Title: The Body Finder
Author: Kimberly Derting
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publication Date: March 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 336 Pages
ISBN-10: 0061779814 (Harper Teen)
ISBN-13: 978-0061779817 (Harper Teen)
Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her “power” to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.
Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.
Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay’s intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself.
Quick & Dirty: An exciting and heart-stopping tale that will leave you begging for more.
Opening Sentence: Violet Ambrose wandered away from the safety of her father as she listened to the harmony of sounds weaving delicately around her.
When Violet Ambrose was eight years old, she stumbled across the body of a teenage girl. Violet has the ability to sense death echoes of both animals and people as well as the ability to sense “imprints” on those who have caused death. She’s compelled to seek out the echo’s of the dead and make sure that they are properly put to rest. Only Violet’s family and her best friend, Jay, know about her ability. With the overwhelming love and support of Jay and her family, Violet is able to cope with her paranormal ability. When people she knows start turning up dead, Violet is determined to help catch the killer.
The Body Finder is a well-written novel with a unique premise. Ms. Derting has crafted a strong debut that deals with realistic teen issues head on. I appreciate the fact that the parents in this novel weren’t killed off or tragically “damaged” in some way as to impair their ability to parent. I really enjoyed the dynamics of the loving and supportive Ambrose family. I like Violet because she’s such an authentic character. Even though she struggles with the average teenage insecurities, she’s strong, compassionate, and unassuming. I’m also impressed with the way she deals with her ability.
What can I say about Jay? I simply loved his character. Jay is loyal and very protective towards Violet so at first blush – readers might dub him as the one dimensional/clichéd “perfect” best friend turned boyfriend, but you soon realize that he’s so much more. Violet and Jay share an intense love story. When Jay seemingly turns into a young man over the summer break, Violet struggles to deal with her new and not so innocent feelings towards him. Eventually, Jay makes the first move and the sparks that ignite between them burn up the pages. I like the fact that Jay was a responsible and mature teenage boy able to show Violet in many ways his love for her, and that he wasn’t solely driven by his sexual desires for her. The awkwardness and sexual tension between them is really cute and realistic.
The Body Finder will have your heart racing double-time and your pulse-pounding dangerously out of control. The story is well crafted and the tension pulses and rises as the story unfolds. While I did like the ending, I felt that it wrapped up rather quickly. It would have also been nice to see more from the POV of the killer. Those parts of the novel were really creepy and I loved every minute of it.
Overall, The Body Finder is a MUST read. Ms. Derting crafted a suspenseful page-turner that won’t disappoint. The characters are well developed and believable, making it easy to become invested in the outcome. Rich with clever dialogue and filled with gripping suspense, The Body Finder is an intense thrill-ride. I’m looking forward to visiting this chilling and fascinating world again in the sequel, Desires of the Dead.
Violet stumbled backward, nearly tripping over her own feet in an effort to escape him. She covered her mouth with her hand, stifling her own terrified yelp as she caught herself before she fell and then froze, praying that he hadn’t noticed the sound of her clumsy feet crushing the twigs beneath her. Suddenly everything she did seemed too loud to her…each carefully plotted step she took echoed loudly off the trees, each labored breath she took was like an explosion. She tiptoed away, but even that seemed too obvious, and she told herself that she needed to act normal…to behave as though nothing had happened and to sneak away unnoticed. He never even looked up from his position.
FTC Advisory: Harper Teen provided me with an ARC of The Body Finder. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. In addition, I don’t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.
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