Thursday, May 19, 2011

Review: Clarity

By Kim Harrington
Publication date: February 24, 2011

My review:

Clare Fern has grown up in a family of weird-her parents belonged to a "spiritualist community" and all the members of her family have supernatural abilities. Clare's mom is a telepath, her brother Perry can communicate with the dead, and Clare is a psychic with the gift of psychometry. She can see visions when she holds people's possessions. When a young woman is murdered, Clare is given the opportunity to use her ability and help the police department on an unofficial basis to look for clues. Unfortunately this also means working with both her ex-boyfriend Justin and Gabriel, the handsome son of the new detective. As Clare becomes more involved in the investigation, she is shocked to discover her brother's connection to the girl who died and that he has become a suspect. Could Perry be a killer?

Clarity is more of a suspense novel with a paranormal twist rather than a paranormal romantic suspense. Clare is a relatable character because she isn't popular and beautiful and she has flaws. She is pretty but she has been made fun of by her peers for most of her life. At school she is known as a freak. Only one person outside her family befriended her-the mayor's son Justin. Justin is now her ex-boyfriend but aside from the one monumental mistake he made that led to their breakup (which he deeply regrets). Clare has some unresolved feelings about Justin including her inability to forgive him. She also struggles with her place in the family business and her relationship with her mom, which isn't surprising given that she is a teenager and her mom continually reads her thoughts. 

There is a love triangle of sorts in this book. Justin is still very much in love with Clare, Clare might still have feelings for him buried deep beneath her anger, and then there is Gabriel, the handsome new guy with secrets. If Justin is a plain vanilla, clean cut guy then Gabriel is like dark chocolate in comparison. There are definitely sparks between Clare and Gabriel even though he doubts her psychic ability and mocks her at every turn. Both guys have good and bad qualities and while Clare seems to prefer Gabriel, Justin still has a chance to win her back. Thankfully the romance is not at the forefront of the book. The murder mystery will keep readers guessing. I am usually adept at figuring out who the killer is but this time my list of suspects kept growing and I was a little surprised in the end.

Overall I was pleased with Clarity. I thought it was even better than Laurie Faria Stolarz's Touch series. While I wish there wasn't a love triangle I think it was well done and added something to the story and our understanding of the characters instead of just being used as a typical teen romance plot device. I would suggest this book to fans of The Body Finder.

Readalikes: Deadly Little Secrets by Laurie Faria Stolarz, The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting, Wake by Lisa McMann, Truly, Madly by Heather Webber, The Third Eye by Lois Duncan


  1. Great review, Christina! I've been looking for a good murder mystery/suspense for awhile now. As I was reading your review, I was connecting it to The Body Finder, which I LOVED! I will have to get my hands on a copy of this.

  2. I think it's funny how you clarified the genre distinctions (completely agree btw) because it's such a tricky thing. Have to say that I did not like Gabriel who hates basically what Clare is and I doubt he'll improve in the sequel. But the mystery was good.

  3. I really enjoyed Clarity and cannot wait for more in this series. I love that you said it was more a mystery with a paranormal twist than a paranormal romantic suspense.

  4. This one is on my list, and I can't wait to read it. I don't really mind that it's more suspense than romance. It seems like all YA paranormal novels seem to be marketed in a way that draws attention to a romantic pairing in the novel. I don't mind if that doesn't take center stage, especially because they tend to fall prey to YA romance clichés.

  5. I enjoyed this one! Reminded me of Veronica Mars a lot. Haha


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