PARANORMALCY by Kiersten White
Summary from Goodreads:
Weird as it is working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, Evie's always thought of herself as normal. Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, 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 still. Normal.
Only now paranormals are dying, and Evie's dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies. She soon realizes that there may be a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths. Not only that, but she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.
So much for normal.The (Spoiler-Free) Co-Review!
(Courtesy of G-chat.)
Donna: I'm always nervous about books with big buzz, especially paranormal YA.... but Paranormalcy really did live up to it.
Sara: It did! And I was unsure of what it was going to be like, since the market is so saturated with paranormal right now. But it was really fresh and new. I think a big part of that had to do with Kiersten's awesome characters. Like Evie, the MC.
Donna: And Lish, her mermaid best friend who could only communicate via a robotic-voiced translator!
Sara: But who was totally awesome anyway.
Donna: OMG it made her MORE awesome. But let's talk about LEND! ---- the shapeshifting love interest.
Sara: Lend was awesome. How many times can we use that word in this co-review?
Donna: And one of the reasons this book was so refreshing was how naturally and normally their relationship progressed.
Sara: Haha, I was just typing exactly what you said! Their relationship was totally mundane.
Donna: No epic-ness. Just the sweetest, "OMG we're watching a movie and he's brushing against my arm OMG what do I do????" kinda romance.
Sara: And that made it work perfectly--it really felt like high school, in the best way possible. And the back and forth teasing-flirting was super cute too. It gave a nice balance to Evie's world, since most of the time she's dealing with arresting paranormal creatures.
Donna: So for the rest of the paranormals --- I loved the idea of the IPCA (International Paranormal Containment Agency).
Sara: Me too! It was a simple idea, but it made sense. And I must admit, I got a little nervous when all these different paranormals starting coming up. I thought, this is going to go overboard and be too much. But I was totally wrong. There was a simplicity to Kiersten's world building that I thought made it feel very clean. Kind of like IKEA.
Donna: hahahah IKEA. Good call. There were some seriously dark elements of the novel, too. Like Reth, Evie's super-creepy ex-boyfriend who keeps trying to steal her heart or something equally insidious and CREEPY.
Sara: Reth was like, your worst ex-boyfriend times ten. But then things got even more complicated with him further in the book, and it was like, agh! What am I supposed to think? I'm just glad there's a sequel.
Donna: Yeah. He wasn't the biggest bad, shockingly. Someone else is killing paranormals by the handful. Or (dun dun dunnnn) someTHING else.
Sara: Haha. That was a cool plot too, because it touched on some of the darker elements of the story. And also brought out some of the gray areas of paranormal-human relations.
Donna: I love that Evie began to question things she'd always been raised to believe.
Sara: And it was great as a reader that you were basically learning the truth at the same time Evie was--it made the book a total page-turner! There was a great balance between scenes that made me laugh out loud and scenes that made me bite my nails.
Donna: Kiersten's sense of humor came through loud and clear, but the tension was there. Unlike many paranormal YAs, the developing romance provided a RELIEF from the tension of the plot, versus the romance being the epic, all-consuming source of tension.
Sara: So true. I loved that the story ultimately hinged on Evie. Not Evie and Lend, or Evie and Reth, but Evie and herself. And can I just say, I loved the lack of love triangle?
Donna: Amen, sister. And that it's the kick-butt girl who has the ability to save the boy?
Sara: She can save everyone! Including herself.
Donna: Ok, so then end ---- knowing there's a sequel, what do you think of Kiersten's choices on how to end Para?
Sara: Just like the rest of the book, I think Kiersten struck a great balance with the end. There was tons of tension that will naturally carry over into the sequel. And plenty of questions I want answered. But at the same time, this book definitely has an ending.
Donna: Agreed. I got a contented little sigh when I read the last sentence, so I knew the first novel felt complete to me. But whew, Kiersten didn't hold back on the tough stuff.
Sara: True! Which only made the novel better. More tears, but in a good way.
Donna: I'm smitten with Paranormalcy, and Kiersten wrote a first novel to be very, very proud of. Yayyyyy honorary FNC-ers being awesome!
Sara: Yay! Now go buy Paranormalcy!
How's life? Have you read Paranormalcy, or is it on your TBR? What book should we co-review next? Leave it in the comments!