Thursday, April 19, 2012
Clarity (Clarity, #1)
Clarity by Kim Harrington
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In Eastport, a tourist town on Cape Cod, lives a family of freaks. My family. I’m a psychic. My brother’s a medium. My mother’s a telepath. Tourists love us. Townies scorn us. My name is Clarity “Clare” Fern and my brother is Periwinkle “Perry” Fern. What were our parents thinking?
Clarity ‘Clare’ Fern is a psychic. Her father is long gone and the family earns a living by using their respective talents to entertain tourists. Even though their customers think it’s just harmless fun, the locals know that their talents are real. When a young girl ends up dead in a hotel room right in the middle of a political campaign, Clare is asked to secretly work with the mayor’s son – her cheating ex boyfriend, and Gabriel, the new boy in town. It is the mayor’s hope that she will be able to use psychometry to identify the killer as quickly as possible, which would help him save face and eventually win the election.
Clarity was a big surprise for me. I always approach paranormal YA with a certain amount of weariness, but I needn’t have worried this time. I finished it all in one sitting, in less than three hours, and found it very refreshing.
I could have done without the love triangle, but I didn’t mind as much as I thought I would. Torn between an almost perfect ex-boyfriend who cheated on her once while heavily drunk, and the mysterious new boy in town who harbors conflicted feelings towards her, Clare didn’t know which way to turn, and neither did I. That’s probably why I didn’t hate the whole situation as much as I normally would – I have no idea who Clare will end up with and I kind of like it that way, for now. I do have a favorite, though.
That said, I’m a bit tired of the new-bad-boy-in-town trope. Gabriel fits it perfectly. He likes Clare the second he sees her, but there’s something in his past (no spoilers, I promise) that makes him hate, or rather despise all psychics, Clare included, so he tries to keep his distance, and the whole love-hate thing that happens after that is just a little tiresome, in my opinion. However, the shortness of the book and the pretty fast pacing didn’t leave much time for Gabriel’s internal struggles.
Clare found her place high up on my list of favorite heroines. She felt like an actual person to me and I enjoyed her intelligence and her loyalty. In fact, I thought all the characters were fully fleshed out, except maybe Clare’s mother, but I have a feeling something’s coming there too. You can only expect so much in 250 pages, and I was really satisfied with how much Harrington was able to include. I have high hopes for all these characters in the sequel. After reading the blurb for book two, I’m absolutely convinced that I already know the identity of Clare’s stalker. I can’t wait to find out if I’m right.
A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher, Scholastic UK, for review purposes.