This book is like nothing you’ve ever read before. There aren’t many books that I can honestly say that about, but this is such a unique blend of genres and tones and the paranormal element is so completely original, that I am confident that you won’t be able to compare it to anything else! I’ll just apologize now for the repeated use of the word “unique”…it’s just…this is a one of a kind book! It’s fresh and brave and it’s absolutely brilliant!
If you’re a fan of Jessica Park you don’t need to be convinced to pick this one up, but just let me reassure you: though there is that paranormal element, this is very much a “Jessica Park” book!! The character driven, highly emotional, psychologically intelligent STORY is still there, it’s just intertwined with this amazing alternate reality that will stretch your imagination, make you re-imagine everything you *think* you know, and keep you turning pages late into the night wondering what the hell is going to happen next!!
Jessica’s prose is so powerful…her words might just knock you off balance. Every word is expertly chosen, perfectly placed, and delivered with maximum impact. The writing in this book is like a perfectly executed gourmet meal: Unexpected ingredients chosen for their freshness and bursting with flavor, all the fat expertly trimmed, but it is smothered in “the good stuff”…that sauce that you can’t get enough of is dripping from all the right places, and you just want to savor every single morsel.
These characters got to me. I wanted to understand their pain, their internal chaos, their struggle with reality. I felt every ounce of betrayal, every fear, all the despair…and I celebrated every victory, each small joy, and all the sublime moments of connection and contentment. These people felt completely authentic…I believed their responses, even when I couldn’t imagine myself reacting the way they did. Stella and Sam have one of those mystical connections that so many of us spend a lifetime trying to find…and it’s beautiful to watch it unfold. And (as with all of Jessica’s books) New England itself is a central character in the story…the lush landscapes and the ever present connection to water play a pivotal role in the story. More than ever I want to go visit Jessica and have her show me this region that is clearly a part of her..down to her bones!
This story is exquisitely twisted. It was a very psychologically demanding read for me…not much catches me off guard or makes me squirm, but CLEAR manages to do both in the best possible ways! The pace is perfect, the tone is unapologetically raw and honest, and the result is intensely entertaining and mind-bending. You will probably look up from this book at more than one point and ask the universe “What the hell am I READING???”, and then dive back into it with abandon. Please, please, PLEASE don’t go looking for spoilers!! You need to go into this book without preconceived notions about what to expect…expect the unexpected…and expect it to be amazing. That’s all.
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