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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Review: Clarity by Kim Harrington

Title: Clarity
Author: Kim Harrington
Genre: Paranormal Young Adult
Release Date: 03/01/11
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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?

Plot: 4 Stars
I love a Young Adult who-dun-it with a paranormal twist, so this novel was fantastic. It reminded me of The Body Finder, which was one of my favorite reads of 2010. While the psychic powers of Clare and her family were a big part of the novel, it was incorporated very well into the novel. My favorite part was that Clare's mother built a family business on their powers, so it was common knowledge (even if some townspeople didn't believe). I also liked that each one of them had different powers: their mother was telepathic, Perry could get in touch with spirits, and Clare was psychometric, meaning she could learn things by touching objects. Each had their strengths and weaknesses. The paranormal and the mystery in this novel were in perfect balance.

Pace: 5 Stars
The pacing of this novel was fantastic. I read it inbetween two DNFs that were really slow (among other problems), so the pace of this novel was very refreshing. I'm glad I read it while I was off from work, because I did not want to put it down. It's not very often I try to bring a novel with me to the dinner table. Clare rushed to figure out the mystery, but the novel never felt rushed. There were no unnecessary scenes meant to throw the reader off of the scent of the killer, but I was still left guessing until the very end. The twists and turns in this novel were a bit subtle; nothing threw me upside-down, but I never knew who the cuprit was until the end.

Characters: 5 Stars
Clare was a very interesting character. She didn't have that many friends due to her family's psychic abilities, but she didn't let it bother her too much. She mostly hung out with her brother, Perry, and his best friend. Although I did enjoy when she lost it a little and dumped a drink over the mean girl's head. The tiny moment of fury made her feel more real, and also made me like her more. Their mother was a hoot. I don't feel like I we got to know Perry that much, due to the cirsumstances, and hope we get to learn more about him in future novels. Gabriel, the new sheriff's son, was a very interesting character. He had some baggage that led to him not believing in Clare's psychic powers, which made the task of them working together a great plot point. Justin, Clare's ex-boyfriend, is trying to get back in her good graces. It was interesting to learn how Clare found out about his indescretions, and her turmoil over her feelings for him and what he did felt very real.

Cover: 4 Stars
This was a very interesting cover. I used to do a lot of graphic design (self-taught), and I have a feeling I know exactly how they made the light effects on this cover. It was a trick I used on many graphics, and really enjoy. So I immediately liked this cover for it's nostalgia. I also really enjoyed the abundance of white used, which is something that stands out on the shelf in the Paranormal YA section of a bookstore because the majority of the books around it are black or other dark colors. The light blue lends itself well to the setting of the novel, which includes a beach. The cover model was a great choice. She embodied Clare in both looks and spirit. Although her wind-blown hair looks a little strange against a blank background. If there were trees or a beach in the background, the wind-blown hair would've had context and not looked as strange. But the blank white background makes me think her hair is wind-blown while she's inside.

Overall: 4.5 Stars

Disclosure: I borrowed this novel from the local library.

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