Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Clarity by Kim Harrington

As if high school wasn't bad enough for most of us, imagine having a mother who can read your thoughts, a brother who talks to ghosts and being the kid who, by touching seemingly harmless objects, is attacked by the object's memories.

If you are Clarity "Clare" Fern, this is normal.

"Clarity" by Kim Harrington is about Clare's struggles to fit-in in school, despite her talents. Clare is a sixteen year old student in the small town of Eastport. Her mother and her father, though he is absent and hasn't been heard from for many years, both have strong psychic genes, which the passed on to their children. Her mother is able to read people's thoughts and her brother, Perry, is able to summon spirits.

After a murder occurs at one of the town's hotels for the first time in many, many years, the mayor's son asks a favor of Clare. He wants Clare to use her powers to help solve the murder. Clare's only hesitation with this is that the mayor's son, Justin, is Clare's ex-boyfriend, who was the only one who ever saw her without judging her for her power and then betrayed her. Plus, she discovers that the new detective has been assigned the case, and Clare gets to work with his cute, young son, Gabriel, who aims to be a detective someday, and really dislikes psychics.Clare attempts to use her gift to help the police and Justin's father, but she is keeping a secret from everyone. Her brother was with the victim before she died, and though he swears she was alive when he left, Clare is doubtful. But when the police begin suspecting him, she will do anything in her power to save her brother with the help of Justin and Gabriel, but not without catching the attention of both boys.

"Clarity" is good, quick literature for students to enjoy and it will especially draw in female, reluctant readers because they will definitely be able to relate with Clare's feelings, especially when dealing with boy problems, annoying classmates, the pressure of college looming, and the feeling that no one understands her, especially when dealing with her mother and peers.

At first, I thought I was going to have a hard time reading this novel; the language was very simple and the plot seemed straightforward. However, I became enthralled by the mysteries the author created and the many twists that were implemented. I finished the book in one sitting and was upset when it was over! This book would be perfect for young girls, late middle school through high school, for the reasons that I thought I would not like it; simple language and not much in the way of misunderstanding. There is romance, love triangles and mystery and suspense, all packed into 242 pages.


runner4life23 said...

Clarity definitely sounds like it would attract mostly female readers that like suspenseful and yet romantic books. Clare's emotions reflect, however, those that run through every young adult in school. Whether trying to fit in or not, students have to all deal with some type of issue Clare had to face, such as helping a brother or trying to be with someone. Even though she does have certain powers that most students cannot relate to, the guy problems and family problems can absolutely connect any reader to this novel. Clare must have felt really torn when she had to help the police and save her brother as well. What I found funny was that the mother's power is that of reading people's thoughts and to me, that is not far fetched to what mothers commonly do possessive with their children. From experience, mothers can detect when their kids are having a good/bad day or need something just off their voice or face expression. Overall, your description of Clarity makes it a must read book :) It has everything I want in a novel, a love triangle, suspense, and magic!

Tom Philion said...

Nice job Amber! This is a very well-organized review--kudos to you for writing very efficiently about your novel.

I can't believe you didn't mention The Mentalist. :) Have you ever seen this show? It sounds like an obvious tie in to the book, or perhaps selling point.

Just go back and check some of your grammar and punctuation--especially beware of overusing "this" as a descriptor for what you mentioned above. Give me a ring if you are not sure what I mean by this.

Demitra said...

Clarity seems to fit right in with the wave of paranormal fiction for young adults that has been flooding the shelves lately. This reminds me of the Wake Trilogy by Lisa McMann, simple and straightforward prose, relatable and likable characters, teenage issues and crime investigation. I highly recommend McMann's books and if this is anything like hers, it is definitely worth a read.

FFoster said...

This book seems like a particularly interesting read. A young lady's struggle into adulthood is challenging enough without your mother reading your thoughts and your brother potentially using his spirit-summoning to make your life miserable. Minus the murder mystery, this reminds me of what appeals to the younger generation in the Twilight series. The supernatural/fantasy factors represent more of a journey than the average non-magical life we live. "Clarity" could easily fit right next to Twilight on the bookshelves of the popular coming-of-age trend of love and life in the midst of incredible adversity. If I were a teacher, I would definitely consider this book as a mandatory project!

KMilsap said...

Amber, after reading your review on "Clarity" I was ready to go pick it up and read it for myself. I agree that this book would draw more female readers as it covers romance, mystery, and suspense! I am also interested in reading about Clare's psychic abilities and how it affects her relationship with those who are normal in her life.