Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Evie is a teenager who wants nothing more than to be normal. To go to high school, to have a boyfriend, a kiss, a locker, but these things are impossible, because of her gift. Evie can see through the glamor of every known paranormal. Vampire, werewolf, faerie – it matters not, she can see right through their beautiful exterior into what they really are. This makes her a great asset to the IPCA, an organization charged with tracking and keeping all paranormals in line. It isn’t until after Evie meets a new kind of paranormal, a boy who is the color of water, but who can shape-shift into just about any person of his relative height and build, that Evie starts questioning who she is and why she can do what she does. Lend is immediately drawn to Evie because she is the first person who has ever seen the real him. It is through Lend’s gentle questioning and pushing that Evie discovers that her gift is not the only thing that keeps her from being normal, but that keeps her trapped working for IPCA. She discovers that she herself is a paranormal, but it appears that she is also in high demand.
This book starts of with a bang with Evie performing a “bag and tag” on a vampire, which sets an excellent pace for this fun adventure. I enjoyed Evie’s story and discovery. She is a very well rounded teenager who not only just wants to be normal, but is capable of accepting that her life is anything but. She’s well adjusted to who she is, even when she discovers that she may be something more, this does not cause her to tail spin into an identity crisis. Regardless of what was going on in her head, she was still the same, caring teenager with the capacity to think things through and make decisions of right and wrong on her own. I respected and enjoyed her integrity. I commend Kiersten White for not putting us through torture of the “woe is me, what am I going to do” that I find in a lot of books. While Evie did suffer a little bit of this – she still was always moving forward and trying to do what she thought was best.
Another thing I loved about this book was that it was very entertaining, and provides the fantasy/sci-fi twist that I love in books, but it’s also appropriate for young teenagers as well as older ones. I’m 30, and found it very entertaining, but if a 12 year old would ask if it would be a good book, I could answer yes without hesitation!
My only disappointment was the abrupt ending. I felt like there were questions that could/should have been answered. I know that perhaps the idea was a cliff hanger ending to prep for the next book, but I just felt unfulfilled instead. WHAT is Evie used for real? I mean, she has to serve a purpose in society. At least that was what I was expecting – that she was going to end up being some huge missing puzzle piece on the circle of paranormal life – and while it was sort of touched on that, I don’t think it was addressed clearly enough. Oh well…maybe in the next installment. And I’m pretty sure there IS a next installment.