When HarperCollins sent me a copy of Paranormalcy by Kiersten White for review, I was immediately drawn to the cover art featuring a girl in a dark field with ominous grey clouds behind her. When I began reading it, I became immersed in the story, the characters, and the world White created in this complex tale about a normal teenage girl who is anything but average.
The main character is sixteen-year-old Evie, who works as an agent for the International Paranormal Containment Agency (IPCA), capturing vampires, werewolves, hags, and other paranormal creatures with the aid of her hot pink taser and her unique ability to see through their glamours. She’s a true heroine, courageous and willing to tackle problems head-on. However, this isn’t the life she would have chosen for herself. Evie wants more than anything to be a “normal” teenager, but as the mystery of her origin begins to unfold, she realizes that she may just have to redefine what is normal.
The story is action-packed with a good dose of humor throughout every chapter. It’s light-hearted, sassy, and fun with an eclectic blend of supernatural characters.
“I watched it as if in slow motion. The gremlin made straight for me, a rabid gleam in its eyes. It leaped into the air and I kicked out hard, sending it sailing down the hall, right into the arms of the containment worker chasing it. “Goal!” I shouted. Dang, I was good.”
Paranormalcy follows the familiar formula in the young adult fantasy genre of the girl being torn between two romantic interests, but in this case, the love interests captured my attention as a reader. One is a charming and artistic teenage boy who can shapeshift and fade almost to invisibility, while the other is a powerful and dangerous ancient faerie who may hold answers about both Evie’s past and her purpose in life.
This was one of the better young adult fantasies I’ve read lately. The first in a trilogy, it leaves enough open that there is plenty of room for the story to continue, yet it doesn’t end on such a cliff-hanger as to be frustrating. I enjoyed the twists and found the characters charming, and I’ll be looking forward to reading Kiersten White’s next book.
This article was first published as “Book Review: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White” in Blogcritics Magazine.