Posts tagged ‘evie’

July 5th, 2011

Supernaturally by Kiersten White; Review

by Madeleine Rex

Title: Supernaturally

Author: Kiersten White (I don’t usually like to authors’ blogs, but I love hers, so go ahead and click.)

Published: July 26th, 2011

Number of Pages: 352

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

Evie finally has the normal life she’s always longed for. But she’s shocked to discover that being ordinary can be . . . kind of boring. Just when Evie starts to long for her days at the International Paranormal Containment Agency, she’s given a chance to work for them again. Desperate for a break from all the normalcy, she agrees.

But as one disastrous mission leads to another, Evie starts to wonder if she made the right choice. And when Evie’s faerie ex-boyfriend Reth appears with devastating revelations about her past, she discovers that there’s a battle brewing between the faerie courts that could throw the whole supernatural world into chaos. The prize in question? Evie herself.

So much for normal. [From Goodreads]

Review Sent to HarperTeen*:

Paranormalcy combined all the best elements of fantasy, going beyond werewolves and vampires to the gremlins and mermaids that are sorely lacking in much of YA literature, but it was ultimately Evie’s irresistibly bubbly personality that I was caught up in. Although Supernaturally plunges Evie’s life into waters that are even darker and more difficult to navigate, her quirky observations and more than a few paranormal creatures make the second book in this distinctive series just as captivating as the first.

Review:

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Kiersten White’s. She, like Evie, has an irresistible and bubbly personality. I’ve been reading her blog and tweets for about a year and am excitedly looking forward to** meeting her at the first signing for Supernaturally in August. I don’t know how much of a say she had in who received ARCs of Supernaturally, but I’m very, very grateful!

To the review!

Supernaturally begins with Evie living in a false sense of security. It only takes a few pages for the reader to realize that almost every one of Evie’s dreams of normalcy have now become her reality. It also only took a few pages before I was on the alert for something weird. Goodness knows Kiersten could only keep some creature hidden for a so long.

It was clear to me that Evie was in dire need of some action. Someone who’s been trained to use a taser to take down vampires simply does not belong in a girls’ locker room (though, arguably, no one really belongs in a girls’ locker room).

Of course, Kiersten’s style is light-hearted and totally wonderful, but I have to admit this book did have some symptoms of the dreaded sequel-itis. It was a little slow in the beginning and much of the book was spent steadily escalating toward a semi-climactic moment. I had the feeling that, though there definitely is a climax, this book’s job was to build up to some majorly dramatic moment in the third book. However, that’s understandable. I simply think that this book will be even greater when I can read the third book immediately after.

As I said in the official review, Supernaturally is darker than the first book in the series. Darkness can be fun. It is fun, but with it comes a sort of oppressive cloud. Evie has a few moments of hopelessness, and those moments lead to a lot more complaining than I would have liked. There were a few times at which she pretty much said, “I moped around for a little,” which is fine. I’ve been there, done that. However, the whining did become irritating as the book went on, and I would have preferred that Evie had just done what she had to do willingly instead of grudgingly.

The highlight (the big, thick, bright pink highlight) of the book was Jack. He was like Peter Pan on steroids. I loved him. Often, sequels will bring in that character who’s unfailingly silly and, most likely, stupid, but Jack was topnotch. He had a silly streak as wide as the Columbia river, but I always knew in the back of my mind that there was more to him and his situation, and, knowing Kiersten, I knew whatever that “more” was would be very exciting.

Ultimately, there were a few things missing, but most are unidentifiable. There was just a feel that Paranormalcy (Review) had that Supernaturally didn’t. Maybe it was that Paranormalcy is a bit more fun and lighthearted (despite, you know, all the death), while this book takes a more serious turn. I still love the world Kiersten has created and admire the ingenuity with which she approached creating her versions of paranormal creatures. Every one of them is twisted and deliciously unlike the Disney versions.

Supernaturally was most successful at increasing the tension and my excitement for the next book. It is undoubtedly going to be big, probably pink, and ideally very, very insane.

I encourage all those who loved Paranormalcy to get their hands on Supernaturally as quickly as possible. Search for giveaways and pre-order your copies. You’re going to want to be there for that majorly dramatic moment in book three as much as I do. I’m sure of it.

*Thank you for the ARC! I would have been selling limbs on the black market for a copy if you hadn’t sent one!

**Translation: Freaking out. There might have been some giddy running about the house and telling every member of my family when I found out. Maybe.

August 5th, 2010

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White; Review

by Madeleine Rex

Title: Paranormalcy

Author: Kiersten White

Published: August 31, 2010

Number of Pages: 352

Rating: 5/5

Review Sent to HarperTeen*:

Exciting, fascinating, and altogether wonderful, Paranormalcy is bound to be loved by many. Evie shines in her pink boots and zebra print rap dress, but it’s her inability to back down and her vivaciousness that make her impossible to forget. The paranormals in this book seem new and intriguing – an incredible feat of Kiersten White’s, as we’ve heard millions of stories about them already. I have very little doubt that Paranormalcy will surprise readers with its combination of action, romance, teenage problems, mythical creatures, and a whole lot of humor. Honestly, it just makes me happy.

Synopsis: I don’t like this synopsis as much as the one on the back of the book, but unfortunately I don’t have the book handy. This will have to do.

Sixteen-year-old Evie’s job is bagging and tagging paranormals. Possessing the strange ability to see through their glamours, she works for the Intern…more Sixteen-year-old Evie’s job is bagging and tagging paranormals. Possessing the strange ability to see through their glamours, she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency. But when someone–or something–starts taking out the vamps, werewolves, and other odd beasties she’s worked hard to help become productive members of society, she’s got to figure it out before they all disappear and the world becomes utterly normal.

Normal is so overrated. [From Goodreads]

Review:

First off, holy bleep.

Secondly: I fought like mad for an ARC of this book. Truly. Consequently, my expectations were pretty high, and it didn’t help that every review I read was mostly or totally positive. I entered contest upon contest (and you can read my entry for one of them here). In the end, I have to thank Traveling ARC Tours** for landing me the number one spot.

So, with expectations taller than me and an author I didn’t want to disappoint (because Kiersten rocks), I read the book. And I loved it. Not because the author is a wonderful person or because I wanted to please anyone, but because the book pleased me. It met and, in some cases, exceeded my towering expectations. It was everything I hoped it would be.

I’m not particularly sure why I was immediately certain that I had to have this book, but I fought for it passionately and reaped the very wonderful and pink rewards. Now, um, on to the actual review!

Evie is a very lovable main character. I was very glad that she hardly ever seemed slow to catch onto things (a fault of many characters). It was always a pleasant surprise to figure something out and then have her come to the same realization directly afterward. She’s vivacious and spunky and indubitably a strong person at heart. The relationships she’s formed with the various characters were hardy, even if stressed. I loved that, despite the often dire circumstances, her voice was always light – but not shallow. Light and sensitive and funnily thoughtful. I enjoyed reading from her point of view because I could respect and understand her motives. Her weaknesses were the weaknesses of a teenage girl, and you can’t hold those against anyone.

All of the characters in the book are well-rounded and incredibly real. Some were confusing and hard to grasp onto, but that was clearly the intention. Reth is a particularly fascinating character. He’s a faerie (and Kiersten’s brand of faerie is quite intriguing… and frightening) and shares a mysterious past with Evie. Kiersten holds out the information on said history just long enough for you to really want it, and then gives it to you. She actually does this a lot throughout the book. Anyway, Reth is a very complex person, his motives always shadowed. I could never tell if his words were deceptive or truthful. His very character added a layer of mystery to the plotline, and I was filled with an odd sense of eagerness and dread when he popped up in a scene.

Most people call Reth one of Evie’s “love interests,” but I just don’t see it. I suppose he’s an option, and I’m not saying that there is no possible way Evie could end up with him, but I simply can’t clearly imagine it happening. She doesn’t love him. I think her feelings toward him have more to do with his mystery and the sick power he has over people. It’s quite clear, though, that Evie has a totally different (and healthier) relationship with Lend. (Aren’t you loving these names?)

Lend. Wow. I liked him from the beginning, although his first impression on Evie wasn’t top-notch. He’s a simple character, but that doesn’t make him unrealistic or any less interesting than anyone else. It’s just that his draw is his humanity (irony alert), and his nearly invariable goodness. His, um, state of being is fascinating as well.

One of the things I believe Kiersten did best was the awkwardness, the freshness, the odd feelings, the teenage bits- I felt so easily the weird feelings Evie felt as she got to know Lend. Every minute of it was slightly awkward, but it was also cute. I didn’t cringe on the inside because they simply didn’t do anything really stupid, and I appreciate that. The realms of teenage emotion and “discovery” were perfectly pictured in the book, in my opinion.

The other thing that Kiersten did phenomenally well was settling you into the fantastical world of the book. I loved learning more about the paranormal creatures. She did a fantastic job of making them new again, although we’ve read and heard about all of them before. I felt like I was discovering a whole new world that somehow felt familiar. It was an incredibly enjoyable experience – and I can’t wait to plunge into that world again.

Darn it. This review is getting to be too long. I could go on and on. There’s one more thing I have to touch on, though.

The cleanliness. I have never read a young adult novel this clean, and it was more refreshing than I could even imagine. I am so pleased with this. The even greater part? It’s not disrupting. It doesn’t go against the book’s integrity. The lack of sex and language makes complete sense, and I noticed it only because I appreciated it. The story behind the “Oh bleeps” (which I love. I will probably say, “Holy bleep” a million times in the next year) is cute (and involves Evie’s mermaid friend, Lish).

So, for this and writing a book that has made me feel very happy and satisfied: Thank you, Kiersten! It was worth all the trouble!

Except now I feel like I could bag and tag a hundred vampires if only to read the next book, Supernaturally. I wonder if I could trade in my brother and call him a werewolf. Can I pay in paranormals?

*Thank you SO SO much for the ARC!

**And thank you, Traveling ARC Tours!

July 19th, 2010

Dear Evie

by Madeleine Rex

Kiersten White is giving away one more copy of Paranormalcy! As anyone close to me knows, this is one book that I’ve been fighting for. This is pretty much my last chance, so though I know there are going to be a lot of entries, I’m going to take a whack at it.

The problem? This giveaway entry calls for creativity. (I know – what was she thinking?) We had to, in some creative way, show/tell her that we’re really excited for the book. My entry isn’t something I’m particularly proud of, but it’s all I’ve got. My creative well is kind of parched at the moment. And, uh, don’t judge my writing abilities from this entry….

Anyway, here it is: My letter to Evie (the main character), in which I use paranormal creatures to prove my points and show her what a great friend I would be.

Dear Evie:

I’ve been contemplating the direction which I should take in order to convince you that I, truly, am the most worthy person of receiving a Paranormalcy ARC. The Universe seems to be conniving against me and our inevitable future friendship (I didn’t need a crystal ball to foresee it; my bedroom walls are pink). My spirit has been low, but that could be due to the Dementors.

As I thought over how to approach you, my main priority was to give you something to relate to. My solution? Bullet points. And those paranormal pests you’re always busy containing. I’m less familiar with them than you, due to my boring, average life. I feel the absence of these paranormal creatures painfully every day. I’m asking for your sympathy. Next time you take down a vampire with a net and your taser, keep in mind that those fangs are really pink sprinkles on your life cupcake.

It’s time they lent me a hand/claw.

  • Werewolves. They’re hot and not sticky. Two very, very good things. I have faith that Paranormalcy will have these admirable qualities as well. (And don’t worry if the book is sticky. If Kiersten’s kids spill maple syrup over the title page, I’m cool with that.)
  • Faeries. Though pretty and delicate, they’ve got bite. I’m expecting the same from the book, and I could use some Paranormalcy venom in my system. I’m having withdrawals.
  • Angels. You are one.
  • Genies have the ability to make wishes come true. And even if I met one and had a single wish, I’d ask for an ARC before my brain had time to speak to my mouth and tell me to request endless wishes. Our future friendship is just that important to me.
  • Gnomes. Need I say more? Should I be attacked by them in my back yard, I would still give them my foot to satisfy them before surrendering the book.
  • Mermaids. You know how much you love Lish? Now we can be a group of three! Except I can’t stay in the water that long because my skin will prune and I’m a really terrible swimmer.
  • Banshees. If you have nightmares about these ghosts who have had too many facelifts, call me. I’ll hum The Sixth Sense theme until you fall asleep.
  • Lastly, the abhorred TMNT. Word to the wise: Don’t get under their shells. They have anger management issues out the wazoo. However, if you do lose your temper and make a comment about them not belonging anywhere in the Animal, Human, or Paranormal Kingdoms (that ticks them off like shell), and end up chained to a pipe in the sewers, I will scour the city to save you and have my uncle Splinter keep them solely on lettuce for a few weeks.

As you can see, I am quite worthy and in desperate need of Paranormalcy. Also, if you could find a lime green taser next time you go to the The Wraith’s Department Store, I’d be thrilled. Sequins appreciated.

-Madeleine Rex

And there you go! I know it’s not the best, but it’s my last shot! If you’d like to enter the giveaway, look here. If you want to learn more about the book, look here. If you want to hear Kiersten read an excerpt, look here. If you want to read Kiersten’s absolutely fabulous blog, look here.

P.S. I am aware that TMNT aren’t paranormal creatures. I just couldn’t resist.