Review: Clarity by Kim Harrington

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.

Review: Clarity by Kim HarringtonClarity by Kim Harrington
Series: Clarity #1
Published by Scholastic Inc. on 2011
Genres: Dating & Sex, Mysteries & Detective Stories, Paranormal, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 246
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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three-stars

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.

Other Reviews:

Ticket To Anywhere

Bookshelves of Doom

three-stars
About April (Books&Wine)

April is 28 years old and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. In her free time she can be found reading, working out, or eating junk food. She often wears her sunglasses at night.

Comments

  1. Great review!

    I really liked this book because Clare’s mom was involved. Parents are so rare in YA books its refreshing to see them…and know that they’ll ground the MC in a heartbeat if they think they stepped out of line.

    I’m also pretty good at figuring out mysteries and Kim tossed enough curveballs into the mix that she even fooled me. I love that! Can’t wait until Book 2.
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  2. I’m not big on love triangles, in general, but I do love the role of the family that you described! This one is one of those books that I’m just desperate to read! Fabulous review, girl 🙂

  3. Ooh this actually sounds like something I’d like! I wasn’t sure from other reviews or from the description but I genuinely think I might dig this one!

    I’m definitely wanting to see more involved families in YA..I feel like it’s so hard for me to imagine SOO much freedom that I see in much of YA…maybe because my mom was uber strict? lol
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  4. Jami (YA Addict) says:

    Ah, I just finished writing my review of this one! I agree, I loved Clare. It was great to see a protag without a best friend or any girlfriends (not all girls have them!). Also, yay for family involvement! 🙂
    Jami (YA Addict) recently posted..Because I Cant Get it Out of My HeadMy Profile

  5. I’ve heard a lot of great things about this one, it’s at the top of my to-read list (once I get through all my review books, that is)! I’m glad you really enjoyed it, even if the love triangle felt a bit forced. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
    Natalie recently posted..Have Your Say- Breakin Up is Hard to DoMy Profile

  6. This sounds kinda cool. Love the idea that she has 0 female friends. Glad to know the love triangle doesn’t detract too much from the story.

  7. Gonna try to get to this one soon. Esp. since it has the April seal of approval.
    Pam recently posted..What is Harry Potter inspired fictionMy Profile

  8. yay, I have a copy of this so I’m glad to know I’ll enjoy it when I get around to reading it!

    except for the love triangle bit. someone needs to universally kibosh them already.
    Allison recently posted..Review- Desires of the Dead by Kimberly DertingMy Profile

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