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Clarity Paperback – February 1, 2012
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*Harrington's well-developed characters and tight plot are simultaneously charming, realistically complex, and intriguing. . . . Clare is a teen detective for the 21st century."
Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Harrington writes Clare as an appealing character with whom readers easily can identify. . . . good beach reading." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Filled with romance and mystery and twists and turns, this book is a thrill ride." -- RT
"The suspense begins on the first page . . . Great for kids who love all things paranormal or who just appreciate a good whodunit." -- SLJ
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Let's start with Clarity. She's an interesting heroine, although at times she feels like a bad copy of Veronica Mars. She's also one of those girls that complains about not being liked by anyone, yet every single young guy that appears in the book seems interested in her. Her power --being able to get visions from the past from touching an object-- is cool, but it's severely underused in the book, to the point it sometimes feels like the author forgot her character is supposed to be psychic. Example: the tires of her mom's car get slashed. Instead of touching them to see if she can get a vision of who did it, she asks around if anyone saw someone suspicious.
In this story, Clarity gets "recruited" by her ex boyfriend to work in a murder case in which her brother turns out to be the likely suspect. I honestly tried really hard to suspend disbilief and get into the idea that the mayor and the detective of the town would let three teenagers work semi-officially in a criminal investigation, but it's just so ridiculous. They just go around in crime scenes, messing with evidence... just no. The resolution to the mystery is also badly done, coming in the five last pages, and very foreseeable just because there doesn't seem to be any other reason why this particular character keeps showing up everywhere when they have nothing to do with the plot. Not to mention all the ridiculous red herrings thrown around, but they just feel like cheap devices to fool the reader. I doubt any reader would be fooled.
The love triangle is pretty boring, with one of the guys being mostly eye candy and the protagonist just mentioning all his physical attributes as to why she's attracted to him. Very poor character development. Why are we supposed to get invested in this? I'm not sure.
Also her brother is a medium, which is pretty cool, yet this power is barely used twice in the book. What a waste.
I gave this book two stars because it was a fairly entertaining read and it had some good points, but I really think it could have been so much better. I don't think I'll bother with the sequel.
The story centers around protagonist, Fern, who is smart, perceptive, no-nonsense and focused with just the perfect amount of vulnerability. Her quirky and absurdly real family of brother Perry and mom Starla. But that's all you're getting from me. This is really the first review I've written in which I truly don't want to divulge too much as the story is so wonderfully woven together, so thoughtfully crafted that one must experience it for one's self. So, do yourself a favor, don't read any spoilers, pick up the novel and dive in, it will not disappoint.
This will be a permanent fixture on my bookshelf and I am super excited to learn that - YES!! there will be a sequel. *Squeal*
Oh, and for the parents out there, this is a PG-13 read. There are some fairly benign references to sex, the very occasional expletive and some references to underage drinking, nothing is glorified and I think the protagonist is a great role model for young teen girls. Just my two cents.
I loved this YA mystery. It kept me guessing whodunit until the end. It also has a nice dash of romance when Clare is divided between two men, an ex who betrayed her and the snappish police chief's son. I'm so glad there's an upcoming sequel to this.