Perception by Kim Harrington

PerceptionTitle: Perception

Author: Kim Harrington

Genre: Mystery/Paranormal

Publisher: Scholastic Point

Pages: 288

Rating: 4.5/5

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.

After the complexity of my last review (Veronica Rossi’s Under the Never Sky), this will be a lot simpler, not to mention shorter. This is the sequel to Kim Harrington’s debut, Clarity, which I loved, so much so that I bought it and this book so I could reread the first before reading this one as soon as possible, rather than waiting for it to show up at the library. I was slightly worried that it wouldn’t live up to my love of the first book, and though the beginning of the book seemed like my worries could come true, the ending more than made up for it.

Before I talk about the awesomeness of this book and its mysteries, though, I’ll explain what I didn’t like about the beginning. In the previous book, Clare could be a very judgmental person, especially when it came to the resident blonde, ‘slutty,’ mean girl, Tiffany. It annoyed me when Clare would describe Tiffany with various demeaning terms and phrases to illustrate that she was a ‘slut,’ but luckily it was mostly at the beginning and stopped for the most part once the action started, and it wasn’t mentioned as much in this book. Unfortunately, though, Clare’s judgmental-persona, which didn’t show up as much in the first book since it was summer and she didn’t encounter her classmates much, showed up a lot more in this book, now that Clare’s back in school. Even though some of the popular girls seem eager to befriend her, Clare repeatedly judges them in her head and sometimes out loud, making it clear that they’re horrible people who are just using her because of her power. It annoyed me how judgmental she was, rarely even trying to take the time to get to know them. When Clare’s mom, at one point, tries to get her to give the girls a chance, I was urging Clare along with her. It didn’t matter if the girls end up being just as bad as she thought they were in the end (and one of them kind of does, but I’m not going to say who), I just wanted her to at least give them a chance to surprise her first.

Luckily, that aspect also lessened as the book went on, to be replaced by the two main mysteries of the book, of the secret admirer and the missing girl. At the beginning, these mysteries kind of seemed to be on the back burner, but by the second half of the book, the action they involved more than made up for that. There were plenty of twists I didn’t see coming. Harrington kept giving some people who seemed to be the obvious culprits, and I was so worried that she would end up having them as the culprits, which would be a big letdown, but in the end I had no idea who the real culprits were. I don’t want to give anything away, but I didn’t see the ending coming, something that left me a very happy reader. I also like how she wrapped up the love triangle, having Clare make a decision in the very end, and I’m ultimately happy with Clare’s decision, although I wont say who she picked, if she even picked anyone. I also like how the characters, especially Perry, developed from the last book based on the events of it. People can’t go through an experience like what happened in Clarity without being changed, something books sometimes forget about, especially when it comes to paranormal YA, it seems.

So, in the end, I was very happy with this book. I think it was a great sophomore book, even if Clare’s judgmental personality sometimes got in the way – hopefully she’ll work on that some more in the next book. At least, I really hope that is a third book – after the amazingness of these two books, there just has to be. Either that, or Harrington has to create just as interesting characters. No matter what, though, I’ll be reading.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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