Saturday, July 30, 2011

Book Review: The Body Finder

Author: Kimberly Derting
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: March 16, 2010
Pages: 336
Read it in: 3 days

Summary: Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sisteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more distrubed by her "power" to sense dead bodies-- or atleast 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 attached 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 left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town,and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, Violet realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murderer-- and Violet is unnerved by her hope 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.

LC's Take:

So... I pretty much could not put this book down. This was one of those books that you start and then find yourself reading in between meals, work shifts, first thing when you wake up and way into the late hours of the night. Seriously, could not put it down!

The main character is Violet, who has the super creepy ability to sense the "echoes" or imprints of people who have been murdered. She can also sense their presence lingering on whoever happened to kill them. At first, Violet only used her ability when she was little to find dead animals in the woods and give them a proper burial so they can be at rest. Eventually, their echoes would slowly fade into the background. But then, when she's eight years old, Violet discovers the body of a dead girl in the woods...

Fast forward eight years later, and Violet is now in high-school. Suddenly, more girls are going missing from around her small town in the Pacific Southwest, and Violet finds herself being inexplicably drawn to the bodies. She knows that she is the only one with the special ability to track down the serial killer and put an end to the terror for good. Unfortunately, her secret gift puts her in even more danger than anyone else, and she soon becomes the target of the killer, who will do whatever it takes to not get caught.

The plot of this book was so amazing, and I loved how the author switches between Violet's point of view and the serial killer's-- that was so creepy! It was also a very unique idea to create a character who has the ability to sense those who've been murdered and be able to know their killers based on imprints they leave behind.

The only problem I had with this book was the subplot between Violet and her longtime best friend Jay. I liked how their relationship worked **spoiler alert** before they became a couple-- it was interesting to see the dynamics play out between them, and I could definitely relate to Violet's internal struggle as she worries about telling Jay how much she likes him and potentially ruining their friendship. However, once they actually got together it just became so freaking sappy and cliche and overdone that I found myself cringing. I was just like, c'mon now, this is seriously straight out of some cheap paperback romance from the drugstore. Yes, I know what puppy love is like and being a hormonal teenager and all, but geez, I don't want to sit there and read about them making out and getting all hot 'n heavy, it's just icky!! And also, Jay became waaayyy too perfect, which seemed like "wish fulfillment" writing to me-- I'd much rather have realistic, flawed characters that make sense and are more interesting, anyways.

And finally-- just as a warning for my more sensitive readers-- there is quite a bit of swearing, teen drinking/partying, and some "innuendo" type things that go on throughout this book, so I would rate it more PG-13 level. Just so you're aware! Sometimes, even though I don't necessarily mind explicit writing, it can throw me off a little when I'm not expecting it, so here's the heads up!

Besides a few issues I had, this was an awesome book and I really enjoyed reading it. Could have done without all the make-out scenes, but other than that the plot was thoroughly gripping and I would definitely read the sequel.

LC's Rating:
Overall, this book had a thrilling plot and really good writing that made it nearly impossible to put down. The only major problem I had with it in the end was the overdone relationship between Violet and Jay. Otherwise, a very good book!



  1. I keep reading great things about this series!

    I really must get round to read it!!! :D

  2. Like Jules I keep hearing good things about this novel, but I'm scared it will be a little creepy and gruesome for me.

  3. Jules~ It was definitely a good book, but I could've done without the cheesy love scenes which left (very) little to the imagination lol. Also, I didn't like how Jay took on the "possessive boyfriend" role towards the end. But still a great plot!

    Lisa~ It wasn't really gruesome, but it definitely was pretty disturbing, especially the parts of the book seen through the eyes of the serial killer. Luckily, KD evens things out by switching back and forth with the main plot and the subplot, which deals with high school drama and teen romance, so that lightens the mood a bit! :)

  4. hummm I may have to read this one sooon!!!!

  5. I really like this series and I'm looking forward to book three.

  6. I have this book and am hoping to read it in August! I'm glad you were able to give us a good, honest review. : )

    Blog: Once Upon a Prologue
    Twitter: @ courageousgrace
    Goodreads: Here

  7. I just put in a reserve for this one at my library. Can't wait to read it!

  8. A absolutely loved this book too. Yes, Violet and Jay's relationship is a bit cliched but they are so darned cute.
    Thanks for the review.

  9. I really really liked this book as well! The plot was really original for the paranormal genre...though I did think that Jay and Violet's relationship was really cute. I liked that they were friends and it just gradually changed into a was better than the whole "see hot new guy at school,turns out he's a creature of the night, fall madly in love despite great personal risk" concept


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