March 29, 2011

Clarity - Kim Harrington

Young Adult
Publisher: Point
ClarityRelease Date: March 1, 2011

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?

I wrote last week how I wished there were more crime-mysteries in the Young Adult scene, and turns out my wish was rapidly granted. Starting off with a teasing taste of the ending, Clarity taunts the reader from the beginning. I didn't feel it started strong though, but that first page definitely affected my judgment throughout the book. It kept me on edge and interested. Tired of the supernatural trend that has come upon YA, I have avoided the supernaturally-oriented books this year, so I was a bit skeptical when I started Clarity. Turns out my skepticism was not well founded, since the magical part of the book is very small. Only in Clare's family's abilities we see any sort of fantasy, and I really wouldn't call it fantasy at all.

This story was a delightful mystery that kept me frustratingly guessing til the end. I kept turning back to that first page for clues, only to be even more clueless when I did. The character repertoire was large enough to keep the reader debating between them til the very last page. The intricate details woven into the plot also contribute. And to my boy-crazed pleasure, most of the characters are (eye-candy) guys. The characterization was great, Clare's voice was powerful and I loved her strong character.

The only part that didn't quite match up to the story, was the romance bit. I felt the attraction between Clare and the boys was weak. I didn't quite feel a triangle going on, or had torn feelings for one or the other. In that sense, the story fell a little flat, in my opinion. It may have been because I was too busy suspecting everyone though. Thus, the mystery more than made up for it. And since there's a sequel, maybe we'll get more about Clare's feelings in book 2. I cant wait to read it!

Overall, a wonderful debut that brings some originality and freshness into the YA trends. If you love Veronica Mars (the show is even mentioned in the acknowledgments) you will love this book.


  1. I totally agree with what you said here. It wasn't really paranormal much at all, even though Clare's ability was why she had anything to do with the case. It was just nicely woven into the mystery story, and not the other way around. I definitely enjoyed this one!

  2. Comparing the book to the TV show Veronica Mars really put the book into perspective. I never really liked the show but I think that had to do with the actors rather than the actual content. I think I'm going to like Clarity =)

  3. Oh I do love Veronica Mars! Putting this book on my wishlist ;)

  4. I just spent every day for about a week watching seasons 1-3 of Vernoica Mars (since I missed it when it was on and now I wish there were more) so I love your comparison of Clare to her. I also love the family aspect of this book. I agree with you about the romance, but I am hoping that Kim will give us more in the romance in her next book.

  5. My opinion is that this article is very nice.

  6. Great review! I'm super excited to read this book and I'm glad it's not a typical supernatural book.

  7. Fantastic review. I really want to read this. I've heard so many good things about it.

  8. Ooh, mystery! I love this. I've read other good reviews about Clarity and it makes me so, so excited! :)

  9. I enjoyed this one greatly as well!


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