches, this one definitely avoided them)
Put-down-ability: ehhh, 8/10

My Thoughts

I think I’ll preface this review by saying that I’m pretty sure I’m the only person who feels this way so feel free to ignore me and go read other, more positive reviews (like this one, this one and this one).

So Paranormalcy wasn’t for me. It just didn’t work for my Monday moods or my mindset for stress, and I really want to say that this isn’t the book’s fault at all, it’s me. The one thing that mostly determines whether I like a book or not is the voice, it's what I find is the most important aspect (and from this post, what I think should be obvious within the first pages). Needless to say, Evie’s voice in this novel is very distinct and well crafted, I just really didn’t like it.

In a word, it just felt… immature. Evie’s sixteen and she’s been through a lot, and I know that she uses her optimism and peppiness to help her deal with a lonely, somewhat confined life but sometimes it was just.... too much. Her narration just reminded of the superficial, shallow grade 8 girls at my school, I just couldn’t care much about her, and when this disconnect is present, my enjoyment level plummets. Her obsession with boys, her choice of language (again, personal taste), her OMG SPARKLES attitude… yeah.

But something I did really like about Evie is that she doesn’t do stupid stuff!! Like wow, I didn’t think I would be so impressed with a character running away from danger*. There were serious moments (such as murders) that I couldn't really care for because I was preoccupied by Evie's bright voice. On the flip side , I do feel White managed to balance her angst and her optimism very well, neither emotion was overdone.

The plot from a stripped-down point of view is well done, albeit it kind of felt like two different storylines meshed together to form the plot arc. However, my inability to care much for Evie hindered my positive view of the plot; I was just thinking “alright, just go with it” as opposed to “omg, what happens next?!”

Hmm, as for the boys, I can’t really for the life of me see why there would be any debate. Reth is a creepy mother-effer, so puh leez. That said, I didn’t really believe the Lend-Evie romance, to me it felt so… high school. As in “those two will never last” type of shin-dig, it was lust-and-opportunity driven in my mind, despite what Evie may claim. I think I feel this way merely because of Evie’s narration though, there are quite a lot of words dedicated to Lend’s “dark-haired, dark-eyed hottie” face. I liked Lend though :)

Paranormalcy is an original paranormal novel, no doubt, but I unfortunately never cared (I tried to, I swear) much for the protagonist. In turn, I didn’t care much for the book but I am in the 2 percentile, so if you’re iffy on whether or not to pick it up, I would definitely advise you to do so.

Rating in HP Terms: Acceptable
Recommended for: People looking for a fun book with a fun protagonist, paranormal YA fans
Acknowledgements: excellent, 5/5

7.8/10 – because I wanted to love it, I really really did. But in the end I was a bit disappointed in my reaction (not the novel, just the fact that I didn't love it as much as I expected to) after all the hype, finding that I just couldn’t fall in love with Evie as other people have done so. The narration style didn’t suit me, but I thought White has some really bright and original ideas that was enough to drive me to finish the novel.
The sequel, Supernaturally, is released this August.

*because dude, when you hear your partner being murdered, you don’t go “check it out," so good job Evie

source: library
author twitter / blog (which is awesome)


  1. LMFAO!! Well said! I felt so confused when I reviewed it. I was probably one of the very few who was writing a negative review on this book. It actually made me doubt if people were reading the same book as me. Even made me question if people had given it a gushing review because everyone else had. Shame I had very high expectations to. The whole thing did come across as immature, that was one of my issues to. Yay we are not alone in our thought Audrey dear :D

  2. Hey, no worries. Not every book is for everyone. And it really comes through in your review that you approached the review objectively about why it didn't work so well for you. I appreciate that. The take on romance sounds interesting because may be sometimes it okay to be involved in a high school romance that doesn't last. That would be different, eh?

  3. Agreed that Evie's voice was definitely too immature for a sixteen year old, imo. The corny chapter titles kind of made it worse for me, but YES, finally a character who doesn't do one dumb thing after another!

  4. Aw, I'm sorry you didn't like this one. I loved Evie and her voice, but she definitely has a very strong voice that saturates the whole book so if it's not working for you, then I can see how that would bring down the whole book for you.

    I think you did a great job in writing a very balanced review here. :)

  5. Aly- Mhmm, I was pretty concerned with my own sanity when reading it and thinking "why am I not liking this, everyone is!"

    Missie- Thanks, that means a lot because this is the type of book I wanted to be careful about for that objectivity line :)

    Linna- haha, I usually skim past chapter titles (except for Sarah Rees Brennan ones) but you're totally right... *tears a few hairs out undramatically*

    Small- I'm glad you liked it more than I did :) And thank you so much :)

  6. I did love this one but I was forewarned that it was more "cute & younger" so that may have helped. I can't tell you how many times I feel like the only one who is writing a negative review for a book that everyone else loves.
    I appreciate honesty more so even though I may have a different opinion on this one I enjoyed your review.

  7. LOL, what you said about Reth is so true. He is one creepy fairy.

    I enjoyed this book even though it was super sweet and fluffy. Sorry you didn't enjoy it more but great review :)

  8. Aww, I hate it when that happens. I've been putting off this one too because I tried a small sample on my Kindle and it did seem a bit on the younger side... I still don't know when/if I'll try it. Maybe sometime. I do like that "dark-eyed hottie face" though. ;)

  9. Karen- I dunno, the cover totally doens't convey 'cute and younger', ya know? Like the model is gorgeous, but it doesn't carry the tone of the novel as well as I hoped. Thank you :)

    Nic- I know! How could there even be any debatE? I'm glad you liked it more than I did!

    Jenn- It felt king of MG at times, it was just Evie's voice was a bit.. TOO bright, ya know? But it's probably just me :p

  10. You're definitely not the only one!


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