I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Clarity by Kim Harrington
Series: Clarity #1
Published by Scholastic Inc. on 2011
Genres: Dating & Sex, Mysteries & Detective Stories, Paranormal, Social Issues, Young Adult
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When you can see things others can't, where do you look for the truth?
This paranormal murder mystery will have teens reading on the edge of their seats.
Clarity "Clare" Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch a certain object, and the visions come to her. It's a gift.
And a curse.
When a teenage girl is found murdered, Clare's ex-boyfriend wants her to help solve the case--but Clare is still furious at the cheating jerk. Then Clare's brother--who has supernatural gifts of his own--becomes the prime suspect, and Clare can no longer look away. Teaming up with Gabriel, the smoldering son of the new detective, Clare must venture into the depths of fear, revenge, and lust in order to track the killer. But will her sight fail her just when she needs it most?
Psychics of a non-Miss Cleo variety are actually kind of cool. Clarity by Kim Harrington provides an interesting spin on the paranormal genre. Instead of focusing on creature-based supernaturals like vampires or werewolves, Clarity is centered around a family with sixth sense abilities. Clarity ‘Clare’ Fern is able to see the past just by touching an object. When a murder happens in Clare’s Cape Cod tourist town, it is up to her and the new town detective’s son to solve the murder.
So, I don’t really watch Medium or The Ghost Whisperer, but I imagine that Clarity is much like an episode of one of those shows. Like, Clare’s ability is cool, but it isn’t the main plot point in the book. The main plot point is the murder. Let me just say, I am always down for a good murder mystery, especially when the supernatural is involved. I think it also helps that I am slightly obtuse as I wasn’t able to solve the murder until it was spelled out for me.
Really though, there couldn’t be a more perfect lead for Clarity than Clare. She’s self-deprecating, has zero female friends, isn’t afraid of adventure, and is intelligent. I love those characteristics. For me to enjoy a book, I feel like I have to mesh well with the characters. If I can’t stand the characters, and the book isn’t written well, then my enjoyment of the book is significantly lowered. Clare has some tough decisions to make in the book, and you know, occasionally she makes the wrong choice. I like that. I don’t care much for perfect-o characters. I like it when people are portrayed as people, flaws and all even if they can do cool things like see the past through an object.
Plus, Clare actually has a family. AND they play a big role. Her mom is single, yes, but she runs the family business, where people come in for psychic readings. Not of the future, because no one can tell the future, but of readings in which Clare, her mother, and her brother Perry use their abilities. Perry can talk to ghosts. And her mother can read minds. Very very cool stuff.ALSO you know what else I quite like, SIBLINGS. I love it when a book shows sibling dynamics, the whole want to punch your sibling in the face but at the same time, you’d throw down anyone who threatened to hurt your sibling. I love that, and I love seeing that, although Perry and Clare aren’t all that antagonistic towards each other.
The one thing I didn’t love though, was the love triangle between Clare, new boy Gabriel and ex-boyfriend Justin. I thought it felt a bit forced. I mean, Gabriel as a love interest is all right, but I didn’t really get a strong feel for him. All I can say is that he is ‘hot’ in that tough way 14 year olds seem to sigh over, doesn’t like psychics, and is from the city. Boring. However, I think there is a more interesting dynamic between Clare and her ex-boyfriend. He’s a nice guy who makes a big mistake, and well, the two are trying to be friends/navigate around the mistake. Now, that is interesting to me, and feels a bit more real than this whole new guy in town schtick.
Don’t get me twisted though, I genuinely enjoyed Clarity. After all, I basically inhaled it. I think the plot and the characterizations far outweigh the love triangle. Clarity is a debut to look forward to, especially if you enjoy contemporary with a small paranormal twist.