Paranormalcy by Kiersten White (NY: HarperTeen, 2010).
Like many sixteen-year-old girls, Evie likes the color pink, shopping for clothes, and teen television drama. But unlike most teenagers, Evie has to spend a lot of her time capturing paranormal creatures for the International Paranormal Containment Agency (IPCA) because she has the unique ability to see beneath the glamours paranormals use to deceive humans. She's lived at the agency's headquarters since she was found abandoned on the streets at age 4, and she's fashioned a sort of home for herself with a best friend (who happens to be a mermaid) and a mother-like figure (the head of the agency, Raquel), plus assorted paranormal creatures.
Upon returning from a routine bag-and-tag, Evie goes to debrief with Raquel, the head of the agency, but immediately notices that she's not talking to Raquel but some guy glittering beneath the surface. She tases the guy and he gets carted off to a containment cell, but she's become interested in him. What is he, for instance? How does he take on other people's appearances? Why was he spying on the agency? Evie's questions, and Raquel's reluctance to tell Evie anything, lead her to spending time with the guy, Lend, and she soon finds herself liking him and wanting to help him escape.
Simultaneously, a spate of paranormal killings erupts, and no one knows who or what is killing the paranormals. Evie has been having nightmares, and not just about her old boyfriend, a beautiful faerie named Reth, though he seems to be involved in the mystery somehow, too. Can her murky past and the current situation have some connection?
Paranormalcy is an exciting read with lots of action and a spirited heroine who deftly balances her normal and paranormal sides. Parts of the plot are somewhat convoluted, but overall the novel reads well enough that I will look for the next installment, Supernaturally (due out in July). Recommended for teens, age 13 & up. Some sexual situations, but nothing graphic.
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