Monday, December 10, 2012

Review: Clarity by Kim Harrington

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?

Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 1st 2012 by Scholastic Point. (first published March 1st 2011)

(summary grabbed from GoodReads
The best description of Clarity I can think of simply is "fluff mystery."  Let me explain, Clarity wasn't a Scooby-doo G-rated fun filled adventure with a "zoinks" or two thrown in; it was a real mystery novel -- just not of the edge-of-my-seat variety.  It was fun, and even though some actual scary things happen, I never had that "oh ma gawd what's going to happen next???" moment.  So it was enjoyable, but in a ride down a somewhat turbid river sort of way.  Not a smooth glide down a river -- I don’t know if I would have read the whole book if it were -- but also not a raging white-water river with bears flanking the water’s edge.
There were some things that made me raise an eyebrow at the plausibility of what was being suggested.  First, getting a psychic to aid in a murder investigation: the police have Clare’s mother read the minds of the suspect line up.  That was a stretch -- but wait! it gets better.  The new detective’s son, Gabriel, Clare, and her ex boyfriend (the mayor’s son) form a little group of junior investigators and are actually allowed to try and help solve the case.  That seems absurd.  However, I let it go, but I don’t have any investment in how law enforcement works.  Had I, and I might not have been able to enjoy the book beyond that point.

The romance might as well have been nonexistent.  There was no tension for me, no pulling at my heart strings, none of that.  In fact, I often wanted to throttle both love interests.  That’s really a minor point, though, as Clarity is way more mystery novel than YA paranormal romance, which suited me just fine.  I just ignored any pseudo-romantic parts and was all the merrier for it.

So, if you’re looking for a fun read for an afternoon and don’t mind a lack of cutesy-loveness, pick up Clarity.  Go ahead, do it.  I dare you.  But if you’re looking for something a bit more intense or romantic (or embedded in reality), this may not be what you’re looking for.  I personally did not get super emotionally invested in the characters, found it very quick to read (that’s not always a great thing), but I still found it enjoyable.  It was super fluffy, but sometimes fluff is welcome.

Final Thought: 8 out of 11 toadstools and plus one extra for main character being a red head

Review also on GoodReads

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