Book Review: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

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. (From

My blogging partner Lyndsey told me that I MUST read Paranormalcy. She loved it, like really loved it…in fact to make sure I did read it she sent me her very own copy. Still it sat on my shelves for a few weeks, until one day while standing in front of said shelves trying to decide what to read next I picked it up and scanned the first few pages. And that was it…pow. I was completely addicted to this book and read it in two awestruck sittings.
Paranormalcy has, without question, the best first paragraph ever written and I was instantly hooked by the sharp, witty and laugh out loud writing style. I loved the main character, Evie-she’s definitely my kinda girl. Brought up after being found abandoned by the International Paranormal Containment Agency (a kind of government agency responsible for identifying, tagging and making safe paranormal creatures then putting them to work) she’s kick ass strong and feisty but with a real girly streak. With her trademark pink taser she totally rocks! Yet she also has a vulnerable side, the one that is desperate to be normal and go to high school (and have her very own locker…bless!) and wonders why she doesn’t seem to belong. She also really compassionate under the attitude and I really warmed to her. I also really liked her relationship with best friend Lish, a mermaid. Every girl should have a mermaid best pal like Lish. She’s loyal, trustworthy and in a formal and regulated life, the one person Evie can go to. Raquel, Evie’s boss and guardian, on the other hand is pretty annoying, although I presume she’s meant to be. She sighs a lot in despair at Evie. I know people in real life who sigh a lot-they annoy me. It meant I could picture her and practically hear her sighs.
There’s a whole host of Paranormals making an appearance in this book. Some are old favourites- werewolves, vampires and fairies, while some were completely new to me. Love interest Lend was fascinating, especially as we haven’t got a clue for most of the book about what he actually is, although he does have an extremely creepy (but useful) talent. What I liked about Lend was how he helped Evie see the truth about the system she was working in and the building trust and respect that builds between the two. Then there’s Reth, bad boy fairy (or is he?…I still don’t know!), deliciously sinister and creepy I certainly look forward to more of him in follow up books.
Paranormalcy is certainly an action packed read with a fierce pace and not one boring section to slow you down. But along with the action White throws in some pretty interesting and thought provoking themes, particularly regarding the IPCA. Through her paranormals and the way they were dealt with by the authorities she reminded me of issues such as animal welfare, human rights and slavery making the situation seem completely believable.  I did have one minor issue with the book in that occasionally the chapters seemed to jump way ahead in the story and I had to go back a couple of times to see if I missed something meaning once or twice the end of one didn’t flow perfectly into the other. But this is a very minor quibble and only distracted me for a few short seconds and the rest of the time I thoroughly enjoyed the ride.

Kiersten White’s debut is a definite success and fans of paranormal YA will love the fresh and exciting new ideas she brings and enjoy being spoiled with so many creatures woven into one book. It was exciting from the very first page and left me wanting more. I can’t wait until September to get my hands on the sequel, Supernaturally. 

Published in the UK by HarperCollins Children books January 2011

6 thoughts on “Book Review: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

  1. I adored this book. I loved how much was going on in this book. I loved the pink taser too – that Evie is a great mix of girly and tough. Loved all the paranormals.


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