Source: from publisher for review
Publication Date: 01 Mar 2011
Series or Standalone: Clarity, Book 1
Format: Paperback (ARC)
Kim Harrington – Official Site
Kim Harrington – Blog
Kim Harrington – Twitter
Place(s) Traveled to: Eastport, Massachussetts (Cape Cod)
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I fell in love with Clare and her family from the very first page. Clare is so filled of snark that she had me giggling allowed and cheering her on when people tried to make her feel less than who she was. Clare is a really strong character, she is proud of who she is and doesn’t try to let anyone change her. She is a girl that anyone could look up to and admire. Although I am not sure that I would want her gift as it does have some negative consequences. As much as I sometimes wonder what other people are thinking…there are times in which I really don’t think that I want to know. I definitely wouldn’t want to find out some of the secrets that Clare finds when she touches people she knows.
I also loved how Clare’s mom was actively involved in her life. It is so rare in YA books to even SEE a parent and then when you do they are usually distant – both physically and emotionally. But in Clarity her mom is right there bugging Clare and her brother Perry about all the usual mom things. What makes Clare’s mom even more fun is her particular psychic gift. I can just imagine all the things that Perry would try to get away with only to be quickly brought down by one look from her. Starla was a lot of fun, she is unique and involved but nor overbearing. She cares for her children and is struggling to make ends meet and isn’t your typical mom all rolled into one. Perry, Clare’s brother…well…he’s pretty much a man whore. Which means that he’s your typical teenage boy in a tourist town just trying to leave it up and be carefree before the weights of the world settle on his shoulders. Perry was a great character and he genuinely likes his little sister. I also really like Perry’s friend Nate, I hope that we see more of him in the sequel.
My favorite character though was Madam Maslov. If you’ve read the book then you probably know why and if not then you are in for a treat. Madam Maslov is this wild, over the top character that just makes you laugh and groan and wish that she was real. She is a thorn in the side of Clare’s mom but I think that given time the two could become good friends and cause serious shenanigans in their small Cape Cod town. lol
The writing of this book was solid. It was tight and no words were wasted. I liked this as it meant that every word mattered and I wasn’t losing myself in needless dialogue or descriptive scenes. I am from the area and so I loved how it felt like I was on Cape Cod as I was reading the book. I also loved the mystery. I can’t even begin to tell you how much. I won’t say much about it as I don’t want to give anything away but Kim is great with the twists and turns and keeping the reader guessing. I read a TON of mysteries so I did figure some things out before the reveal but I didn’t get everything. I LOVED this. It is so rare that I am surprised by a mystery so while I was frustrated that she “got” me I was also pleased.
Clarity is also the first book in which I am unable to chose the boy that I think Clare should end up with. Usually when there is a love triangle I am pretty solid on one team right from the start and I don’t waver. But in Clarity I kept shifting allegiance. Both boys as so utterly real. For me this means they are flawed. They aren’t perfect, they don’t try to be. In fact they are both stubborn and even when I am telling them not to do something (yes I do talk aloud to books) they just blunder right in and do it any way. Then they wonder why Clare gets mad at them. *sighs* They also don’t always learn from their mistakes either….or at least it takes them some time to learn. This was so refreshing as usually the boys in YA are freakishly perfect or just so over the top creepy that it can be so hard to relate to them. Or to hope that the MC ends up with one or the other.
To say I loved Clarity is an understatement because I more than loved it. I loved the world and the characters and the mystery. The only issue that I had with it was this one scene with Clare and one of her tormentors in school. As a bully she worked but there was this one scene in which she tried to come across as sympathetic and say that it was all Clare’s doing that she wasn’t a popular girl and if she just tried a little harder everything would change. I remember furrowing my brow and going huh? This from the girl who took every moment previously to try and torment Clare? I just didn’t buy it and so that scene just felt a little rough to me. But other than that the book was a total love fest and I’m not just saying that because the author is a friend. If you’ve spent any time on my blog you know that I am honest to a fault in my reviews and if I didn’t like the book I would tell you so. Therefore, you can trust me when I say that this is a book that you’ll want on your bookshelf. Its a smart, snarky read and great for fans of Veronica Mars. I’m already counting down the days until book 2, Perception, is available because I can’t wait to see what happens to Clare and company next!!