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Book pick: Oh Fae! Bleep! ‘Paranormalcy’ one rocking YA romance! November 3, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, Book lists.
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Oh, Bite Me.

That’s the title of the first chapter in Kiersten White’s flirty, action-packed PARANORMALCY, and it sets the tone for the whole story about Evie, a 16-year-old girl who can see through the glamours of paranormal creatures. That makes her a valuable asset of the IPCA — the International Paranormal Containment Agency — where she uses her pink “rhinestone-studded Tasey” to bag and tag paranormals, who are later made into useful members of society. Apparently Evie, is the only human on the planet who can see through paranormal glamours.

With Evie, a kind of fashion-obsessed (think zebra-print dresses, pink boots), slightly whiny but witty teen — who actually thinks like a teen — White has taken a typical YA theme about girl vs. bad paranormals and given it a fresh spin with some interesting characters. For starters, there’s Evie, who has worked for the IPCA since she was 8. It’s really the only home she’s ever known. But she longs for the normal things a teen has, including a driver’s license, her fave TV high school drama (Easton Heights) and true love. But while Evie might long to be normal and go to school — she really wants her own school locker — she’s no dummy.

She’s not falling for Reth, her  sexy, charismatic ex-Fae boyfriend who is obsessed with Evie. Like stalker obsessed. He, too, works for the IPCA, but those Fae — no one can control ’em and Evie knows it. And there’s so much Fae lore woven into this book that you’re trying to figure out if Reth is good or bad or how Evie is involved in some strange Fae prophecy.

But beyond the world of the Fae, White presents kooky paranormals of all types. From your standard weres to child-eating hags. the classic vamps to water spirits and a mermaid who talks to Evie via a computer-generated voice.

Kiersten White/Courtesy her site

Even with her job and odd friends though, Evie is lonely. And she soon meets a new friend — a shapeshifter named Lend, who is trying to figure out who is killing paranormal creatures.  That’s how he meets Evie. He “breaks” into the IPCA and takes on different identities until he’s captured. Lend is the opposite of the intense Reth. He’s easy-going and gentle and –well — kind of like a normal shy teen boy. He and Evie strike up quite a relationship — the kind of fumbling romance that isn’t lurid or oversexed but charming.

Together — and with Reth’s kind of helpful interference — they sort of figure out the paranormal killer puzzle and Evie’s connection.

I liked this story because it started with a riddle, involves the weird world of the fae, and heroine isn’t some mopey teen, but a kid with attitude and sass. I do think there’s a lot crammed into this first book, which made it interesting but sometimes confusing. The bagging and tagging of paranormals, Evie’s relationship with Lend, the prophecy that somehow includes her and the fae — who are probably up to no good but we won’t know until the next book. And then the cool description of life inside the IPCA and Evie’s desire to be a normal teen and go to school.

But it’s a really fun read. And if you do pick it up, you’ll have to let me know if you thought the ending was a bit abrupt. Guess that sets us up for the second book — SUPERNATURALLY –– due out next fall. On her site White simply says this about the next book:

Evie, Lend, Reth, Arianna, Raquel, David . . .
And Jack.
Life’s never fair when faeries are involved.

Check out her cool book video for PARANORMALCY:


1. Diana McCabe - November 3, 2010

I’ve read a lot of good YA books this year. White plans the Evie books as a trilogy — which I like. So can’t wait for the next one. Anyone else read this?


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