Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Review - ParaNorman - Elizabeth Cody Kimmel

ParaNorman: A NovelTitle: ParaNorman
Author: Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
Genre: Middle Grade, Comedy, Horror
Publication: January 1st 2012, Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 256 pages, paperback
Source: Thanks to Pan Macmillan for sending me this book to review :)
In a quaint New England town with a history of witches and pilgrims, misunderstood eleven-year-old Norman Babcock can see and talk to ghosts. No one believes him, of course-everyone just thinks he's weird (including his parents). But when a folktale of a witch who cursed her accusers turns out to be true, it's up to Norman to save the town from pilgrim zombies! In addition to the zombies, he'll have to take on a very angry witch, an annoying sidekick, his boy-crazy teenage sister, and dozens of moronic grown-ups who get in his way. This young ghoul whisperer finds his paranormal talents pushed to their otherworldly limits in this hilarious and spooky adventure!
Featuring gorgeous black-and-white interior illustrations and a story beyond what you'll see in the film, this novel is sure to delight!
When I received ParaNorman I was extremely excited. I'd seen posters up, advertising the new animated movie about a boy who could talk to ghosts, and who had to save the little witchy town he lived in from a zombie invasion. As I didn't go see the movie, I thought I would read the book, and I'm so glad I did! ParaNorman was a fun-filled, middle-grade adventure about a misfit boy that proves his worthiness to the town and how different can be used to a greater extent.

As I haven't seen the movie of ParaNorman yet, I can't say how well and how accurately the novelization was written, but, I am, however, not looking at the accuracy of the movie to book but I'm looking at how the book was written, and I found it to be written quite well.

ParaNorman is supposed to be a fun, adventurous, slightly scary middle-grade novel, therefore I wasn't expecting a descriptive piece of work. However, (as I have read Kimmel's, Lily B series) there were a few descriptive sentences placed  throughout the book. The writing was fairly good, but ParaNorman wasn't supposed to be a book known for the amount of description it has, it was supposed to be known for its zombie, witch slaying scenes, which is what it'll be known for. Kimmel blended the most accurate amount of description and enough action to create a perfect middle-grade novel.

I admired Norman. He was the town misfit, the boy you were warned to stay away from. He had this gift, but when he used it, it drove people away, alienating him in the process. I loved watching him be naturally who he is, changing the town's warped, angry opinion of him, into an accepting, admirable viewing of him. I enjoyed reading about Norman as he gathered the ingredients he needed to save Blithe Hollow from a zombie attack, and I was delighted with the after effect of him saving the town. People could finally accept him for who he is, and realise that Norman is a hero that just saved their needy butts. Norman was a strong character that didn't need people to tell him how great he was and he didn't need people to accept him, he just was him. Self-acceptance is a lesson we can all learn.

The minor characters were each their own type of person, but I do wish their characteristics were more developed, however, I could easily distinguish one character from another. There was Neil, the other loner who was continuously picked on by Alvin, the school bully, that, surprisingly, has a softer side. Neil and Norman eventually became friends, the former boy stayed by Norman's side and was always ready to help, even when Norman pushed him away insisting he didn't need it.

Courtney, Norman's elder sister was...a stereotypical American teenage "popular" girl. She was constantly droning on about her appearance, her clothes, make-up, her freaky little brother, hot guys and (which drove me nuts) her continuous use of the work "like", it gets like, soooo annoying ◂--- That is how she spoke, using "like" and "sooo" and it got quite tiresome. But the author did a good job of portraying a self-centred, vain teenager. I also hated the way she treated Norman, and when she was finally nice to him towards the end, I was so relived, as Norman didn't deserve to be treated like that.

ParaNorman was a great, fun-filled middle-grade novel. I will definitely get the DVD when it comes available, as I can't wait to see the characters I read about in the book, brought to life. With kick-butt, zombie fighting scenes, a brave young boy and life lessons including self-acceptance, courage and using good to fight evil, ParaNorman will have to filled with delight, except when the zombies come, they might just put you a bit on edge. I think it was good for a novelization, however, I would have liked to see a bit more description and character development, overall it was a fun, quick, middle-grade novel.

I give it: 3 CUPCAKES!


  1. Brilliant review! I haven't heard of this before, the movie or the book! :o I love the sound of it though, the whole concept sounds so much fun. I'm glad you enjoyed it despite the minor flaws. Thanks for sharing, Kyra! :D xxx

  2. Great review! **Sorry I haven't been commenting lately, my blog roll wasn't updating your blog when you posted... I'm having so many technical difficulties with my blog it's driving me nuts! -.-**

    Anyway. I'm glad you enjoyed this book - the movie looked really cute as well! It's got a really interesting and intriguing premise so I'm really curious as to whether or not I'd like it... If I see it in my library I'll most likely pick it up for a wee sneak peek!

    ... HAPPY NEW YEAR too! :D

    Ooooh, I'm loving the new layout! xD xx

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