Perception by Kim Harrington

Perception

Kim Harrington
Publisher: Scholastic Point
Release Date: March 1, 2012
Series or Standalone: Clarity #2
ISBN: 9780545230537
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 288
Websites:
Kim Harrington – Website
Kim Harrington – Blog 
Kim Harrington – Twitter

Rating: 4 Stars

Reading Perception reminded me of how much I enjoyed Clarity. It was so great to be thrown back into Clare’s world in Eastport, MA.

Perception picks up after the events of Clarity. Clare and the Fern family are still dealing with the aftermath of what occurred over the summer, which means an increase in popularity for Clare and trouble for her brother Perry. Before long, trouble once again rears its head in Eastport with the disappearance of a local girl followed by Clare getting messages from a secret admirer making Clare want to use her gift to try to solve these mysterious

I really liked that Kim Harrington did not just dismiss the events of the prior book, but continued to build off what happened and continue to affect the characters. Clare wants to use her gift to help find this missing girl but her near brush with death in book one makes her mother prevent her from doing that. But Clare is still curious and manages to still try and help anyways.

I loved the mystery in this book. A simple, yet believable situation had Clare and the reader working to the end to uncover the culprit. I really liked how everything tied together in the end and how all the little mysteries popping up were all connected.

The battle of the boys, Gabriel and Jason, continues in this book more. In Clarity, I wasn’t sure who I liked more out of the two boys, but Perception allowed room for more growth with both these characters and Gabriel came out as my favorite of the two (I mean he plays hockey!). While the romance isn’t the main focus of the book, it was woven in with the main action and did not feel forced. And this was not a love triangle that was annoying either. Clare is genuinely confused about her feelings for these boys and wants both in her life, but not sure whom she would prefer to be more than friends with. In the end, I felt Clare definitely made the right choice with the guy she picked.

Perception allowed a lot of room for Clare to grow as a character. So much has happened to her between these two books and she had to have changed because of the events that occurred. Clare became a stronger person, not afraid to be who she was and let people into her life instead of staying on the fringes. She’s no longer just the freak with special powers, but an actual person and she is able to see how important she is too.

Perception is the perfect quick summer read. Kim Harrington’s style is funny and sarcastic and she knows how to write a great mystery. I really enjoyed this sequel and it reminded me why I loved the first one so much. I’m so glad I finally got around to read this. I can’t wait to see what Kim Harrington writes next!

And side-note: how perfect is this cover? I love it. Makes so much sense with the book too. And this Clare is much more how I pictured her then the one on the original Clarity cover.

Waiting on Wednesday (65) – Perception

Perception
Kim Harrington
Publisher: Scholastic Point
To be released: March 1, 2011
Summary (from Goodreads):
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

So I loved Clarityand I REALLY cannot wait to read it’s sequel Perception. Also, Kim is awesome and I’m really excited for her second novel. I’ll even wear my Fern Family Readings shirt while reading this. And I love the cover (even if the model is different from the first book) it’s just so pretty.
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event highlighting exciting upcoming releases. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Review: Clarity

Clarity
Kim Harrington
Publisher: Scholastic Point
Release Date: March 1, 2011
Pages: 256
Source: Received from Publisher
Ratings: 5 Stars
Summary (from Goodreads):
When you can see things others can’t, where do you look for the truth?
This paranormal murder mystery will have teens reading on the edge of their seats.
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?
Clarity is a great debut novel that will have you drawn in right from the beginning. Filled with mystery, a great strong snarky female lead and plenty of boys, Clarity is filled with fun.
The best thing about Clarity is the characters. All the characters are AWESOME!! Clare is definitely one of my favorite characters EVER. She is so full of spunk. Clare is such a strong character and she has to be being from a family of “freaks” and bullied about it at school. Clare can really hold her own against everyone else. And she is full of snark. I LOVE SNARK! I would have been fine just reading a story about Clare’s everyday life even if nothing happened because she is just entertaining. Clare had me laughing out loud at times too. She’s pretty kick-ass. I really loved Clare’s brother Perry too. While Perry has his flaws and is a player, he still has this loveable characteristic. Clare and Perry’s relationship was spot on too. They truly felt like brother and sister, you could feel the love between them and the need to protect each other, and I loved that.
While Clare and her family has special abilities, the supernatural aspect from their abilities did not dominate the story. I really liked that abilities was not the center of the story. Instead, the characters and the relationship between the characters was what I felt was center of the story. Also the mystery WAS GREAT! I literally did not know who the murderer was. I would suspect it to be one person but find out it wasn’t. I thought the murderer was like four different people and in the end I WAS WRONG! I had no clue who the murderer was. That’s great a feat to completely blind side the read with who the killer is. I really liked that.
I really loved how Kim wrapped up this book. The ending wrapped up everything nice, but still left things open enough for the next book. Especially with Clare’s boy situation. I really cannot decide if I want Clare with Justin or Gabriel. They both have their own flaws and own charms so I cannot pick!
Overall, Clarity was a great fun read. I loved Clare, she was such a strong, confidant, spunky character. She is definitely one of my favorite characters of this year. I cannot wait to read the next book because it is sure to be AWESOME!! 

Don’t forget to enter to win a signed copy of Clarity and check out Kim’s launch party recap HERE!

Kim Harrington’s Launch Party

On March 5, I had the immense pleasure of being able to attend Kim Harrington’s launch party for her debut novel Clarity. I had the pleasure of arriving early to pick up two copies of Clarity (a great thing since they sold out of every copy in the store! All 80 copies) and then met up with some awesome blogger buddies (Ariane, Danielle B, Jen, Nikki, and Gail) to head out to lunch at Chipolte before the event. Awesomeness ensued at Chipolte and I was introduced to the Narwal Song (seriously how had I never heard that before!) by the fabulous Jen and Gail. We then headed back to Tatnuck where Kim was all prepared and greeting everyone. We then all went to Tatnuck’s event room which was great a socialized with a bunch of bloggers and authors who attended the signing while waiting for the event to start.
Kim Harrington, Leigh Fallon (Carrier of the Mark) and Karsten Knight (Wildefire)
So many people came to the launch! Not just bloggers but a bunch of local authors, like Leigh Fallon (Carrier of the Mark, Sept 2011) and Karsten Knight (Wildefire, July 2011). Kim’s editor Aimee Friedman (also author of Sea Change, The Year My Sister Got Lucky and others) also made the trip from New York for the event.
Aimee Friedman and Kim Harrington with Clarity 
We were all chatting and having a blast when we then called to order so the event could get underway. Kim was then introduced to a packed house by Nikki Mutch, the local sales rep for Scholastic.

Kim then took to the podium. Kim started about by discussing her journey to being a published author. For as long as Kim can remember, she was a voracious reader and always wanted to be a writer. Kim’s parents wanted Kim to have an enlarged photo of herself when she was younger up with books the whole time of the event but Kim didn’t want that but did show the picture off to everyone in the room.
Little Kim. 
While discussing her childhood, the first thing Kim remembers writing is a poem about a dog. When she was younger, Kim really loved the ocean and had a strange obsession with sharks (she even had a small one in a formaldehyde jar). One day she decided she was gonna write a book about sharks so she went to all her books about sharks and copied lots of facts about sharks and called it her own book. After that shark book, in 2nd Kim wrote a story about a house that swallows children who walk by. Kim admits she has a strange fascination with violence and horror.

Kim’s journey to become a writer changed in high school. During high school, Kim questioned herself about if she really wanted to be a writer and want to be poor her whole life. For her whole life, Kim wanted to be a writer, so in high school she took a career test to see what jobs she might be good at and got florist, lawyer or accountant. When she went to a job fair she decided to become an accountant. So Kim went to school as an accountant major, but ended up changing majors to a marketing major, and graduated with a degree in marketing.

All throughout college, the fascination with writing was still there. So Kim decided to challenge herself and see if she could write a book and just finish one – she did finish one but she admits it was crap but now she knew she could write a book.

Kim recalls an important phone call with her parents, where one of her parents (she admits she can’t remember which and bet they would fight over who gave her the advice later) asked her a very important question: “Do you still enjoy writing? Then write another book.” This lead to Kim ending up writing Clarity.

After recounting her journey to publication. Kim then did a short reading from Clarity, and proceeded to a Q&A with the audience. I did the best I could taking notes so any errors people are my own.

Where did your idea for Clarity come from? Kim admits she heard one voice, a voice of a teenager girl who said “Welcome to the freak show” (a line still in the book) and only that one voice. From their Kim proceeded to play the “What if?” game about that voice in her head and from that Clarity was born. Kim decided to set the book in Cape Cod but created a fictional town for freedom to create whatever she wanted. She found inspiration where she could.

What’s the inside joke? (a result of something Kim said while reading about the name of girl murdered in Clarity) In the original version of the book, the girl had a hard to pronounce last name that needed to be changed. Her good friend Susan then said “Kill me!” enthusiastically. So Kim did, using her friends name for the girl killed in the book.

How did you learn to write? Practice and more practice. You learn by doing and keep writing. Some agents will help develop story and craft. Since Kim was a marketing major, she had no actual schooling for writing, so she read as many books as she could on writing and took some advice from that. But the way to learn is to practice and learn from the makes you make and continue writing to make it better.

Are you ever going release the short stories you wrote before being published? Probably not because the short stories were horrifically violent.

How much of Clarity is Kim? Kim admits that people who know her will recognizes Clare’s sarcasm as Kim’s. Clare’s eating habits are extremely similar to Kim’s too, such as her hate of the smell of sea food, coke for breakfast and basically any other eating habits of Clare’s are also Kim’s.

Where there any major changes from the first draft to the finished version? The motivation for the crime in the original draft was different than the finished version. Originally Clare’s house burned down. There was a lot more violence in the original draft.

What book do you wish had been available when you were a teen? Kim admits she wished the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins had been published when she was a teen. That book series would have really appealed to her violent side. Kim also admitted to reading a lot of Stephen King while growing up.

Is there a particular song that represents Clarity? For the darker scenes: Closer by Kings of Leon and Army of Me by Bjork. There were a few more that I didn’t get but Kim says she plans on posting a playlist on her website.

What are you working on now? Right now she is working of on the edits of Perception, the sequel to Clarity(out March 2012).  Kim is also working on a standalone ghost story (currently untitled) that will be out in Fall of 2012.

Where the three books before Clarity YA? One was YA, one college and one was adult.

How long does it take you to write? It took Kim 9 months to write Clarity and about the same amount of time for Perception but she was doing Clarity edits at the same time. She thinks the new book she is writing now will take the same amount of time as the other two.

The last question came from Kim’s son who didn’t think he should have to wait until he is 12 to read Clarity to which Kim responded that Scholastic rated it 14+ and her should be lucky she was only making him wait until he was 12. Much laughter ensued after this.

After the Q&A, Kim began signing to a line that seemed to NEVER end.
But people didn’t mind waiting since there was cake.
And tarot card readings to keep everyone interested.
Here are some pictures from the event. Including pictures of the AWESOME CLARITY shirts some of us had made.
All of Us in our AWESOME Clarity Shirts!
Kim and I
If you’ve made it this far, I will reward you with a giveaway. Luckily I was able to pick up an extra copy of Clarity before the store sold out and was able to get it signed. So below is a form you can fill out to enter to win ONE SIGNED COPY OF CLARITY. Contest is open in US only and ends March 25, 2011 (3/25/11). 

Waiting on Wednesday (8) – Clarity

Clarity
Kim Harrington
Publisher: Scholastic Point
To be released: March 1, 2011

Summary (from Goodreads):

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 an 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? 

I love this cover and cannot wait to read this book! It sounds so good! Cannot wait for next year! 


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event highlighting exciting upcoming releases. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.