Friday, 22 July 2011

Book Review: Clarity by Kim Harrington.


Product details:
Publisher: Scholastic Point
Release date: March 1st 2011
Hardcover, 242 pages
Rating: 4½ out of 5
Ages: 14+

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?


Exciting, fast-paced and thrilling, Kim Harrington’s Clarity is a paranormal murder mystery that will keep readers guessing right to the end. A stunning debut, this book is a breath of fresh air in a Young Adult market dominated by supernatural beings. Here, there’s not a vampire or werewolf in sight. Instead we are welcomed into the psychic world of the Fern family, and treated to a murder mystery with a dash of supernatural, a dash of romance, and some great plot twists to boot!

Clarity ‘Clare’ Fern is the feisty protagonist of this piece. No ordinary teenage girl, Clare’s summers consist of providing psychic readings for the tourists that flock to her hometown of Eastport, along with her medium brother and telepath mother. Being a psychic sounds pretty cool, but for Clare it has proven to be both a blessing and a curse. She’s labeled a ‘freak’ at school, and has discovered some dark secrets she’d rather not have known. However, when a teenage girl is murdered, and her brother Perry emerges as the prime suspect in the case, Clare is glad that she can use her gift to help track down the killer. Because there’s no way her brother could be a murderer, right? So begins this exciting page turner as we try to figure out the murder mystery along with Clare.

I loved this book in every way. Harrington’s writing style, engaging and effortless, is a joy to read. Summer settings in beach towns always add an extra special element to books for me. Add a sprinkling of paranormal activity, a compelling murder mystery and a complicated love life, and I’m totally sold! The characterization here is also wonderfully done. To truly fall in love with a story, I need to connect with the characters, and this happened here on a number of levels. First off, Clare is a wonderful protagonist. Some might say she is possibly her own worst enemy at times, but she’s also fierce and feisty, outspoken, sassy and brave, and so easy to relate to. I warmed to her immediately. I also loved the inclusion of family life in this book. Clare’s family is unconventional, yes, but they family are always there for each other and are as close as can be. That there is a parental figure in this book is a welcome inclusion, although Starla often struck me as a fragile character that had to be protected by her children. I have an inkling however that this might stem from a troubled past with Clare’s mysteriously absent father, a character who doesn’t appear in this book, but one by whom I’m so very intrigued!

Oh, and the boys! Clare has a complicated love life, with hot new guy Gabriel and ex-boyfriend Justin both vying for her affections. I have to say that I didn’t totally fall for either guy, so I have no clear winner here, although at times I found myself rooting for Justin, who seems very genuine in his affections for Clare, although he’s definitely not without his faults. And Gabriel well, he is a total hottie, but he displays certain behaviour that leaves a lot to be desired no matter how good-looking he might be! What I loved most about Clare and her complicated love life was the realistic portrayal of the characters. They display entirely normal teenage behaviour throughout the story. They mess up. They treat each other badly. There may be insta-attraction, but there is no insta-love. Soulmates are never mentioned. How refreshing!

As you might have guessed, I loved Clarity.  I was kept guessing throughout, and at no point did I guess the outcome of the murder mystery. I was also thankful that the book didn’t end on a cliffhanger, but instead, while the main storyline reaches its conclusion, we are given hints of something dark in Clare’s future, and also more clues on this mysterious father of hers. With this in mind, I am totally counting down the days to the release of Perception, the next book in the series. I can’t wait for more!

18 comments :

  1. I really enjoyed reading your review and picking up on your excitement. It's very obvious how much you loved Clarity. I have it on my shelf to read too and I love the cover. It's so pretty. I think I'm going to be happy that there was no insta-love :-)

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  2. I have yet to read this book, but I love the sound of it! Nice review!

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  3. I have been dying to read this book and your review has convinced me to buy it with my book store gift card. I could always use a new paranormal, but when you said it has a summer setting/beach town, I was sold! Great review, Leanna! I'm glad you enjoyed this one.

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  4. I am with you on this loved it and cannot wait to read Preception out in March. I really want more of Clare and the Cape. terrific review!

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  5. YAY LEANNA!!!! So glad you loved this one too, I thought it was fabulous. I agree completely on Clare, I adored her and I love how she handled the two boys, I thought she approached them with maturity and it was realistic. Can't wait for book 2!

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  6. I've really wanted to read this one for a while now.

    Fab review as always! :D

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  7. I really want to read this! I love the premise and I've heard lots of great things. Glad you enjoyed, Leanna, thanks for the review! :)

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  8. Fantastic review! Although I've been waiting to read this one, you've sold me all over again by mentioning that there are present parental figures. That seems to be forgotten so often in YA books that it seems a strange absence.

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  9. Yay, so glad you liked this book, because I really want to read this one too. And just hear that you like this one, makes me happy! Great review.

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  10. I've kinda sorta been wanting to read Clarity for a while now, but I think it's the cover of Perception that will finally tip the scale for me - SO PRETTY!! :)

    Even though love-triangles are totally *snore*, the story and characters sound SO refreshing. Thanks for a wonderful review.

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  11. awesome review this book sounds so good. I really want to read it!

    The Cait Files

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  12. I loved this too and like you have no clear winner out of those two love interest. Can't wait for Perception. Awesome review :)

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  13. Terrific review. I really must get this one :D

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  14. I have no idea why I wasn't interested in this book before. A paranormal murder mystery, without a vampire or a werewold is not only refreshing but also seems very compelling.

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  15. Fantastic review Leanna - and all the more reason for me to read it. I love the sound of Clarity and can't wait to see how she operates in her gift. Also, so glad to see a love story where there are no clear winners - I think this is one of the biggest mistakes many authors make when writing love triangles - making the choice far too obvious. Yawn. Anyway, can't wait to read this - I'm sure I'll love this as much as you did!

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  16. I thought you would like this one! :D

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  17. I like the cover, and the mystery sounds intriguing. Thanks for the great review!

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