Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Review: Clarity

Kim Harrington
Pages: 242

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?

~description taken from goodreads

Normally I don't pick up mysteries, so Clarity was a bit of a whim. Overall it makes for a nice afternoon read- perfect to bring to the beach or, for those wary of the ozone layers, to cozy up with on a comfy armchair.

Clarity is short and sweet, a trait that's refreshing in the sea of increasingly lengthy YA installments. Harrington dives right into the story and keeps the pace running quickly. We're told upfront that Clare and her family all have paranormal abilities that they use to attract business from tourists, but they make Clare an outcast at school. However, Clare is soon recruited by her town's new detective to help figure out the culprit behind a recent murder. Along the way Clare has -cross that- GETS to deal with two romantic interests, the detective's son and her ex boyfriend.

Since I'm not a big mystery person I was surprised at how easily I figured out the ending of this book. For something advertised as a 'whodunnit' I expected a larger twist. However, Clarity has enough going for it that this doesn't really matter. Kim Harrington writes immediately likable characters. It's easy to fall into Clare's story and empathize with her. This goes as well for all the secondary characters. I found myself loving Clare's eccentric mother and wished there had been more scenes with her. The only problem is the two boys in the story are both so well developed that I don't know which one I'm rooting for!

I'm not sure what genre I'd peg Clarity down as. It's advertised as a paranormal mystery, but it seems more of a romance than anything else. This isn't a problem per se, but it's deceptive in the marketing. It means a lot of people might come into Clarity expecting one thing, and then getting another and being disappointed (which would explain some of the negative reviews on goodreads). It's a shame, because Clarity is a really fun book. I know I'll be looking out for the sequel when it comes around!

3.5 Stars

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