Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Clarity by Kim Harrington

Well, this is bewildering.  Here I am having had my Kindle for almost a year, and I think....I think this is going to be my first legitimate review of an ebook.  LOL!  It turns out if books aren't taking up a significant amount of real estate on the surface of my desk, I kind of, um, forget to review them.  I managed to finish Clarity by Kim Harrington in the last moments before falling asleep during the Readathon, so I'm going to attempt to review it real quick before it falls into the sad abyss of (e)books I've forgotten to review.

Okay, so, Clarity "Clare" Fern has kind of an unusual family life.  You see, she, her older brother Perry, and her mother Starla all have some form of psychic gift, and they make their living selling readings to the tourists that frequent the Cape Cod town where they live.  Perry's a medium who can sense the presence of dead loved ones, Starla is a telepath who can read the thoughts of her customers, and touching recently touched objects communicates visions of the past to Clare herself.  It's a nice normal summer where Clare only has to worry about keeping her remorseful cheating ex at bay and Perry has only to consider which tourist girl to bed next, until tragedy strikes and Clare and her gifts are pressed into service in an investigation of the first murder to take place in Eastport in years, a murder for which her womanizing brother has become the primary suspect.

Wow, did I have mixed feelings about this book.  I'll start with the bad so we can end up on a good note.  The love triangle reveals itself within the first few chapters.  Meh, love triangles.  Suspension of disbelief is at a premium here, too, as we're supposed to believe that the mayor's son, Clare's ex Justin (hot, sweet, and still clamoring to have her back), the newly arrived detective's son Gabriel (hot, mysterious, and cynical about Clare's gifts but also, of course, totally attracted to her), and psychic Clare are practically independently being given the reins of a behind-the-scenes murder investigation.  Clare and Gabriel are poking around crime scenes and dead bodies all on their own with only a passing nod to the danger of the situation and very little consideration for the vagaries of, you know, procuring actual admissible evidence.  Also, I prefer my mysteries just a tiny bit less contrived, but maybe it all boils down to Clarity being just a bit too Y for my A. 

Enough complaining, though, because there are plenty of things I really liked about Clarity not the least of which is Clarity herself.  Clarity is a fierce heroine with a wicked temper on her.  She's loyal, protective, and not afraid to unleash an angry retort or a sharp elbow on somebody who's harassing her for her "freakdom."  She doesn't always make the best decisions, but she's usually got her heart in the right place when she's making them.  They mystery itself did have me absorbed, and Harrington does a great job of introducing her entire cast of characters such that any of them could be sketchy enough to be the sort that commits a murder or...they could be totally normal decent people!  Even Clare's sweet, if a little foolish, lady's man of a brother doesn't escape legitimate scrutiny.  Harrington had me going until the bitter end making me think it might be this person or this other person when really it was that person (er, behold the wonder of the spoiler free review! LOL), and I really didn't see it coming until a page or two before Clare saw it coming.   

All in all, Clarity had its weaknesses, including a kind of weak series-starter ending, because it's YA, of course it's part of a series, which I wish I would have remembered before I started because I am so bad at keeping up with series.  That said, I was totally involved in the mystery and *mumbles* maybe the love triangle, too *grumble, grumble, cough.* It made for a very quick and absorbing Readathon book, and I'll surely seek out the sequel, a few years after I've forgotten every important thing I need to remember about this book because I'm good like that ("Hi, my name is Megan and I suck at series books.").

(Muah!  No disclaimer, for I surely have purchased this during one of my cheap ebook buying sprees of which there are a great many!)


  1. "It turns out if books aren't taking up a significant amount of real estate on the surface of my desk, I kind of, um, forget to review them." That's a drawback of e-books I've never heard before!

    Great review!

    1. I know, how ironic that now I've come to appreciate a good e-book, I've still found new drawbacks to them. There's just something a bit more satisfying to reviewing a book I can then get off my over-cluttered desk. LOL!

  2. I have the opposite problem. Those poor print books are being neglected for e-books. :-S

    I really enjoyed reading your review, Megan. I'm not sure about the book, but your review was very entertaining. :-) Sometimes YA books appeal to me, and I really want to like them more than I often do, but too much Y and not enough A is a big turn off for me.