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Paranormalcy Hardcover – August 31, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up–First in a trilogy, this clever, must-have debut focuses on sassy Evie, 16, who calls the International Paranormal Containment Agency home. Armed with her unique ability to see through all paranormal “glamours” and her trusty pink taser, Evie bags, tags, and helps IPCA track and contain a variety of familiar creatures. Despite her unconventional life (no origin story, mermaid best friend, werewolf colleagues, etc.), she considers herself to be pretty normal–until shape-shifting elemental and extremely cute Lend breaks into IPCA looking for answers and ironically becomes one of the agency's latest puzzles. The more pressing concern: Who's been murdering paranormals? Lend's arrival; fae ex-boyfriend's (literally) hot, increasingly threatening advances; unsettling dreams; and a well-planned attack on the agency force Evie to face surprising revelations about IPCA and herself. White's storytelling successfully balances the fun and the sinister. There's an interesting mix of magic and technology. The pace is brisk with plenty of action. White's faeries (not vamps) are the beautiful and manipulative paranormals to watch out for, a refreshing change for some readers. Characterization is consistent, though Evie is the most fleshed out. A perfect blend of normal/supernatural, she simultaneously doubts her genetic makeup while yearning for and worrying about typical teenage concerns. Featuring a clever, kick-butt heroine channeling both Buffy and a PG Sookie, this book will likely fly off library shelves.–Danielle Serra, Cliffside Park Public Library, NJ. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Sixteen-year-old Evie learns that she is not quite the person she thought she was in this creature-feature mash-up. Possessing the unique ability to recognize paranormals beneath their glamour, Evie has lived most of her life under the protection of the International Paranormal Containment Agreement (IPCA), an organization dedicated to the cataloging and neutralizing of paranormal creatures. After a mysterious entity begins killing paranormals around the world, Evie discovers some startling truths about her own identity. This is a fast-paced, entertaining debut, reminiscent of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series in its story of a seemingly normal girl coerced to work for a supernatural agenda that she doesn’t always understand. White creates compelling tension as Evie longs for a normal teenhood while trying to preserve the humanity she has always believed to be her birthright; a love triangle adds further conflict, as Evie must choose between not only two different interests but two starkly different destinies. Alternately funny and tragic but never maudlin, White’s debut will have broad appeal among fantasy fans. Grades 9-12. --Kara Dean
Top customer reviews
I was really surprised by this novel. I wouldn't have picked it up just from the synopsis had I not received the third in the series free. I ended up really enjoying it. The story takes place in our world, except there is an organization (the IPCA) that internationally takes care of any Paranormal problems. It is like a paranormal Men In Black, except the protagonist is a 16 year old girl with the ability to see through the Paranormals' glamour to their true selves. This book reminded me of an old tv series on the Disney Channel when I was growing up, So Weird. Each week the teenage Fiona would come across some crazy paranormal being while traveling the world on a tour bus with her mother's band.
White put an interesting spin on a lot of the well known paranormals. For example, the fairies don't have wings and are so creepy. I liked the use of bread and iron as deterrents as well.
At times I thought the teen angst overpowered pressing situations. Although, it may be understandable considering how much Evie wants to be just a normal teenage girl in high school with a boyfriend and an awesome locker.
Each character in this novel was well written. They all had their own subtleties. One character has very descriptive sighs. A mermaid's translator turns all curse words to bleeps. Evie is completely obsessed with a popular teen drama. Another character sketches well.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and will continue reading the series. I give this book a 4/5. I recommend it to anyone interested in paranormal beings with a bit of teen girl drama. It reminds me of the Wake series by Lisa McMann.
The story was a fun read. That is the basics of this first book. The first half of the book was great with good character building I was really starting to enjoy Evie and her love for everything "normal" however, there were some flaws. Evie begins to realize that everything is not what it seems with her and the agency she works for but when she questions her supervisor and doesn't get any answers she just pouts and goes to her room. Evie doesn't do any investigating into her agency even with it being possible for her to do so since she has high clearance. The fairies are also extremely vague (which isn't a huge surprise since they always are) but the whole story starts to feel like a snake pit of secrets that you couldn't possibly make heads or tales of. Also really loved the shape shifter but he went from possible rebel fighter to a misbehaving kid whose dad was the rebel but still didn't have any answers. The second half just takes a weird plummet. We went from a good build up and some pretty intense stuff to alright we are just going to go to high school and act like there isn't some crazy supernatural out to kill us.
Basically the concept was unique and started off well but the writing started to get cliche. Never thought I would say this but if any book could use some more Info and filler it would be this one. I don't know if I will continue the series I might pick it up again later but I did finish this book in a day so it did have some appeal.
Evie works to contain and control paranormal beings. She can see through their glamours to what they really are, something no other person can do. She's grown up in a world of the supernatural; not much surprises her anymore. After years of semi-peaceful existence, things are changing. An unknown being broke into the IPCA headquarters and paranormals are being killed off. The intruder won't speak of his reasons for breaking in and the IPCA can't figure out how the beings are being killed. Everything Evie has grown up with is changing and being put to the test.
Lend, the love interest, has his moments. He's not the most swoon-worthy character I've read, but he did come across as a normal teenager. He had sweet moments, cheesy moments...everything you'd expect a normal teen boy to have. I especially enjoyed his insecurity about his true self. It was refreshing to read about a male character that wasn't the perfectly confident teen. I've never met one of those. Instead, he puts on a front of confidence, but the moments when his guard came down were the best. They made him real.
Evie is the one that I struggled with. Putting aside some of her characteristics that I find annoying in any person, her strength was what bothered me. She started out pretty fearless, taking on challenges and figuring her way out of tough spots. Then she became a little too whiny for my tastes. Instead of fighting back like I would have liked her to, she put aside her feelings as to not anger the people around her, but the internal whining was a bit much. Near the end, her fight came back, but it was a little too late for her to be fully redeemed in my opinion.
Paranormalcy is a fine paranormal book and a decent teen novel. It just has a difficult time bringing the two halves together in a way that works and flows well. I'm not sure if this will be a series I continue, but if you really enjoy the paranormal novels, this would probably be a good book to pick up.
Most recent customer reviews
Clever and funny and not to forget, first love!