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Review: Supernaturally

Supernaturally by Kiersten White is the second book in the Paranormalcy series. It will be released in the U.S. on July 26, 2011 in hardcover and eBook formats.

It is currently available to pre-order online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in both formats.

Published by HarperTeen, the print edition is 352 pages.

Goodreads description:

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.

***

Evie thought she’d be happy to be done with IPCA once and for all. But with Lend away at Georgetown and high school not nearly as exciting as it seemed it would be from countless hours of watching Easton Heights, Evie was bored. Where were all the parties? Where was all the drama?

Going to school and work all week, and seeing Lend on the weekends, was not exactly the life she thought she’d be living away from the Center. All she wanted was to be normal, but now that she was, she missed being special.

So when Raquel comes to her, asking for her help on a case by case basis, she is thrilled to be needed and more than ready for a little excitement. Even if David and Lend won’t be…so, she just won’t tell them.

But when things start to go wrong, and the simple missions she’s sent on put her in danger, she begins to wonder how long she’ll be able to keep her secrets and whether there is more to these assignments than she realized.

Evie was used to getting in over her head, but with all the lies she’s been telling, the secrets she’s been keeping and the strange feelings she’s been having since her latest encounters with the paranormals, she’s just not sure how long she can keep it up.

The last thing she wants to do is lose Lend. But if she can’t stay out of trouble, which seems to be nearly impossible with Jack, IPCA’s newest transportation solution for the faerie paths, involved, everything is going to fall apart. And risking her relationship with Lend will only be the first in a long list of poor decisions she’s made.

Maybe being normal wasn’t so bad after all.

***

Supernaturally is the fun, exciting and incredibly humorous sequel to Paranormalcy. It continues Evie’s story six months after the events in the first book, which left IPCA in total disarray and Evie hiding out in the normal world, trying to recover from everything that had happened.

When day-to-day life isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, Evie decides that it couldn’t hurt to help out IPCA on a few jobs. With Lend at school and her new roommate Arianna always moping around, Evie was bored.

She needed a distraction from the emptiness she was feeling inside, the knowledge that her time was limited and the very real possibility that she and Lend wouldn’t be together forever.

Besides, they needed her. Her very specific talent would be a huge help and she couldn’t imagine what harm there would be in taking on a simple assignment or two. And with all the new paranormals showing up and the elementals disappearing, something had to be going on. Maybe IPCA could to help her solve the mystery.

Kiersten White once again brings her unique brand of humor to the genre. Her view of paranormals is unlike any other. She strips away all their glamours and shows them as the rather unappealing monsters they truly are, but does so in a way that is outrageously funny, if slightly grotesque.

The returning characters in Supernaturally are just as captivating as they were in the first book, with a new prominent character added to the mix. Jack, a mortal who was raised in the faerie realms and who could navigate the faerie paths, was an utterly charismatic ball of nervous energy.

In this installment, readers will learn more about Evie – who and what she really is, and just what lengths she’ll go in order to keep Lend in her life.

Many questions will be answered, but even more will be raised for the final book in the series, such as whether or not Evie and Lend have a future or whether Evie can fight against the dark aspects of her nature.

Supernaturally is a must read for fans of the series, for readers who enjoy a light and fun paranormal story with a bit of a mystery to solve, and for those who just want a quick, engaging and laugh out loud read.

Reviewer gives this book [rating=4]

On a personal note:

I wanted to fall in love with this book even more than I did with Paranormalcy and there were parts to it that I did fall head-over-heels in love with (Reth, Evie’s past, even Jack) and others that I didn’t quite as much (poor Evie, Lend).

The humor, sarcasm and extremely creative descriptions and unique characters were all there in spades. But I missed the Evie I got to know and love in the first book. She definitely lacked the vibrancy she had.

Everything that happened to her in Paranormalcy and her need to fit into the normal world took away the spark and energy that made her such an amazing character. She did get much of that back as the story progressed, which made me super happy, but for a huge chunk of the story I just missed the old Evie.

She was still so sarcastic and funny, but she almost never had Tasey, she didn’t have those rocking outfits, and she just didn’t have that same fun, kick-a** spirit. She was so afraid of everything. Trying to be normal and trying to recover from what had happened took away the best parts of her.

She was way too dependent on Lend for her happiness and love, so much so that she became really dishonest and secretive. And making it her main goal to follow him to Georgetown made her seem weak. I just wanted to shake her and bring back that fighting spirit she had.

I also missed some of the secondary characters. Even Lend disappeared in this book. He wasn’t around nearly enough and was quick to abandon Evie. And even though he was jealous of Jack, he did nothing to fight for her. And she totally deserved to be fought for. And what’s up with that dryad lab assistant? Hmm… I hope that doesn’t become an issue in the next book.

The pace started off a little slowly, but it picked up and was an easy one sit read. As much as Evie frustrated me, I was glued to this book from beginning to end.

There are plenty of highlights in Supernaturally, starting off with a new character named Jack. Talk about energetic. He had all the quirkiness and liveliness that Evie was missing. He was charming and annoying and utterly adorable. And I totally didn’t trust him. Neither did Lend. I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with him, actually.

And then there was Reth. Ah, Reth. I think Evie’s judgment of him is a little unfair. Reth was a super bright spot, but he’s always been. Of course I would have loved to see more of him. As “evil faerie” as he is supposed to be, he couldn’t have been more perfect in this book.

I was so excited that we got to find out more about Evie’s past, too. Many of those questions are finally answered about who and what she is.

Aside from the unicorn scene – and I won’t spill any details because you have got to read that one for yourself, preferably not while drinking anything, trust me – the long lead up to the ending and the ending were my favorite parts.

The ending was actually kind of awesome. My heart broke a little for Evie, but I was left smiling when I turned the last page. The build-up was exciting, and there are still some major questions that remain unanswered, but Evie really came to life at the end. Which makes me thrilled and super anxious to read the final book in the series. (I had no idea this was only going to be a trilogy until after I read this book, which definitely makes me sad.)

Oh, and I am dying to find out the answers to some suspicious and secretive behavior that was building throughout the story, right from the very beginning. I had hoped it would be resolved by the story’s end, but the torture will continue into the last book in the series. I have no idea what it might be or what the author has planned, so it remains a huge mystery and I can’t wait to find out what it all means.

The other big mystery in the story I figured out pretty quickly even though it took the characters awhile. And I’m not sure why they didn’t suspect anything as there were quite a few hints that should have been fairly obvious to certain characters. Only Evie gets a pass on that one.

So, while I didn’t love this quite as much as I loved Paranormalcy, it was pretty close. I still absolutely love the world, Evie, Reth, and the author’s take on paranormals. She had the best, most creative and hilarious view of a unicorn I have ever read. And her description of vampires is hysterical – kind of gross, but totally hysterical. I really would not want to be Evie.

Supernaturally is definitely worth a read and I can’t wait to see how this series ends.

***

To read an excerpt, courtesy of the publisher, HarperTeen, CLICK HERE.

This review is based on an ARC I received through a trade.

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