February 15, 2010

The Body Finder (Kimberly Derting) Review

Received book from Book It Forward Arc Tours.

'The Body Finder' is Kimberly Derting's debut YA novel. Look out for the sequel, 'Desires of the Dead' to be released in 2011.

Publisher: HarperTeen (March 16, 2010)
Hardcover: 327 pages

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. (Source)

I absolutely loved this book! The idea that Violet can sense the dead and in turn, their killers was a fascinating concept. I appreciated the fact that her family and Jay knew of her 'gift' and helped her cope when she ended up finding human bodies. In other novels, talents like this are usually hidden which is another obstacle for the character to overcome and detracts from the real story.

The budding romance between Violet and Jay was delightfully sweet. I liked how Kimberly made me understand their friendship and did not rush into a lust-driven hormone frenzy between teenagers. The relationship that these two had was special and it took a natural course. The small hints that Violet dropped for Jay indicating her feelings was exactly how a shy teenager would approach this situation which made this story even more charming. And the protectiveness of Jay and his love for his friend made me want to jump into Violet's shoes to experience those amazing feelings.

Another interesting factor in Violets gift was why certain bodies 'called' to her and others did not. It seemed like those bodies that were murdered or died in an unpleasant way were the ones that she sensed the loudest. The situations that she encounters makes my heart ache. This young girl who is just trying to be normal and get through her teenage years is thrown into situations where she has to witness the after images of horrible deaths, it's very tragic. But through these terrible visions and echoes she comes out on top and attempts to use her gift to unravel the mystery of a serial killer stalking females her town.

I do have a con to this book which brings down my rating level and knotch. When I read the synopsis, I expected a fast paced, suspenseful adventure that was non-stop until the end. But what I got was basically a 'coming of age' story between two best friends and the fact that Violet can find the dead was a minor plot in the whole story. I did like Violet's story outside of her gift, but I wished it was more highlighted than it was.

Even though my expectations were not initially met, once I figured out how the story was going to play out, I sat back to enjoy the ride. And I undoubtedly did!

Check out the book trailer:


  1. Awesome review! I will definitely pick this up, thanks! ;)

  2. Great review. I have this book next on the Book It Forward tour. I'm looking forward to reading it. Also, your header is adorable!! Is that your dog?


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