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Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

Clarity & Perception

Clarity (Clarity, #1)
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? (goodreads.com)

I don’t normally write about multiple books in one post, but since I finished both Clarity and Perception right after each other, I thought I’d double up!

First things first, I am now having some harsh words with myself about not having picked up Clarity last year when it came out. It was one of the books I put on my 2011 Debut YA Author Challenge list, but for some reason, I was too chicken to pick up the hard cover. I was so worried that I would be disappointed and have spent money on the hard cover for nothing. Yet, I knew that I wanted to read this book. I heard so many great things about it! I was a big ol’ chicken pants and for that, I am mad at myself!

However, when I received Perception from Scholastic Canada in the fall, I made myself put Clarity on pre-order for the paperback. I would read this and then the sequel.

I did that this past weekend. In a day I’d gone through both the first and second books and let me tell you, I am HOOKED.

Eat your heart out, Nancy Drew! This book is high on the mystery and thrill and has some paranormal elements written in, but not in your typical Supernatural Creature of the Week way. Sure, Clare and her family have some sort of fancy mental abilities, but there’s also murder! And kidnapping! And intrigue!

I loved so much about Clarity that I was almost kicking myself for waiting so long as I was patting myself on the back for waiting until I had the second book within reach so I could pick it up as soon as I was done with the first.

Clare Fern is strong, witty and smart. She’s been picked on her entire life, but that’s made her a better person I think. She’s able to verbally spar with her taunters. Witty comebacks and whatnot. It’s awesome. She’s got a complicated relationship with her ex, but wins mega points in my books for dumping someone who cheated on you – even if it was an accident.

There’s a love triangle (yawn) that is only in the early stages in Clarity, it’s much more prominent in Perception, so I tried to ignore it the best I could. I did sort of feel like all of the boys Clare spoke with has some sort of undying torch burning for her – including her brother’s best friend, Nate, but whatever. That’s just the way books are written these days and I have to accept that.

What really, totally rocked for me was the writing and pacing of the story. It’s been ages since I read a good mystery that kept me changing my mind time and time again over who the Big Bad was going to be.  Just when I was sure it was going to be Person A, I’d be suspicious of Person B and then on to Person D and so on.  When I exclaimed “Ah HA! I KNEW IT!” at the end, well, I didn’t really. Not until just before all was revealed. Since I had almost everyone we’d met on my list of suspects, I was pretty sure I’d be yelling “Ah HA!” no matter who it had been. heh

I’d picked up Perception even before I’d updated Goodreads that I’d finished Clarity. You have to understand that I am completely OCD about updating my blog and GR when I am finished a book. I do it in real time. I don’t wait. But this time? I waited. Why? Because I had to read THIS:

Perception (Clarity, #2)
by Kim Harrington

When you can see things others can’t, what do you do when someone’s watching you?

Everybody knows about Clarity “Clare” Fern. She’s the psychic girl in school, the one who can place her hands on something and see hidden visions from the past.

Only Clare would rather not be a celebrity. She prefers hanging back, observing. Her gift is not a game to her.

But then someone starts playing with her head . . . and heart. Messages and gifts from a secret admirer crop up everywhere Clare turns. Could they be from Gabriel, the gorgeous boy who gets Clare’s pulse racing? Or from Justin, Clare’s hopeful ex-boyfriend who’d do anything to win her back?

One thing is certain. Clare needs to solve this mystery, and soon. Because the messages are becoming sinister, and a girl in town has suddenly disappeared. (goodreads.com)

Yes, I was totally suspicious of everyone in this book, too! In fact, I was actually surprised by the ending because I was sure it was going to be one of two other characters and I was WRONG. I was so hoping that I’d be right with one of them, though, because I think that would have been really original and I would have applauded Kim Harrington’s daring! Alas, my suspicion was fruitless though I was completely skeeved out by the actual culprit. I even shuddered at one point. Rare for me while reading.

I’m impressed by how Clare manages to handle the bullying and taunting that she goes through in both books. She’s a pretty strong character and though it obviously bothers her, Clare seems to have a dignity that many of us lack in her response. I hate that she’s picked on and used, but each and every time I think “Wow, I’m impressed” when she turns away rather than hides or lashes out.

The one downfall to this story was the very obvious love-triangle aspect. I tried my best to ignore it but I was becoming rather frustrated each time it popped up. I’d have enjoyed much more focus on Perry and his problems than which boy Clare thought she had feelings for. Oh, well.

Both Clarity and Perception were such exciting reads that I am a little bummed out that I don’t have any more books in this series to read right now. They were exactly what I needed this weekend to get me out of my funk and help me unwind.

I love(d) Nancy Drew books growing up and though I find them a little hokey now that I re-read them, these books by Kim Harrington are filling that void. I LOVED these books and truly appreciated the delightful mysteries that they solved. In fact, for the beginning of Perception, I even felt like the narration sounded similar to Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. It made me laugh and the characters voice was just right.

I cannot wait for more books in this series! Completely unrelated, I love that the author’s last name is the same as my best friend’s last name. heh. I support all things Harrington!

Clarity series

  1. Clarity
  2. Perception