The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: 336 pages
Paperback: 352 pages
Release date: March 26th, 2010
Series: The Body Finder #1
Reviewed by: Tynga
Source: Review copy from Harper Collins Canada
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 be...moreViolet 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.
Violet is a very unique girl. Since childhood she has this bizarre ability to feel the dead calling to her. May it be a sound, a smell, or a visual effect, the victims of violent death, animal or human, find a way to attract Violet’s attention. She uses her unique ability to lay those victims to rest in peace, usually, small animals she buries in her backyard. But on the last day of summer, she will discover a girl. And more girls are starting to disappear. Can Violet help put their souls to rest? Can she help prevent the kidnapping of more girls? And at what cost?
What a very unique novel! Kimberly Derting succeeds in bringing something original and colorful to the young adult figurative table. Her writing is strong and smooth, her plotting skills amazing and her characters tangible and believable. I can only tip my hat to this debut author and beg for more.
Violet is one ordinary girl, well, if you don’t know better, among her classmates. She doesn’t really stands out except for the fact that she’s Jay’s best friend. Jay turned from boy to hottie during the summer and all the girls are gushing over him. Violet has these butterflies in her stomach around him, and she feels jealous when other girls tries to get his attention, but what the hell?, they’re just friends.. right? I LOVED watching the two of them playing cat & mouse the entire book. They are so oblivious to each other it’s hilarious, mostly because I remember being there when I was younger. Jay is the sweetest boy and I wish I had one of those growing up *winks*
The duo is also surrounded by a bunch of friends, which I adored. Claire the oblivious, Jules the boy in a hot-chick’s body and Chelsea the brutally honest, makes for extremely funny moments in an otherwise tense and gloomy atmosphere. You know: missing girls, killer on the run and what not.
I really liked that there are some short paragraphs from the killer’s point-of-view, which gives us some interesting insight. Yet the killer’s identity remains a secret until the very end, when events collides in a mess of emotions. Derting keeps you in the dark the whole time and I couldn’t guess who the culprit was. Of course, when you look back you see the little hints here and there.
The Body Finder is a strong debut for author Kimberly Derting, and I can’t wait to read more from her!