Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Paranormalcy, by Kiersten White

Published by Harper Collins, 2010

Evelyn wants to be a normal teen with a normal life (whatever normal passes for in the literary world). Instead she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency and uses her ability to see through supernatural’s glamours to help monitor and control all those bad-ass vamps trying to get their sexy on. When she finds herself linked to a faerie prophecy that promises death and destruction to the paranormal world, everything she knows is called into question and she must find a way to make sense of her world. So much for normal.
Despite Paranormalcy’s slight deviation from the usual set up, this is very much a paranormal romance. The guts of it involves Evie’s longing for Lend’s ‘normal’ life and her worry that their conflicting worlds will stop them from being happy together. I am so pleased that Evie isn’t a total wet blanket when it comes to love and lust – that she has a bit of spark and can give as good as she gets. She is a cute character, easy to go along with. I love that White lets us see her and Lend’s relationship actually develop. They go through the whole awkward flirty, cutesy stuff instead of just falling all over each other with unparalleled declarations of love. That being said, I didn’t really care all that much about them ending up together. We get the attraction but something is missing from the dynamics of their relationship – maybe it’s the angst, maybe it’s the tension, but something just wasn’t there.
Apart from Lend’s water spririt Mum, I also wasn’t feeling the love for any of the supporting characters. I think maybe because they don’t get a chance to develop, or they just aren’t around enough to make me care what happens to them. Reth was the best developed out of all, and we’re kind of made to not like him. I didn’t even care all that much for Lish, and she’s a mermaid, my absolute favourite.
I also found it hard to immerse myself in the plot. The book itself is an easy and fun read, and original in its premise. But as to actually what goes on, and how it unfolds, I just didn’t get sucked in, I didn’t feel anything. I think maybe this is because of Evie’s character, the way she is written, and the overall tone of the book. As I said, it is light-hearted and fun, and a welcome relief from the often bland and depressing protagonist voice of other YA paranormal romance - but it also makes it hard to really take anything seriously, maybe because Evie doesn’t.
I enjoyed Paranormalcy (even if the title is a bit awkward). It’s definitely worth having  a read. But it didn’t seduce me, like the back cover promised it would.

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