Monday, December 19, 2011

Review: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

What a refreshing look at the world of paranormals! This story is so unique I didn’t want to put it down. I actually considered trying to read it while I was driving to work (bad idea. Do not try this at home!) Kiersten White creates characters like none other; from her mermaid best friend whom she only hears through a robotic translator to Raquel, her mother-like boss who speaks best through sighs. She did an excellent job capturing the sass and curiosity of love-struck teenager, Evie. This book was a great mix of flirtation and fear.

What I liked best was her fresh take on classic monsters such as vampires, werewolves, and faeries. Evie’s unique gift to see through their “glamour’s” was an impressive one. It was so wonderful to read a story in which the deceptive beauty of such monsters is really just a disguise of their sometimes-disgusting nature underneath. Although, even Evie learns that each paranormal has a character beside their blood-sucking, moon-howling, acts-of-trickery traits (except for possibly hags).

The main characters in this novel were so simply lovable. Evie, with her wild fashion and obsession with boys and lockers, was so much fun. She seemed like a perfectly normal teenager despite the fact she could see paranormal’s true faces.  Besides, her best friend was a mermaid. How cool is that? And Lend. Ohmygoodness LEND! I don’t blame Evie for falling in love with him; I know I certainly did. Lend changed my perspective on the whole world of paranormals. He may have been able to change his appearance, but that didn’t stop him from being, well, perfectly normal (and SO charming). These are two characters that will win your heart for sure.

One thing I had to get used to was the abrupt sentence style. After reading European classics and Norse mythology for the past year or so, I was not used to the short simplistic sentences or the cutting dialogue. It made the story a fast read, action-packed, and might I add… Fantastic!

One thing I did not like was the dialogue used by some of the characters. It seems like everyone in this book was some high-school character, not just Evie and Lend. This was a huge distraction for me. If vampires are hundreds of years old, why are they talking like sophomores in high school? It just didn’t sit right with me. I think the choice of dialogue for most of the paranormals inhibited a deeper understanding of their true nature. I think Reth and the other faeries short, cryptic dialogue was fitting. However, creatures such as mermaids, werewolves, and vampires lacked heritage, age, and even their “scare-factor.”

The ending of the novel also failed to leave me absolutely wowed.  Evie, although she had a new understanding of her gifts, never seemed to reach an epiphany point. She was just the same Evie as before with some slight changes, but even these changes remain cryptic and uncertain. The end doesn’t really leave the reader understanding any more than the beginning. It does however offer itself very nicely for the sequel, which I hope to read soon because I just didn’t feel satisfied with this ending. The story was compelling enough to leave me wanting more.

I give this book 4 foxes. It took a fresh angle on the world of paranormals and had a compelling, action-filled plot. However, the dialogue of certain characters was a bit distracting and the end did not complete any actions (but the sequel looks promising!)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

What's so great about Roald Dahl? I'll tell you....

Truth. His witting humor isn’t without its cutting edges. I adore his ability to allow terrifying reality to blend with his absurdity.  I find nothing more entertaining than the ingenuity of Dahl’s stories, but the best part is the sharp reality his characters face. When I first read “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” I admit I was a bit horrified that Mr. Fox’s tail was literally shot off… and that was just the beginning.  I flipped back to the cover, read the dust jacket, and flipped through the cute illustrations. Still, I wasn’t prepared for the awful cruelty of the farmers and of the thieving foxes.  At the end of the story, I wasn’t sure what to be shocked by, the fact that three grown men just destroyed the animals homes, Mr. Fox who stole for a living, or the fact that the whole thing was downright, out-of-this-world HILARIOUS.

Again, in the story “George’s Marvelous Medicine,” George’s attempt to poison his grandmother turns into a hilarious pursuit of fame, but he does eventually (though indirectly) rid of his grandmother permanently. I took guilty pleasure in his clever riddance of the most annoying person in his life, if only things could always be so simple.

The contrast of Dahl’s sometimes-absurd stories to the secret desires (how did he know?) I’ve always shared is genius. He dared reveal those desires and exposed them in his ridiculous yet compelling characters and plot. Dahl’s stories are always unexpected and completely satisfying.  Dahl has a knack for complicating happy endings, and allowing disaster to leave his characters (and his readers) hanging by a single thread. He knows just when to end something so it’s still funny, but never too scary. Genius.

And honestly, where does he come up with these things?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

New in town

Hey bloggers!

Today is my first day in blog central. I can't wait to get started blogging, but in the meantime, be nice to me and help me out.
Also, check back soon as I will be building my blog shortly.

Write on!


Blog Template by In Between Design Studio