Clarity by Kim Harrington
Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Genre: Fantasy / Mystery
Hardcover: 256 pages
Release date: March 1, 2011
Series: Clarity #1
Source: Scholastic for review
Reviewed by: Tynga
Don't close your eyes. Except when the truth is too dark to bear.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?
Clarity Fern has always been cast out by her peers because of her abilities. All of her family have special gifts, her mom can read thoughts, her brother can talk with ghosts and Clare herself sometimes has visions of the past when touching objects. They use their abilities to entertain the tourists but the locals always mock Clare over it. Her unique talent will come in handy though when a 17 years old tourist is killed in the small town and the police has no leads. It’s no easy task though when everyone thinks you’re a fraud.
Clarity was a short and entertaining read! From the first chapter I was engrossed in the story, mostly because of its highly loveable characters. Clarity is easygoing and funny and she is quite a pair with her lover-boy brother. Their personalities really shone from the start and I really enjoyed their easy banter. All of Kim’s characters deserves praising too. Justin, Clarity’s ex, is trying to earn his way back into her heart and he is just the sweetest thing. Gabriel, the inspector’s son, is a sexy rebel acting all hot and cold with Clare, leading to some interesting moments. Even though two boys are emotionally involved with Clare, it didn’t feel like the usual love triangle because of the way our girl feels about each of them.
Harrington blessed us with a flowing plot. The pace is perfect and all the twist and turns were perfectly laid out. The story itself turns around the resolution of the tourist’s murder and as the body count grows, we are no closer to guess who the culprit is. My suspicions were all over the place and even though I had the right culprit in mind at one point, I hadn’t figured out the whole thing. I also liked that Kim started the book with Clarity facing the killer and then went back in time to show us how it came about. This leaves you craving to know who is that killer! I think it was a really smart move.
I have to admit, one element bothered me with Clarity. With the benediction of the Mayor and the lead inspector on the case, Clare, Justin & Gabriel unofficially investigates the murders, with exclusive access to crime scenes and evidences. I mean, who would let a trio of 16 years old investigate a murder? It’s just not plausible, but it didn’t stop me from enjoying the book.
The conclusion was most interesting as the veil of mystery is finally lifted and the truth revealed. We finally get to appreciate the complexity of the plot and Harrington lays out a nice cliffhanger, making sure the readers will come back for more.
Kim Harrington’s debut novel set a nice stage for the upcoming books in the series and I’m excited for what’s to come! I would definitely recommend this book to young adult readers who likes a little mystery in their fiction. Clarity is a quick and enjoyable ride! Make sure you have Perception, the second book in the series, close by because you’ll want to pick it up right away. BTW, Clarity has been optioned for television!