in a sentence or so: Clare's ability to channel experiences through touching objects hasn't always been the most socially acceptable talent. but when the local police and new detective need her abilities to find out who killed a tourist in their quiet seaside town, she's all over it.Clare, short for Clarity, isn't your typical sixteen year old. she can see experiences that others have had by touching objects they've touched. so if you gave her your cell phone, she might be able to recall the last conversation. or if you let her touch your purse, she might be able to tell you where and when you bought it. or, if you cheated on her and you're wearing the same jacket, she might be able to tell you that too.of course, this ability also makes Clare a social outcast at school. getting called a freak day in and day out is something she's kinda used to. i mean, she does have a business with her mom and brother providing psychic insight to tourists all summer long and they do live in a house that screams "spiritual readings". but in all reality, Clare is a pretty cool girl. she's been labeled as an outcast, so an outcast she remains. until a tourist winds up dead in a hotel room and the police have absolutely no leads. at all. they are so desperate, in fact, that the mayor's son (enter ex-boyfriend) Justin and the new detective's son (enter dark and sexy outsider) Gabriel, are asking for her assistance. and Clare, being the decent and genuinely awesome girl she is, knows she has to help.this was totally reminiscent of Veronica Mars, and i dug it. i tried to watch the show a few months back and just couldn't get into it. methinks it was a case of right show, wrong time. but i digress. we've got a teenage girl who's a detective outcast trying to solve a mystery because that's how she rolls. she's torn between her feelings of strong attraction to the new boy in town, Gabriel, and harboring some familiar feelings for Justin, the ex-boyfriend. i was initially worried this would be super paranormal feeling, but it wasn't. sure, she has a gift for seeing things that others can't and that complicates her life. but she knows this, and we don't have to learn this from her - which is great. but more so, the story is about the murder mystery. and i LOVE a good mystery. Clary starts to realize that those closest to her were involved with the victim, and discovering the truth might be one of the hardest things she's ever done. you know, if she can keep her head on straight from the two swoon worthy boys working the case with her...i loved that the mom's gift was reading minds. can you imagine anything worse than your mom reading your 16 year old mind? okay maybe her reading the 16 year old mind of your boyfriend is worse...but Clare's mom is a splash of humor and genuine love that helped balance this read. the tone was comfortable and i fell into step with Clary immediately. her voice was intelligent, sweet, smart, and sincere. the plot was sure to include bursts of intensity now and again to keep things exciting. success.i'll definitely be checking out the future books in this series. a well written, light-but-not-fluff, funny mystery series with a girl as awesome as Clare in the lead is exactly the kind of book i crave from time to time.fave quote: "The investigation wasn't getting anywhere. And mostly, I wanted to forget the way I felt when I'd seen Justin at the banquet. I wished I could say a magic word and make all my feelings for him disappear. Maybe I'd get a lobotomy. For now, I'd eat." (153)fix er up: the cover. oh my goodness the cover. granted, i have the advanced review copy cover, but it's pretty much the same as the actual cover on the book. yeah, Clare is a redhead...but she has curly hair so it's not accurate. and also, it just looks...meh. i'm diggin the color scheme though, so there's that.