Monday, May 31, 2010

BR: The Body Finder

by Kimberly Derting

Okay, remember when I held a contest for this way back in March? I chose this book because it was a book that I wanted to read, so I was beyond excited when my library finally got it in (yeah, that's right, I use the library). Anyways, I read this all in one sitting! Wow.. I totally missed a huge chunk of my review... including picture and summary :P whoops! Here it is!

A serial killer on the loose. A girl with a morbid ability. And the boy who would never let anything happen to her.

Violet Ambrose can find the dead. Or at least, those who have been murdered. She can sense the echoes they leave behind... and the imprints they leave on their killers. As if that weren't enough to deal with during junior year, she also has a sudden, inexplicable, and consuming crush on her best friend since childhood, Jay Heaton.

Now a serial killer has begun terrorizing Violet's small town... and she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him."

My Expectations: I thought this was gonna be fantastic! I held a contest for it, didn’t I?

Delivery: Met my expectations in enjoyment level, but maybe some afterthought it might have fallen a tiny bit.

Put-down-ability: Low! Read in one sitting, 2/10

My Thoughts

Let’s just say I really, really, really liked this book. It started off with the remarkable premise of Violet being able to sense dead people, which to be honest, drew me into the book right away. Her friendship-or-something-more with Jay sucked me further in and by the time the girl’s body was found I was in over my head.

The writing in this novel is extremely strong, despite being wordy at times. I was okay with the choices of words (my friend is a thesaurus-peruser) but sometimes the vocabulary doesn’t fit perfectly and things sound awkward. Other times it helped the story flow with intricate detail and sensory adjectives. The third person POV was well executed and not distracting.

I think there are two strong points in this novel, the mystery and the romance. The chapters from the serial killer’s POV were extremely intriguing and just fascinating to read, not to mention reminiscent of my favourite TV show Criminal Minds. I loved how the mystery followed Violet and the way it progressed the plot without overpowering it.

However, the romance part I was iffy on. Definitely not because I didn’t like the characters—I did—it’s just the way it was handled lacked…something. One thing I felt made The Body Finder stand out was the fact that Violet was already crushing on Jay, and it didn’t become the whole girl-who’s-clueless-about-her-best-friend-who-loves-her that is overused-- Violet is actually aware of her own attraction. However, as the romance unfolded I thought it lacked the extra oomph that makes romance go the extra mile.

**Minor Spoilers Below**

You’re wondering why, right? For me, it was because of Jay. Now don’t get me wrong, he is always there for her, the best friend possible, so perfect…too perfect. The spark between the two was undeniable, but Jay was just too one-dimensional with a twist. Come on, readers, name a single flaw of Jay’s (excluding jealousy)! There isn’t one, and I thought he was too much of a knight-in-shining-armor; I wanted a more realistic love interest, not someone who is completely flawless.

**End Spoilers**

However, I thought Violet was a strong protagonist- she went out and tried to figure out the mystery instead of saving her own ass. I liked the way she acted around her friends, was independent, and could stand her own ground. Apart from my admiration for Violet, I felt most of the characters in the novel lacked depth, which was disappointing. Oh, and thank you for including regular parents, Ms Derting, it was refreshing because they are there, but don’t dominate the story or suffocate (too much) Violet.

Parting thoughts- I would definitely recommend this to people looking for thriller-romances, this was such a joy to read!
Book in HP terms- Exceeds Expectations

8.7/10- I wanted to give this a 9, but I thought the weak character development held it back. Despite that, the story itself is extremely addicting and will keep you flipping pages to find out what happens next. A healthy dose of romance doesn’t hurt and I found myself rooting for Violet and Jay the whole time. The deaths and the scenes from the serial killer draw you back to the suspense and mystery, and descriptive action/chase scenes keep you glued to the page. 8.7/10 is an A-.
Definitely recommended for those seeking an action-y romance YA novel, this one you can’t miss! And a must-read for lovers of crime-drama TV, especially Criminal Minds :P


  1. Very good review! i think its deffo something i would give a go, keep up the awesome work hun :)

  2. I really liked this book too. Great review. I agree about Jay.

  3. I just read this recently and fell in love with it! I agree about Jay too, but I still loved him hehe. Thanks for the amazing review :D

  4. Totally agreed! There were a few things that bothered me about this book which I couldn't quite put my finger on, and I think you nailed them - the Jay thing being the biggest. I did enjoy the book overall, though.

    - Rebecca

  5. Okay I came over to see what review you had in store for me and it turns out to be on the same book I'm gearing up to review tomorrow. :-) I'll have to come back once I write my review and see how our opinions compare. (Just like with Heist Society, no?) :D Be back later!!

  6. Nice review! It seems like a very good book:D

  7. I really liked this book too, can't wait for the sequel.

  8. Aly- thank you girlie :)

    Kelley- yeah, Jay was one of the only drawbacks.

    Sara- I know what you mean! despite recognizing Jay's flaws, you can't help but love him (and the book)

    Readerly Person- It really is a good read, despite flaws!

    Kris- I'll make sure to check out your review :) we seem to be reading similar books lately, haha

    Milli- thank you!

    Jenny- Me too! I hope there's some Violet/Jay conflict, plus another awesome killer :P

  9. I too loved the book and even Jay didn't bother me. Although in retrospect, I guess he was a little too perfect.
    Anyway, the only thing that bugged me about the book was the overuse of adverbs. I'm turning into one of those adverb haters.
    Overall though, a very good read.

  10. Well, seems like we kinda disagreed lol! I thought Jay was the highlight of the book and the murder mystery was lacking believability. Still, I wouldn't be adverse to reading Kimberly's next book. More often than not, debut authors grow significantly between book 1 and book 2. We'll see! :-)

  11. Jessie- I agree, it could be a bit wordy at times (and the jay thing is kinda those afterthought things)

    Kris- haha, that's okay :) I'm just a crime drama junkie, and I'm definitely looking forward to the sequel too! :)

  12. Thanks for sharing your review! I liked The Body Finder a lot too. Jay actually didn't bug me at all. (*spoiler* Well, maybe he annoyed me a teensy bit when he let her out of his sight at the dance, which seemed a little out-of-character.) I'm pretty sure we will see some Jay/Violet conflict coming up in the next Body Finder book, Desires of the Dead.

  13. Violet- Just curious, isn't it really cool when characters have your names? haha. And yeah, I know lots of people *loved* Jay :) I'm glad you are one of them! I can't wait for the sequel either, wouldn't mind the conflict :P
    thanks for leaving a comment!

  14. Boy, I need to read this! I think the concept of Violet's ability is incredibly brilliant, and I'm so happy to hear we get some serial killer action (don't they rock? *cough* In fiction, I mean. ;D)!

    Unfortunately, poor characters are a huge downfall. I hope I can find a fault with Jay because, like you, I love three-dementional but still lovable love interests!

    -Madeleine who loves the review

    P.S. I checked out Jellicoe Road and a bunch of Sarah Dessen novels! All because of you, darling Audrey. ;D

  15. I totally agree with your review on this one! I thought Jay was definitely one-dimensional, which hampered my thoughts of the book as a whole. However, other than the that, the book was fabulous and super-original! :)
    - Alyssa of Redhead Heroines
    Book Review of “The Body Finder” by Kimberly Derting


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