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ARC Review: Perception + Giveaway

my thoughts in a few sentences: This series is chockfull of snark and unending wit produced by one awesome main character! Clarity never ceases to surprise me with her guts, bravery, and compassion, but she wasn't the only character who did dazzle me. For the first time, I fell helplessly in love with a love interest that I had no intention of caring for, my reluctance dissolving and inside me desires were lit that entirely centered around these two characters coming together. The growth and appeal of the cast made this read that much more enjoyable, and the mystery made for a quick-paced, tension-filled story that tipped into unlikely, yet somehow attractively predictable territories. Another fun murder mystery to add to my collection, I'm deeply in like with this paranormal mystery series!

hooking first line: "I stepped forward with forced confidence. "Let's do this.""

Rating: Sud-KissedNo spoilers! | Point • Publicist • Paranormal Romance • 3/1/12 • $10.99


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.
Let me remind you all that I adored Clarity, the first book in the series. It was this perfect surprise, full of all the things I'd needed at the time—a light, funny murder mystery featuring a headstrong heroine and her quirky family of psychics. The mystery was paced in a way that left us guessing then turned out predictable, however that didn't turn us off to the story at all. Harrington has this subtle gift of making whatever she writes incredibly charming and irresistible, drawing us in with her clever dialogue, fiery main character, and the ensuing band of interesting family members and friends that live in her world. The triangular romance is done so authentically and so genuinely, that this aspect balances wonderfully on the line of unbelievable and convincing, and with a girl like Clare in between the deliciously sexy and dark Gabriel and his light and cheerful counterpart, Justin, it isn't so difficult to imagine why the two of them desire to be with her so fiercely.

In Clarity, it's so simple to side with Justin and mentally shove Clare in his direction, hoping for their blissful reconciliation and their eventual romantic reunion. He's so sweet and light-hearted, capturing our hearts with his downright earnest attempts to win over the ex-girlfriend (Clare) he totally didn't mean to cheat on (with her arch-nemesis—OUCH). He would never have made a mistake like that had he been even marginally sober, and it just pains us that such a good guy has this huge mistake hanging over his head, with seemingly no chance to escape it or make amends. In Perception, Clare begins to take the route of forgiveness which relieves us of our sadness toward him. Meanwhile, the brooding, quick-tempered, and dangerously gorgeous Gabriel sneaks his way passed our defenses and suddenly, he's not the creeper we once imagined him to be and we find ourselves fawning over him like ridiculously adoring puppies, ones who happen to want to live in Clare's lucky shoes, even for only a moment. Our only wish is that we receive more insight and in-depth characterizations for these two guys whom we've come to like immensely.

Clare and Perry, unrelentingly loyal brother and sister, are two opposites of the same coin. While Clare is feisty and snarky, Perry is the happy-go-lucky man-slut who can charm his way into anyone's pants if he so wishes, and yet they get along so well that their relationship draws the eye and softens are already susceptible hearts. After the terrifying events of Clarity, their relationship, unfortunately, becomes even more strained and Perry's inner charm begins to dim so that he's closing himself off to the world more and more everyday. It shows, however, the differences in how they handle situations and cope with the awful things that happen to them. Clare comes across as almost alarmingly resilient—could we ever be so bold and strong after all that she has endured?—but deep down, she is girl that carries many fears. Give her crime-fighting case to solve, where kidnapped girls are surfacing shriveled and breathless, and she wants to help and be part of the whole that makes things better. Thrust a potential friend and ally in her line of vision and she is stuck, uncomprehending of how to proceed and engage in a true friendship. As her walls slowly tumble, however, we meet and become incredibly close to a new fun and sweet character that makes this novel all the more fun to read.

We are thrilled by the final turn of events, in which the killer, an unexpected alliance between enemies, and love life decisions tangle together to plunge this story of growth and hard decisions into the bright uncertainty and happiness of the closing. Thoroughly satisfied, we can't help but beg Harrington for much more!

As part of her revenge plot, Tiffany had set her sights on my boyfriend at a party, and Justin had been dumb enough to fall for it. Yeah, alcohol was involved, but that's no excuse. It would take a lot more than tequila to make me lose my virginity to Satan. (16)

Official Giveaway Info:
  • you do NOT have to be a follower
  • there are extra entries available
  • all entrants must be at least 13 years old or older
  • giveaway deadline is April 3, 2012
  • giveaway is open to US only*
  • (Make sure to check the giveaway page anyway! There are some INTL giveaways listed that are ending soon!)
  • read my Contest | Giveaway page, as well as my Privacy Notice
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Giselleco said...

Beautiful review Asher. I haven't read the first book yet but you make me want to read them both. I really enjoy murder mysteries too so pretty sure I'd like these!

daisychainbooks said...

I had to skim read your review, but I'm glad you liked this one. I loved Clarity so much and I'm waiting for my pre-order of Perception to arrive! Can't wait!!

Asher_Knight said...

 Hehe. That's ok, L. There really weren't any spoilers that I could find, though. :P

*fist-bumps* Of course, you loved Clarity! What's not to love!!

Mimi Valentine said...

"...and suddenly, he's not the creeper we once imagined him to be and we
find ourselves fawning over him like ridiculously adoring puppies..." <-- LOOOOOOL!! That line made my day! x) It's so true!!I remember Gabriel being okay in book one, but I absolutely LOVED him in Perception! This book was just so much better than I thought it would be in every way and I loved it!

Your review for Perception is perfection, Asher! :) Wasn't that twist at the end so crazy in that awesome way??? I'll be begging for more with you for sure! <3

Kelly Mills said...

I might be forgiving.  It would depend in part on how our relationship was otherwise.

deadtossedwaves said...

Crap! I also follow Kim's blog GFC: Vivien

deadtossedwaves said...

I cannot wait for this one. Clarity was such a refreshing read!

deadtossedwaves said...

And I DO NOT forgive....never

Asher_Knight said...

 I go to my mom, "Is it weird that I thought he was a creeper dude and now, I'm, like, madly in love with him?" She looked at me for a second and then goes, "Yeah, no. Not at all. Why would that be weird?" But her expression told me all the reasons why it would be. *LOL*

And it is so much better. I think Clare really came into her own and I was so happy with the ending! I really hope they give Harrington a chance do more. At least one more, and then I'll be satisfied. Honestly, though, I could see these going on for a while and I wouldn't hate it. So long as its innate awesomeness didn't deteriorate, that is.

Asher_Knight said...

I think we'd be riding in the same canoe on that one, Kelly. :)

Asher_Knight said...

 It really is! I adored nearly everything about it! The story is just so fun and Harrington's writing is funny without being too annoyingly teenagery. Totally agree.

Lexie@Bookbug said...

Definitely not! I have a hard time forgiving and that is totally unforgivable!

Asher_Knight said...

Ah. I figured some would say that. For me, it depends on the situation. Still, in Clarity, it's fun to watch Clare deal with unresolved feelings for her ex. :)

Montana G. said...

I would forgive my boyfriend for cheating on me, but I would not ever consider getting back together with him.