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I Belong

Review: Perception by Kim Harrington

Title: Perception

Author: Kim Harrington

Genre: YA Paranormal

Series: Clarity (Book 2)

Publication Date: March 1, 2012

Format: Hardcover, 288 Pages

ISBN-10: 0545230535 (Scholastic/Point)

ISBN-13:  978-0545230537 (Scholastic/Point)

Reviewed by: Emmy


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.

Quick & Dirty: The funny conversations and good tension in the story make up for some of its predictable plot points and the romance triangle continuing from Clarity.

Opening Sentence: I stepped forward with forced confidence.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

So Clare’s life at Eastport has gotten a little easier.  Since she caught a killer last summer, she’s stopped being the town’s psychic freak and turned into a hero. The popular girls–at least some of them–want to be her friends. But while not being bullied makes for a nice change of pace, being the center of attention is still uncomfortable for Clare. When Sara Waldman disappears, supposedly running away, Clare wonders if she should use her powers to find her or just leave well enough alone. She’s a fun (and funny) narrator to have, because she’s honest and up front about everything. Clare has no pretensions and is definitely the sort of girl I’d have been friends with.

Justin is fighting his newly regulated friend status, wanting to go back to the way they were before. Before he cheated on her with Tiffany, her biggest tormenter.  While stepping in front of a bullet for her has definitely put him back on her good side, Clare’s not ready to let him back in.  And then there’s Gabriel, the skeptic who may or may not be boyfriend material.  I mean, it would be hard to date a guy who thought you were a fraud, but the hot factor, as well as the steamy looks, might just make up for it. Gabriel’s dad is one of Eastport’s finest, and with Sara Waldman missing his connections come in handy as Clare works to find what really happened.

What starts out as sweet notes quickly escalates to creepy emails and phone calls. Clare’s hunt for Sara Waldman goes slowly and when she finally starts looking for a stalker, the investigation goes nowhere. This is one of the plot lines I had a hard time investing in, if only because of Clare’s reaction to having a secret admirer. The fact is, there really isn’t much of one.  And when the situation begins to escalate–to emails, pictures, and so on–she doesn’t tell anyone. Not her mom, who’s she’s worried will stop her from investigating Sara’s disappearance, or her brother, because he’s been acting like a total douche recently. The fact is, it was the one point in the story where I though Clare was out of character.  Throughout the book she’s a smart heroine, even if she is swamped with cliché high school and boy problems. So why doesn’t she notice it’s actually really, really creepy?

This was a very classic young adult paranormal. While not exactly a bad thing, a lot of the high school experiences–bonfires, house parties–came off as cliché and contrived.  The plot, however, does have a twist that I didn’t see coming.  Though Clare’s new popular friends aren’t exactly the most engaging characters, I did come to like Mallory, Clare’s new, outcast friend. I loved the way their friendship developed and the dynamics it opened up.  The conversations were funny and Harrington built some really great tension into the story–both romantic and scary. One thing I really did love was the Fern family, because they’re quirky and yet relatable at the same time, which is always a hard thing to do with characters that have supernatural powers. Overall, Perception was an easy read, and not a bad sequel.  I’ll definitely be picking up the next book Harrington comes out with.

Notable Scene:

I clicked.

I hope you liked my flowers. You deserve to be lavished with gifts. Because you are unique.  You are special. 

Still anonymous.

I read it over three or four times. The note in my locker and the flowers had made my stomach do little flips over the unexpected flattery. But now I felt a bit nervous. The email was all complimentary. There was nothing threatening about it.  But it didn’t seem right. I hemmed and hawed for a few minutes about whether or not to write back and finally decided to do it.

Thanks for the compliments, but I’m at the point now where I want to know who you are. Please tell me.

I hit SEND, and only a minute later, I got a mailbox error in return.  The email address did not exist.

The Clarity Series:

1. Clarity

2. Perception

FTC Advisory: Scholastic/Point provided me with a copy of Perception.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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One Response to “Review: Perception by Kim Harrington

  1. Midnyte ReaderNo Gravatar

    Although some scenes didn’t work for me, I still really enjoyed Perception. I enjoyed reading your opinions on certain plot points. I bought that she didn’t tell anyone about her creepy secret admirer…maybe b/c I can be VERY clueless at times. I also agree with you about her family being relatable. I like the fact that they are all close.

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