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Clare Fern just wishes things could go back to how they used to be, when no one really knew who she was or what she could do. But after all the drama of last summer, when Clare was involved in solving a murder mystery, everyone knows all about her unique psychic abilities. Unfortunately, the last thing that Clare wants is this strange, sudden fame, where almost everyone in school wants to be her friend. She’d rather be left alone to figure out her own personal drama, particularly, what to do about Justin and Gabriel, an ex-boyfriend and a surprising new friend who are each vying to be the most important guy in her life. Things are only further complicated when Clare starts receiving messages and gifts from a secret admirer that are undeniable sweet—until they turn more sinister. Once again, Clare finds herself caught up in a darker plot, determined to solve this mystery however she can before it’s too late.
I thoroughly enjoyed Harrington’s debut Clarity, so there was no doubt that I was going to pick up its sequel, Perception. As I hoped, all the psychic intrigue, threat of real danger, and relationship tension that I liked in Clarity were also present in Perception. The story is just as much about Clare’s struggle to choose between Justin and Gabriel and her developing relationship with her new friend Mallory as it is about the possibly sinister side to a secret admirer. These plotlines and others were all interesting to read about, but I found that they weren’t quite well balanced within the story as a whole. This combined with minimal transitions sometimes made it feel like I was jumping from one separate story to another, although they were all technically Clare’s story. As a result, the conclusions of certain storylines, such as that of Clare’s relationship drama, felt a lot less satisfying than others, like the story behind the secret admirer. Despite this, I still found Perception a quite thrilling and entertaining read, with an engaging plot and still opportunity for more secrets and mysteries.
Fans of Clarity will not want to miss its sequel in Perception, nor will readers who also enjoyed Death at Deacon Pond by E.M. Alexander, The Sight by Judy Blundell, Dark Visions by L.J. Smith, and Numbers by Rachel Ward.
Review copy from publisher Scholastic
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