Thursday, June 7, 2012

REVIEW: Supernaturally

White, K.  (2011).  Supernaturally.  New York:  HarperTeen.

336 pages.

Appetizer:  Set six months after Paranormalcy, Evie has been living a normal life for awhile now.  Her boyfriend, Lend (half-human, half-water elemental) is off at college and they only get to see each other on the weekends.  And poor Evie still has to go through high school and the indignity known as gym class.  Normalcy was nothing like her favorite TV show, Easton Heights, had prepared her for.

But, with the return of her former boss/mother figure/warden, Raquel, to her life, Evie learns that she can return to the International Paranormal Containment Agency (IPCA) on her own terms, an idea that horrifies Lend.

Filled with manipulations, searches for the past, murder attempts, an application to college, and many other unexpected complications, Evie struggles to balance friendships, loyalties and her own newfound power to drain souls.

As with it's predecessor Paranormalcy, Supernaturally is chock-full of humor and action that reminded me of a slightly lighter version of Buffy The Vampire Slayer.  (It's dealing with similar tensions:  good vs. evil--the complex reality that most people and creatures are a mix of both, a strong female character who's in love with an immortal but also tasked with helping to save the world, supernatural creatures, etc.)

I enjoyed Supernaturally, but the more I read, the more I felt like I wanted it to have a clearer central mystery or problem.  Having typed that though, since Evie is struggling with normalcy, it makes sense that the novel explores conflict in a realistic and normal (or as normal as you can get with a fantasy) manner.

Then I got to the last forty pages...I wasn't crazy about those pages.  As always, I won't spoil the end for you.  So, please allow me to talk about the ending in very vague ways.

*Vague Spoilers for the Ending*

Let me list my issues:

--Evie is injured and she seems to be seriously suffering, but instead of seeking medical attention, the pain suddenly is no longer a problem and she extensively listens to a crazy character plotting craziness.
--Evie has a number of impressive realizations that seemed to come way too quickly.
--The final chapter felt both forced and rushed.

All of this left me feeling so-so about the book.

*End Vague Spoilers*

The final novel in this series, Endlessly, will be out next month.

So much pretty purple.

Dinner Conversation:

"Oh, bleep.  I was going to die.
I was going to die a horrible, gruesome, painful death.
My hand twitched at my side, reaching for the pink Taser I knew wasn't there.  Why had I ever wanted this?  What was I thinking?  Working at the International Paranormal Containment Agency might have been close to indentured servitude, and sure, I had some nasty run-ins with vampires and hags and creeptastic faeries, but that was nothing compared to the danger I faced now.
Girls' gym." (p.1)

"This wasn't how high school was supposed to be.
Don't get me wrong, I'm super grateful to be here.  I always wanted to be normal, go to a normal school, do normal things.  But it's all so, so...
Since school started a month ago, there hasn't been a single catfight.  No wild parties where the cops got called, either.  And as far as masquerade balls and moonlit rendezvous and passionate kisses in the hallways, well, all I can say is Easton Heights, my former favorite TV show, has taken a serious hit in my estimation.
I still think lockers are awesome, though." (pp. 3-4)

"'Raquel.' David's voice was low and annoyed.  "Evie is not going to get sucked back into IPCA.  What was the point of telling them she was dead if you come here six months later and bring her back in?"
"I told you, the situation is different now."
I held up my hand again, tired of them talking around me.  "I can take this one, thanks.  I miss you, sure, but I don't want to come back to IPCA.  You sterilize werewolves!"  That was one of the many crimes I had discovered the International Paranormal Containment Agency committed in the name of keeping the world a safer place." (p. 17)

"I knew I should listen to Lend, stay away from IPCA, be grateful for my normal, boring life.  I should live for the weekends, when I got to see him, and ignore the nagging pain always pulling at the back of my mind that it didn't matter how much time I spent with him, how much I loved him, he could never really be mine because I was temporary and he was forever.
I was fine.  This was enough.  Besides, Lend didn't want me to help IPCA.
But Lend wasn't here, was he?" (p. 39)

Tasty Rating:  !!!

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