Friday, July 8, 2011

Book Review: Supernaturally by Kiersten White

SUMMARY: 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.


The Short Version:
Feisty and funny, Supernaturally has the same humor and spunk as Paranormalcy but adds a whole new level to everything in a fantastic way. Pulling in different creatures, some new and memorable characters, and propelled by an incredibly unpredictable plot, Supernaturally takes the series to a new level while still maintaining things set forth in the first book. This one hits on some deep emotions and rough situations, but handles it with humor and realism, and allows for some great character strides.

The Extended Version:
Evie is just as sprightly and spunky as in the first book, and is quick on the uptake with her retorts and humor. She continues to have a notable inner strength, and the book opens with her in a mostly okay place after Paranormalcy’s events. Though her decisions in this book aren’t always the best, she faces the consequences and does a remarkable job of trying to consider the various sides. Her character develops on some fantastic ways as the book progresses, leaving her a different place than she started, and with a very understandable path for it. She is the kind of character that can take several steps forward for everyone one she’s knocked back, often without realizing it which adds a very genuine element. Her view on things change dramatically throughout the book, experiencing a wide range of emotions and responses from anger to understanding, confusion to determination, with a very clear final outcome for each.

Her relationship with Lend plays a strong role throughout and holds a constant presence in the book, but it’s a quiet and subtle one that doesn’t steal the focus or factor unrealistically into things. Though they certainly do face some struggles with this one, they have a strong foundation and intense reaction to each other that they both rely. The full nature of a young love is captured beautifully, from a kiss that still sends a thrill through someone to the way a simple touch can make everything better. The romance, however, certainly isn’t to fill in the gaps or fluff things up, but has an easy flow in the midst of everything else, nor does it come across as stereotypical simply because it’s teenagers. Lend has a prominent role in this book, as is expected, but the focus remains on Evie and never once does Lend seem to be on the pages just to be there because he’s her boyfriend.

One of the most notable things about this book is what a fantastic blend of light and dark it is. The funny and the emotional tie together with perfectly timed lines to crack the tension at all the right moments while still fully getting across the intensity of a situation. Evie’s voice continues to jump off the page, completely distinct and unlike any other, from the first page and never relents. Though the supernatural world has a very constant presence, the reader still sees Evie struggle through school in this installment, and White finds plenty of things to forge a strong and relatable connection between Evie and the reader. Some very realistic ties can be made to everyday life, and Evie’s reaction remain completely believable, rather than seeming like an overreaction for the sake of drama. From feelings of inadequacy to devastation over certain events, the responses are gutting and real in a beautifully done way.

The events of this book are almost completely unpredictable, throwing plenty of unexpected hooks at the reader from the start. Whether it’s a new character or another piece of the overall plot puzzle, White continually has something new to sideswipe her readers with that is completely smooth to read. This one has its own overall plot and purpose that maintains a very steady pace, while still bringing in things from the first book and setting the stage for the third. The events directly related to this book, however, are pretty much all tied up, leaving the reader in a good place. So many things play a big role later, and there are some big events in this one that are gutting and potent in devastation and consideration.

As with Paranormalcy, this one is clean both in content and language, but it’s completely appreciated and fun. This isn’t one that seems like it’s clean only to prove a point, but because it’s simply the world and the characters. I cannot imagine any of these characters being any way other than how they are, and White navigates this perfectly.

White’s writing continues to be fun and filled with humor that is natural and hilarious. Her word economy is fantastic, with a striking ability to say so much in just a few words. Whether its intense emotion or vivid description, a powerful punch comes with even a simple sentence. The descriptions are new and imaginative rather than trite or cliché, playing on all the senses, without being out there in nature or hard to really picture or relate to.

This is not a book that is simply “as good as” the first, and is certainly not a letdown. Rather, it explores new areas, tests the characters in new ways, and never once does it slack simply because it’s the middle book in a trilogy. White has very clearly put just as much thought, effort, and heart into this book and rolls off the pages in the same fantastic and brilliant way.

Source: ARC received from author 
Reading level: Young Adult 
Hardcover: 352 pages 
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: July 26, 2011


  1. Loved this review! I can't wait to read it!

  2. Sounds promising. :) Great review!

  3. woot, 5 stars!!! I am so exited for this one, gotta love Evie :D

  4. Completly agree! This one was bleepin awesome! I didn't think White could top Paranormalcy but she did ^-^

  5. Oh, I'm very excited about this one -- loved Evie and her crazy self. Thanks for the review!
    Happy reading,
    Mary @ Book Swarm

  6. I've been seeing mixed reviews on this book--some like the depth of character exploration in Supernaturally, and some have said Evie seems like a completely different person in this one. But you make it sound fun, so I might still check it out. Thanks for the review!