Perception is the sequel to Clarity and picks up shortly after those events. Clare Fern, known for her psychic abilities, thinks the school year will be a little less exciting than her summer. After successfully tracking down a murderer, Clare is now super popular at school and surrounded by fake friends. Her ex Justin, who saved her life, wants to get back together and Clare has mixed feelings for him, because she has not forgotten his betrayal with her enemy Tiffany. To complicate matters, Gabriel, the sheriff's son, is definitely interested in being more than friends, feelings which she reciprocates. What Clare hopes to have most is a true friend and she seems to find that in Mallory, a quiet girl who finally opens up to Clare, but when Mallory's ex-best friend turns up dead and Clare begins to receive scary secret admirer notes, one of her top suspects is Mallory. To complicate matters, Perry, Clare's brother, is acting strange and being contacted by a spirit possibly connected to the killer, and her mother is panicked over Clare's classmate's death, leaving her without her usually support. Can Clare solve the case, before she becomes the victim?
I love Kim Harrington's mysteries and I hate that I waited so long to finish this one. Her two books about Clare are quick, suspenseful reads and The Dead and the Buried is good too. These work perfectly for middle school all the way to young adult readers. I enjoy how she ties up the loose ends and Clare's romantic interests. I wish there were more books in the series, but the ending was nicely done. I like how Harrington weaves in the supernatural elements, but still has a good mystery plot and that the two themes would work separately, that they are both strongly developed. There is also some great points about friendship made in the book and about relationships. A quick, satisfying read, 4 cups of cocoa for sure!