ClarityOriginalClarity by Kim Harrington
Published: 3-1-11 by Scholastic Point
Get the book: Amazon, The Book Depository

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?


Cover design – Lillie Howard       Cover art – Ingrid Baars       Rating – 4/5

I love this cover. The title is beautiful. The subtle way the serifs vary from letter to letter is great, and the way the A is extended below the title to lead your eye to the author’s name is a stroke of genius. The overall cover is so nice to look at – the negative space is used well and the simple background works really well. As for the picture of the girl…it looks like digital art, but I’m not 100% sure it didn’t start as a photo. I haven’t found the artist online to check. The expression is captivating, the art is stunning, and the colors are lovely. The only thing I dislike is the crazy intense lens flare effect over the girl’s hair.

Major Crush

This book is a debut novel, and it reads like one. It could really benefit from a good editor to make some of the lame phrasing and sentences better. The concept is good, and the plot is good…it just would have been a lot better with refinement. I’m giving this book 2 stars, which is disappointing because it had so much potential and I was excited to read it. It’s a murder mystery, but a clumsily executed one, with tons of characters that seem to only serve to widen the suspect pool and then get killed off to eliminate them as suspects.

Major Crush

  • Clare’s ability – Clare can touch an object and see a vision linked to that object’s past. It has a big, long, fancy name that I’ll never remember, but it’s really a very cool ability. Clare’s brother gets bothered by dead people and their mom uses her mind reading powers to inform Clare of Justin and Gabriel’s pervy thoughts.
  • Madame Maslov – Madame Maslov was unfairly cast as a villain against Clare’s family. Just because she’s in the same business, Clare’s mom thinks her motivation for anything is questionable. Madame Maslov didn’t deserve that just because the gift she claimed to have was one Clare’s family had never seen. They hate it when people call then frauds, yet that is their 1st reaction when they hear of Maslov’s ability.

Jellicoe Road

  • juvenile writing – Some of the sentences are just really short and awkward. Clare actually said, “that’s…that’s crazy talk!” at one point, and her ‘eyes darted from one to the other, and [she] felt so conflicted.” It’s just really basic phrasing like this that makes it seem like I’m reading a middle grade. It’s not helped by some of the situations either. Clare needs to snoop around Perry’s room for evidence, but the author’s excuse for her entering her 18-year-old brother’s room is to spontaneously ‘clean up a bit.’ It just seems weak, like a new writer who can’t think of a way to get the character where she needs to be without it seeming forced and unnatural.
  • suspects – Mysteries are hard to write, I’m sure. You have to strike a balance between setting things up for the ending you want, what the reader knows, and what the main character knows and how they know it. This story just got so crowded with characters toward the middle, and each new secondary character was primarily there to be another suspect. A new character would come into the mix as a suspect, get abruptly offed, then Clare would realize it wasn’t them and find a clue in their belongings.
  • love I found the way that Clare’s love life was portrayed to be really annoying. Her ex is around all the time and she’s reminiscing about how she fell in love at 16. She’s confused because he’s such a good guy (as she states often) but he cheated on her. Clare is always giving him the cold shoulder, but then she’ll get sucked in and tell him how much he means to her, followed by shutting him down by saying she can’t possibly ever be with him again. Enter a random hot guy who hates psychics (but of course she’s the exception) and enjoys kissing, and now Clare’s confused and in a love triangle. She likes him because they know nothing about each other…great basis for a relationship.
  • Clare – I really liked Clare at the beginning of the book because she started off with an attitude. But it was like as soon as things got complicated it was too hard to give her a personality. She just became a generic girl with a paranormal power who’s also in a love triangle. Bet you’ve never read about anyone like that. Although I will say that Gabriel’s feelings were confusing, Justin’s were not and he repeatedly voiced them to Clare.

Major Crush

  • Someone around my age. Killed. Here.       Perry nervously rubbed his palm back and forth over his chin. “Do they know who did it or why?”       “Not as far as I know. Rumor has it her wallet was right there on the nightstand with money still in it.”       “Was she a local or a tourist?” Mom asked, worry creasing her forehead.       “A tourist,” Milly said softly.       Perry and I shared a glance. The ramifications were now much bigger.          – Perry, Milly, Clare’s Mom   (pg. 13)
  • “Listen, I gather you have a problem with working with a psychic. Believe me, I don’t like working with a jackass any better.”       His eyebrows rose and his mouth opened slightly.       I continued, “Mayor Spellman is forcing me to do this as much as he’s forcing you. So how about this? I won’t get in your way and you don’t get in mine. We solve this thing quickly and then we never have to speak to each other again. Deal?”        – Clare + Gabriel  (pg. 65)


2 Robots

Acquired: bought (ebook)


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