Release Date: March 16, 2010
Read it in: 3 days
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.