Kereesa's Reviews > The Body Finder

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
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16 year old Violet has always had the ability to find bodies, whether animal or human, through what she calls "echoes," which are basically visual/auditory/smell indicators attached to a body and its killer. For most of her life, it's been mostly animals that have "called" to her, until girls within her hometown and the surrounding area start going missing, and Vi decides that only she is able to solve the mystery. Add a potential romance between Violet and her long time bff Jay who seems to be oblivious to her feelings, and you've got The Body Finder.

When I first started reading The Body Finder, I absolutely loved the concept. A girl finding bodies through these echo things? Awesome! But quickly I realized that this power Violet has prevents the book from doing the one thing you expect mystery books to have: The Who Done It Feature. Sorry to say this, but good mystery novels always have the killer not only be someone unexpected, but also someone KNOWN to the reader. Reading about a killer who ends up being the main character's BFF or lover, or something is WAY WAYYY WAYYY better than it just being a random person. And sadly, because of the concept created around The Body Finder, there is absolutely no way for the killer to be someone close or known to Vi. (Sorry if this somehow spoils anything, but I figured it was pretty obvious from the beginning)

I do have to give the author credit, however, in that she tried to replace that usual Who Done It Feature with adding chapters, very short ones mind you, from the killer's viewpoint. The problem I found with this, though, was the redundancy of the killer's thoughts, plans, and worse of all EXPLANATIONS for why he HAD to kill. The fact that the killer continued to essentially repeat his ideas over and over again only continued to make him nothing more than two-dimensional in my mind. Which in this case is kind of good since he was the bad guy, and you know I wouldn't really want to feel sympathy for a guy who tortures and kills young girls, but it kind of made the chapters themselves a bit redundant since we weren't getting any really NEW information besides who he's stalking.

I could not have liked the chapters also because the creepy factor I believe the author was going for failed to impress me at all. This might be a personal thing, or the effects of watching too many crime dramas/reading Stephen King, but I really wasn't freaked out by ANYTHING the killer was saying. It all seemed very expected, and almost stereotypical. The killer felt almost molded to fit the usual molesting/killing young girls type without anything really out of the ordinary. It was kind of a disappointment for me not to be a little weirded out by him, but then again this is YA-so too much freakyness isn't really expected.

Another factor related to Vi's powers and the killer (which in all reality only takes up 20% of the book) that I couldn't really care for was the obvious ACCEPTANCE everyone seemed to have for her uncanny ability to find bodies. You would've thought SOMEONE would've been like "Okay Vi, yes dead bodies, uh huh. Now why don't you come here and put on this nice, WARM COAT WE'VE GOT FOR YOU." Or someone should've considered the fact that Violet could find these bodies obviously meant she was the one burying them.

Instead, however, we get totally okayness from her parents, uncle and aunt, and BFF. There's got to be one skeptical person in there somewhere. Seriously. The worst part about their total acceptance is also the fact that because Violet's uncle is a cop, she can basically bypass pretty much all normal means of investigation. I mean I personally don't have any experience in this field, but it was just too..easy for Violet to do her thing, and not get any awkward questions, etc... about her powers. I think there should've been more of a struggle there.

Another thing that bugged me was Violet's traumatization after finding the first few victims. YES I know I've never seen a body I don't know what it's like, and YES she's only found dead animals for the most part, and YES I know it's a small town and people don't get killed often, BUT BUT BUT I expected her to have come to terms with it at some point in her life. She knows that she going to find bodies eventually after all.

Maybe I'm being too harsh here. I think I expected her to be more badass about it to be honest, and finding out she was more human than that made me feel a little let down. I think I would've enjoyed the traumatizing thing better if she had sudden come into her powers at a late age for instance. It would've made much more sense to me, then.

What I think really destroyed reading The Body Finder for me, though, andpossiblyeveryYAreaderisgoingtohatemeforsayingthis, but I really, really HATED the romance.

Yep, could not STAND IT.

So there are three main reasons why I couldn't get into the romance between (AND NO THIS IS NOT A SPOILER) Jay and Violet:

1. The fact it was about 80% of the book. I AM NOT EXAGGERATING. Most of the book revolves around Vi and Jay's interactions, or about Violet thinking/pondering/wondering/obsessing/stalking (haha just kidding! Though it could've been close) about Jay. If she's with Jay, she's think about how she feels for him, gets jealous of other girls who pay attention to him (which was weird, because it seemed wayy too stereotypical-do all girls have absolutely no backbones and desperately cling to hot boys or something? Because that seems a bit extreme, even for hilarity's sake.), if Vi's not with Jay she's thinking about how she feels for him, when they get into a fight she's thinking about she feels for him. Oh and add like a bunch of lovely dovey moments where she sees his lips and is like OMGSOWANTTOKISSHIM. It was just ARGGG! because I wanted her to get some sort of a backbone, and not be all Twilight's Bella "oh Woe is Me, He Does Not Love My Luciousness." I do admit there did seem to be times where Violet was actually going to stand up a bit for herself at points, but then Jay would shut her down, and I'd be like "Yeh, no, that doesn't fill my inner feminist quota, sorry."

2. The fact that it was based upon a existing relationship and feelings and therefore allowed the author to say "Yep, they're in love. Sorry for you guys not being there when their feelings developed and stuff, but look TRUE LOVE!" Sorry, I don't buy that. Yes, I do love romance, I love hot kissing scenes, but, BUT BUT! I cannot stand when an author has a romance already created when the story starts. To me it's the worst form of show don't tell, because it's essentially telling you their in love instead of SHOWING development between the two. It's telling me I should care about the characters and their angsty feelings, instead of showing me the reality of their feelings for each other.

But! There are exceptions. If the author is able to show why they love each other...which brings me to my last point:

3. Jay is an effing douche. No, seriously he is. He's controlling, wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too 'protective,' and basically gives Vi the run around till she figures out her feelings. he decides to complicate things even more through a physical action. Not to mention the fact that he flirts and goes out with other girls to make Violet jealous instead of I dunno, ADMITTING HE HAS FEELINGS FOR HER.

But that wouldn't move the plot...uh would kill the suspense, be utterly logical yeah, I got nothing.

I suppose I could say the same for Violet. She doesn't ever admit her feelings, and does kind of beat around the bush with pretty much anything. Jay, that creepy guy that doesn't leave her alone because she never tells him to. Even though he's pretty much a full blown stalker. She definitely could've given him a hint. Some. Kind. Of. Hint. But, I digress.

All in all, The Body Finder isn't a terrible novel. The pacing is pretty good, it's got an original concept, and plot doesn't suffer too much from the romance. The writing is decent, and the characters for the most part have got interesting dialogue at least. An easy 2/5.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Giselle (new)

Giselle Your reviews are getting increasingly longer! It's going to be like reading a book soon! Haha

Kereesa I know! I don't know why! I guess I have a lot to say :P

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