YA book reviews, reading and recommending since 2009

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: March 16th 2010
Buy it from: Book Depository (free shipping worldwide!)
Silver star (3.95/5 stars)
Synopsis: 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.

Review: The Body Finder delves into many topics that could be of advantage to the story at times but also make the book overwhelming. Right from the start, we are thrown into Violet’s world, from the moment she finds the first dead body. Her special ability was creatively done and made the story chilling and suspenseful. I was glad that Violet’s character became more developed over the course of the entire novel.

I like the mystery part of the novel the best, it was so skillfully done and created a chilling premise. I loved reading the parts told from the serial killer’s POV. Yes, I said that right. You get to see how the serial killer abducts his victims, cool huh? But unfortunately, there was a portion of the book where the killer was Missing In Action. It was basically chapters filled with awkward moments between Jay and Violet, with Violet silently longing for Jay. While readers want to see the two of them together, it is best to have a moderation. The crushing made the story a little slow at first, but the investigation to find out who the killer kept me satisfied until the good part, aka, when the killer strikes. A serial killer can’t possibly lie low for so long. He/she will have to strike sooner or later.

Jay and Violet’s friendship is lovely and fragile. It puzzles me that the trust between Jay and Violet was not exactly very strong. There was an incident where one party became jealous of the other and instead of understanding the situation, the latter immediately finds someone to make the other person jealous. That just made me question why their friendship wasn’t strong enough for them to work out their issues.

I really liked the ending. Even though there is a sequel to this book, I am so thankful that the ending was not a cliffhanger, making The Body Finder a solid book. It wasn’t easy to guess who the killer was, and I appreciated that.

I quite enjoyed The Body Finder and I thought it was a certainly good debut effort. Fans of Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz will enjoy this romance with a touch of paranormal and mystery book.

“The romance and the mystery in The Body Finder were so intense that I didn’t know whether to hold my breath or scream. I did know I wouldn’t be getting anything done until I read the whole book.”
—Melissa Marr, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked Lovely, Ink Exchange, and Fragile Eternity

“You’ll be drawn in by the love story—and kept up all night by the suspense.”
—Claudia Gray, New York Times bestselling author of STARGAZER

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