Sunday, 21 October 2012

Review: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

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.

Surprisingly, I didn't enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. What drew me to this book was the beautiful and eye-catching cover, as well as loads of recommendations from friends. The synopsis intrigued me, and I was really excited to start the book. I was kinda disappointed after reading it, though. Don't get me wrong, I liked The Body Finder, but there were a lot of things about it that I didn't like, too.

I'll begin with the positives. I love murder mystery novels! The Body Finder has an intriguing murder plot, and it's pretty intense. Violet is a great female lead, and I really couldn't find any flaws in her. I hate it when some books have an annoying protagonist which just spoils the whole book for me. I loved Violet, though. She's loyal, compassionate, smart (usually), and witty. Overall a great character. Even with a third-person narration, I really got her. I understood her, and the reasons she does what she does.

Derting's writing is amazing. I loved the way it flowed, the way it wove intricate threads around my head. It's subtle but beautiful. You just have to look a little beneath the surface to really notice it. The climax of the book towards the end was intense and gripping, just the way I like it. What I liked most about it was that it was unpredictable. My heart was in my mouth, and my eyes were glued to the book as I read the particular scene. Adding in the killer's POV was a nice touch, and it brought a lot more suspense into the novel. 
And the concept of the whole book - genius. I've never read anything like it before, so kudos to Kimberly Derting for the incredible originality!

I loved Chelsea and Jules, they were the perfect best friends, and Chelsea's constant sarcasm and witty comments added humour to the otherwise intense plot. Jules is awesome - She's smart, blunt and to-the-point. She doesn't take any crap from anyone, and I liked that. I just think there wasn't enough of them in this book.
I liked Jay too, to an extent. He's an awesome best  friend, he's always there for Violet. I loved their constant banter and teasing in the first half of the book. They understand each other so well, they've been friends so long, they don't keep any secrets from one another... Jay and Violet were perfect together!

And now the negatives. The Body Finder in general was very predictable (except for the climax of course). Some parts were painfully obvious, like the part with Violet and a drunk Grady. Others were less obvious, but still so. I guess I'm being a little harsh since I've read a lot of murder mystery books and I like the unpredictability. But the murder scenes were more towards the creepy side, and there wasn't enough suspense. It was just - Violet feels an echo and immediately finds a dead body.

I didn't like Claire at all. She was one character that fell really flat, and it felt like Derting just added her in as an extra. She didn't contribute much to the novel, and from what she did, none of it was smart, useful or even sensible. She seemed like an airhead, and a really clueless one at that. Sometimes I just felt like smacking her on the head. I'm surprised Chelsea or Jules hadn't done that already.

Also, there were a few things I didn't like about Jay. He was WAY too overprotective of Violet. I get it, she's bound to be in a lot of danger, doing what she does, but he literally ordered her around! Violet didn't just stand there and take it, and that made me like her even more. Plus, the word 'possessively' was used to many times I've lost count. As you can tell, Jay was extremely possessive about Violet after they got together. I liked their relationship before, why did they have to go and ruin that? Jay was so different after that first half of the book, and I don't like this new Jay. Although, I do like that they've declared their love for one another and I know Jay will do anything to protect Violet. A perfect example comes near the end of the book, the scene with Violet and the killer.

I don't like giving this book 3 stars, but I think it's adequate. I've just finished reading Desires of the Dead and The Last Echo, and I'm happy to say I really enjoyed them. This series keeps getting better and better with each book, and I can't say how excited I am to read the fourth one, Dead Silence, next year! If you haven't read this series yet, start now! I waited too long to read this book, but thank goodness I don't have to wait that long for Dead Silence to come out.


  1. Thanks for the review. I was wondering if the book was worth the buy

  2. i love this book...i gave 4 stars on goodreads :D


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