Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Audiobook Review: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Title: Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy #1)
Author: Kiersten White

Publication Date: August 31, 2010
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 335
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Discover the first book in a sparkling paranormal romance trilogy from Kiersten White, #1 New York Times bestselling author of And I Darken.

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 supernatural glamours.

She’s also about to find out that she may be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.

For fans of Teen Wolf, Buffy, and Supernatural, this New York Times bestseller is a witty, fresh, and downright fun read that will capture your heart.

Kiersten White's And I Darken series is one of my absolute favorite series of all time, but I hadn't read any of her earlier work until now. I picked up Paranormalcy because it was available at my library and I loved the comparisons to Buffy and Supernatural. I dived in hoping that it would be as addictive a series as And I Darken, but alas.

Evie is the heroine of this story, and it becomes apparent immediately upon meeting her that she is very heavily based on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She is equal parts badass, girly, and rebellious, and I didn't hate her, but I couldn't bring myself to love her either. Like Buffy, she is one of a kind with powers that are expected to help bring peace on earth, but also just wants to be a normal teenager. When Evie meets Lend, she thinks he might be her chance at some normal teen interaction. She immediately starts falling for him and... eh.

The romance between Lend and Evie, while cute, was just kind of off to me. This is possibly because Evie seems so concerned with how hot he is and whether he's holding her hand because he likes her or not, all while the world is crumbling around her. Although she seems to have great reasons for questioning the authority around her, I had a really tough time accepting her attitude. I couldn't deal with her whining about prom while people were literally dying. Lend was a fascinating character, but my favorite character was Reth, by far.

I guess you could say Lend and Reth are the Angel and Spike of this series. Both are supernatural creatures, although one is good and one is kind of maybe bad. I thought that Reth was an infinitely more exciting character, although I was frustrated with how he constantly spoke in riddles, then got angry with Evie for not deciphering them. Overall, I didn't love any of the characters in this book, but Reth is the best of them.

Unlike a lot of my favorite YA series from the 2000s, I feel like Paranormalcy is definitely dated. It fits right in with a lot of other paranormal romance books, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but isn't really my thing. I do love a few books about faeries, but the mashup of faeries, shapeshifters, vampires, and other mythical creatures really took me back to the last decade. If that's something you enjoy, maybe you'd like this book more than I did.

The story itself was definitely unique and I did like the mystery surrounding the Initiative Agency and Buffy's Evie's place within it. I love the idea of a secret organization saving the world from the baddies! But nothing about it really stood out as super unique. Again, maybe if I'd read this when it was published, I would have felt differently. It's entirely possible that I've just read too many books to appreciate this for what it was when it was published.

Overall, I didn't hate Paranormalcy, but I certainly didn't love it. It's fair to say that Kiersten White has grown drastically in every possible way as an author between the time this book was published and when And I Darken came out. I sadly will not be continuing this series, but I will be giving her one more try with Chaos of Stars, and I will definitely read anything she writes in the future!