Title: The Body Finder
Series: The Body Finder #1
Author: Kimberly Derting
Publication date: March 16th, 2010
Published by: Harper Teen
Source: Purchased from Amazon
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Favorite Quote: "He nudged her with his shoulder but didn’t say anything. They stayed like that for a while, enjoying the silence of being alone and enjoying each other’s presence. It was easy... and comfortable."
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads synopsis: 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.
Review: I set out to read this book with low expectations. I'm not a huge fan of thrillers or crime based fiction when it comes to books. TV, now, that's a different story. I can watch reruns of Law and Order or Bones for hours. But when it comes to reading, mysteries aren't really my thing and never have been. However, Kimberly Derting has managed to make me completely rethink my absolute aversion to the genre.
Quite simply, I loved this book. It was exciting, it gave me all sorts of feelings (insert the "I know that feel, Bro." meme stat!), and let me tell you, I have never been so frustrated with a female protagonist in my life. But I loved every second of it. Sure, the characters could use a bit more fleshing out, but I recognized myself in Violet and that's difficult for an author to make me do.
In order to explain why Violet resonated so deeply with me, perhaps I should first mention that when I was in high school, I was just as oblivious as she was. I had a male best friend whom I was incredibly close to. We cuddled, we held hands, we leaned on each other, etc. and I was convinced that we had nothing beyond an awesome friendship. I even went so far as to try to set him up with a friend of mine (which completely backfired, by the way) before realizing that hey, maybe I really did have feelings for him (I ended up being jealous of the girl I was trying to set him up with. Oops.). Long story short, we spent years painfully navigating that whole, "are we just friends or are we meant to be more?" mess and only figured things out a few years ago. Five years after forming our friendship. I'm happy to report that just as Violet and Jay went through all of that awkwardness and eventually came out on top, so did we and we've been together for close to three years now, but still. The fact that Violet and Jay's relationship so closely resembled our own kind of threw me for a loop. Only they figured things out quickly. Lucky ducks. In any case, I digress.
As I mentioned before, the characters in this book could have used a bit more fleshing out, but other than that, I have no complaints. I was continually drawn into the story and the passages in which the POV switched to that of the killer? I was terrified, haha. He was so methodical and flippant and just ugh. Food for nightmares right there, everyone.
Final Word: Read this book. Seriously. Just do it. If you have reservations like I did, let go of them. I'm a little curious to see how this was made into a series because it could have definitely been left as a stand alone, so I'll definitely be reading the next book. As soon as I get through the pile of review books staring at me accusingly from across the room. Eep.
Happy reading, everyone!