May 16, 2012

Review: The Body Finder

By: Kimberly Derting
Published: March 2010 by HarperTeen
Format: Hardback, 327 pages
First Reviewed: May 2010
Buy: Barnes & Noble//Books-A-Million//Amazon//Book Depository
Add it on Goodreads

A serial killer on the loose. A girl with a morbid ability. And the boy who would never let anything happen to her.

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 that 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 the 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.

Rating: 3/5

I'd been wanting this book since I saw the cover on Barnes & Nobles's website. I know, I know, it's bad to want a book just based on the cover, but too bad. I liked the description, too. It was interesting.

The book had a nice start and made me want to keep reading, the setting was good, although I just didn't really "see" it like I would have liked, and the main characters were okay. I didn't fall in love with them, but I didn't dislike them by any means. Violet is a strong character, but there was just something lacking that didn't make me really want to root for her. And Jay, her counterpart, was okay as well. I didn't really "get" him. He was kind of all over the place in a way. However, Derting did give him, and the minor characters, some likable traits.

Derting is a good writer. But was I impressed? Not really. Her prose was full of adverbs and ellipses. They got distracting after the first few chapters. Then she did a lot of "telling," which distracted me from the story as well. Sometimes, we just don't need to know about some things and we want the story. But she had a nice flow to her words and nothing was confusing. Her dialogue was believable and she had the perfect amount of detail. She also did a good job when switching focuses; they are times she switches from the MC to the predator, all while it stays in third person. She did good to keep a certain tone with each part. Overall, she's a pretty good writer and I would like to see what else she has under her belt.

This book had a very unique and interesting plot. I was very invested in the mystery aspect, however, I think the romance part was a little annoying. If you're a romance fan, then I guess that part would be fine for you, but if you're getting into this for the mystery aspect, the romance is going to get in the way a bit. One moment, they're fighting, the next chapter they're not, then they are again, then not, then they're in love, and it's just all over the place. I think it would have benefitted the story if the focus was more on the mystery than the mystery and the romance. However, it was a strong, intriguing premise that I did enjoy.

Overall, this was a pretty good book. Parts I would consider as great! And parts I would consider as just good. I will check out the sequel and hope it gets better; I like Violet's gift.

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