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The Body Finder

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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 left for her. But now that a serial killer is 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 by her hope 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.

327 pages, Hardcover

First published March 16, 2010

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About the author

Kimberly Derting

38 books5,037 followers
Kimberly is the author of the award-winning THE BODY FINDER series, THE PLEDGE, and THE TAKING trilogies. She is also the co-author of the popular "Loves Science" picture book series, featuring our favorite science-loving superstars Cece, Libby, and Vivi!

Her books have been translated into 15 languages, and both THE BODY FINDER and THE PLEDGE were YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selections.

These days, she spends entirely too much time ordering stuff off the Internet and binge-watching Netflix with her husband and kids.

Note: I'm the worst about checking my Goodreads email...I apologize if I never got back to you! If you need to reach me, try the "Ask me a question" option (below), or email me at kim(at)kimberlyderting(dot)com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,040 reviews
Profile Image for Alyssa.
366 reviews285 followers
July 15, 2012
This review has been edited since its original posting.

I normally won’t touch books that I didn’t finish because I think it’s unfair for me to judge without thoroughly examining the product. The Body Finder is one of the rare exceptions because I hated this book so much I just need to – and I mean need to - a) warn my great Goodreading friends to stay away b), get this piece of work out of my mind for good and c) vent. But just a little bit.

So, I’ll skip the intro and get right to the dirty:

1) Violet was a rip-off of Bella – and yes, I’m talking about that Bella. Beyond ordinary, beyond boring and beyond awkward. I could tell Derting was attempting to make Vi seem like an “regular girl,” but in all honesty, Violet’s attitude was simply disgusting because not only was she nothing special, but she was cruel and mean and full of hate. She made fun of girls who were dependant on her “hot” best friend while, and I quote, “She [Violet] needed Jay to go with her. Because despite her bold words about doing it herself, it was all just a bluff. She really wasn’t sure she could do it on her own.” And sure, that could come across (to the untrained eye) as Violet proving that she’s human for needing someone to hold onto for moral support and all that crazy jazz - but really? I don't do hypocrites.

2) What kind of person is stupid enough to go hunting for a killer when they aren’t actually employed by the law enforcement? Like, really, come on. And if you said that Violet felt a need to help because she had the type of tools that others didn’t, I’d just ask you this: if your friend was trying to cut down a tree with a plastic knife and you had a chain saw, would you help your friend even if neither of you knew how to use it? Because that’s exactly what Violet did – sure, she could identify the mark and smell of death, but was she really able to use and understand her “power?” No. That friend, in this case her town, would be better off attempting to cut down the tree with the knife as opposed to risking the safety of everyone with the stupid chain saw. And because Violet was incapable of knowing her gift and she was still stupid enough to go forth with her plan to hunt the hunter, she was openly and willingly putting Jay, her beloved at risk. Which brings me to problem number 3.

3) I can’t stand controlling, unreasonable guys who don’t have valid reasons to be controlling and unreasonable. Let me tell you a little story: this guy P., who I’m not dating but am currently “working things through” with, has an issue with my relationships between myself and other guys. He has gone up to those aforementioned “other guys” and has told them to back off from “his girl.” Did I not mention that we’re not actually dating? More specifically, we’re not even seeing each other. So who is this guy to tell me that I can’t talk to other guys?

Jay is just like P. He won’t own up to his obvious feelings for Violet (P.’s case is not so as he adamantly screams he loves me), he has issues when she does her own thing and talks to other guys (ahh, you see my story come into place?), and he is a total jerk (I think P. and Jay were separated at birth). This is so damn annoying because Violet lets him walk all over her because, as she thinks it, she's in love with him. Not only does that sound hypocritical of Violet, taking her view of her classmates into consideration, but she also comes across as sort of pathetic. Because, you see, the difference between Violet and I is that I don’t let guys walk all over me. And if I were to, I wouldn’t be criticizing other girls for doing the same.

All of this goes to show how inhuman and inhumane Derting’s characters are. And how big a hypocrite Violet is. I mean, damn, this girl's consistent.

4) So now that we’ve established the faults in characterization, I’ll move onto the plot. This area of the novel could have been somewhat acceptable if it were more unique. Mysterious behavior that only applies to the female teen(s) of small towns is not something new – see the Soul Screamer’s series, Bad Girls Don’t Die, Deadly Little Secret.

Because I really wanted to like this one, even that overused plot would’ve been excused to save my opinion of this book. But because Violet had an old, rusty car that didn’t work, and she lived in a small, rainy town in Washington, and her object of affection was just another too-hot-to-be-true guy who was mauled-by-dumb-girls-at-every-corner, I had to admit defeat.

Twilight rip-offs are not cool.

Honestly, I could have written a list that would’ve reached ten. More honestly: I’m sick of thinking about this book and because I didn’t finish it and my internal alarms are going off at my break in habit, I’ll stop where I’m at. I think you get the point.
Profile Image for Janina.
214 reviews527 followers
August 14, 2010
It's a little bit difficult for me to rate this book.
Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy it in parts and it was definitely not boring (I finished it in a few hours), but I had expected more.

Violet can sense echoes; feelings, smells, colours or sounds left behind by murder victims, which not only make it possible for her to locate dead bodies but also to find their murderer.
So far, she mostly had to deal with dead animals, but when a cruel serial killer is on the loose in her hometown, she believes it to be her responsiblity to stop him.
In the meantime, she also has to deal with her growing feelings for Jay, her best friend since childhood ...

Sadly, the crime part of the story fell totally flat for me. Once Violet decides to hunt for the killer, the solution comes too fast and too easy, almost without any action on her side. Also, I found it somewhat disappointing that there wasn't even a list of suspects, so that I as a reader had no possibility to guess who the murderer could be.
For a serial killer book, I didn't find it creepy at all, and I missed being on the edge of my seat with a constant feeling of suspense while reading certain scenes. The glimpses we get into the killer's mind didn't really do anything for me either. They didn't scare me, and they certainly didn't make me fear for Violet - but maybe I read too much Henning Mankell in the past and have become desensitized?

The chemistry between Violet and Jay at the beginning was great. I really like their kind of love-story: life-long friends suddenly develop feelings for each other, but do not dare to mention them to the other out of fear their friendship won't survive then.
Towards the end, their relationship got a bit too all-consuming for my taste, though. They were practically together 24/7, only thinking of each other and sooo in love. Especially the whole homecoming event was seriously over the top.

I went into this loooking for a good mystery with a paranormal twist, but got a love story instead. If that's what you are looking for, you might enjoy The Body Finder, but I was disappointed. Overall, I don't think you'll miss something if you skip this. I don't think I'll be reading the sequel, Desires of the Dead.
Profile Image for Steph.
263 reviews264 followers
April 14, 2015
The Body Finder is an unfortunate example of wasted potential. I am sad to say that, because I feel that Kimberly Derting throws out some great ideas, ones that could have been amazing, but inevitably fell short and got buried under a nauseating romantic plot and a sea of characters who were nothing more than stereotypes.

I loved the beginning of the novel. We start off with a young Violet finding the body of a dead child. If the whole story had followed in the footsteps of the prologue/first chapter I would have loved it. Violet's ability to find dead bodies isn't exactly a new concept but I thought the way in which she did it was very neat. Dead bodies came to Violet as an echo. The echo represented their life and death. It could attack any one of Violet's senses. She might hear the sound of fireworks, smell strong coffee or feel the touch of downy feathers on her skin. She could also sense death on others as an imprint. It was difficult for Violet to even be around her cat; since he carried the imprints of the creatures he'd killed.

I also found the murder investigation to be entertaining despite being a bit predictable. I read the majority of this novel in one sitting and was completely engrossed by the chapters in which Violet uses her ability to try to catch a killer. I also liked the included chapters from the killer's perspective. Unfortunately, I envisioned several endings that would have been more shocking than where the story actually went. I also didn't like the attempts to trick the reader into thinking something, because it was rather obvious that it was being done, so I didn't suspect it was true. I think that if these risks were actually taken with the story (specifically a trick played near the end) it would have made for a more gripping read.

My main gripe with this novel is the relationship between Violet and Jay. Honestly, they did not have personalities outside of each other. It was yet another situation in which the lead male is being fawned all over by every girl in his vicinity, but of course he only has eyes for our awkward heroine who couldn't possibly understand what he could see in her. Not only was it annoying that all of the other female characters in the novel apparently lost all sense of themselves when Jay was in the room and only cared about fighting other girls for his affections (ugh), it was also annoying that Violet inwardly mocked these girls and then turned around and did the exact same thing herself. She was constantly thinking about melting and how hot/sexy/attractive Jay had gotten since going through the apparently magical process of puberty.

In connection with this, I also didn't appreciate the treatment of Lissie Adams in this story. She is Violet's "competition" for Jay. She is referred to as "shallow and boring" and "just another brainless cheerleader" and given no depth beyond being the obvious bitch stereotype ready to claw Violet's eyes out to get to Jay. Is this really all we want women characters to amount to in novels? It's also said that she is a "slut" and she "gives it up to all the guys" and goes by the nickname "kneepads". This is a conversation being had at a table of girls. Was this necessary? I don't agree with slut shaming and I don't see what purpose this cattiness served for the novel. Jay, of course, can just cast this girl aside very rudely for Violet and it's viewed as ok, romantic even, because she is a bitch/slut/walking talking bag of evil. He even says that he was using her to make Violet jealous so she would realize he liked her. Um, couldn't he have just... I don't know... told her he liked her? Too simple, Jay? Too direct? Not enough casualties involved?

There is also a "friend" of Violet's whose only purpose is to be the "stupid" friend who never gets anyone's jokes and doesn't understand anything. At one point another "friend" of Violet's jokes to the girl that she must ride the short bus. Nothing like a good dose of ableism on top of all of that slut shaming. There was also a situation where one girl was to said to like to play the "bi-curious card" even though she was like SO TOTALLY STRAIGHT (as if it would be weird if she weren't) and all of the other girls would yell "Gross!" in response to her fake advances. One of the girls is even said to be homophobic. I enjoyed the serial killer plot, and I thought the idea of echoes and imprints was very original. Too bad the rest of the novel brought such an interesting concept down to its level in the dumpster of stereotypes and offensive tropes.

More Reviews and other fun stuff at my blog: The Night Bookmobile
Profile Image for Sara Grochowski.
1,142 reviews567 followers
April 17, 2012

Okay, I realize that it is ridiculously early to be posting a review of this book, but really, with a book this good, who cares?

I am, quite simply, in love with this book! I read it three days ago and I'm still in love with it. I'm considering rereading it - I RARELY EVER reread books!

The Body Finder has so many elements that really appealed to me. Firstly, I found the serial killer and murder mystery aspect of the book really well done. I'm a big fan of shows like Criminal Minds, so I already had an interest in that type of plot line. Coupling that aspect of the plot with a supernatural ability and budding romance pretty much set this book over the top!

Violet's ability was, though creepy, very interesting. I really was a bit creeped out when some of the bodies were found. Violet dealt with her ability much better than I ever would - she is a very strong, resilient individual.

I really liked Violet as a main character. In books (and movies and television shows) where there is a female lead and a murder, the female lead generally does really stupid things that leave the reader or viewer freaking out about her stupidity. Violet wasn't like that, which was very refreshing. Yes, she makes a few bad choices, but overall, she was smart! I really like it when my main character has a brain, so I was very happy about that.

Now, on to one of my favorite aspects of The Body Finder: Violet and Jay! Kimberly Derting did an AMAZING job of writing Violet and Jay's romance. I loved their flirting and dialogue. I found the scenes filled with flirting and sexual tension to be very true to life and realistic. I love those tension filled scenes and The Body Finder was full of them! The confusion and jealousy associated with falling in love with your best friend, who is suddenly very good looking and a bit of a stud, was spot an as well!

Ratings (Out of 10):
Plot: 10
Characters: 10
Writing style: 10
Romance: 10!
Originality: 10

Total: 50/50 (A!)

I think Kimberly did an wonderful job blending the different aspects of The Body Finder. I loved every aspect: the mystery, Violet's ability, and the love story. The Body Finder was one of those books that I couldn't put down - until I forced myself. Seriously, I had about 30 pages left and I made myself go to bed (at 5 a.m.) because I didn't want it to end. Not surprisingly, I picked it up right when I got up the next morning and finished it! The Body Finder is definitely a must read for 2010!
Profile Image for Nan.
847 reviews76 followers
March 1, 2011
This book sucked.

I won't go into great detail about how badly this book sucked, because if you're drawn to it, you'll probably have to find out on your own. But suck it did.

Derting's book has an interesting premise; her main character, Violet, can sense the location of murder victims. Her gift is hereditary, and she inherited it from her grandmother. Everyone in her family, and her best friend Jay, know about the gift. As a small child, she found the location of a murdered girl. For some time after the discovery, she was distraught, but once the girl was buried, she recovered.

This set the pattern for her life to this point. Violet can sense any murdered body--including those killed by animals. Once she discovers the body, she buries it, and then she finds peace. Until that time, the body radiates a sound, scent, or taste that overwhelms her other senses. Unfortunately, her family owns a cat that does kill birds, so this feeling happens often. She's managed to get by so far by having a small graveyard in the backyard.

Sounds promising, no? Trust me, the "no" is the right word.

When Violet returns to school for her junior year, she's troubled by her attraction to Jay. He's been her friend for years, but he matured greatly over the summer, and he's now the object of desire for nearly every girl in the school and apparently the tri-city area.

When she's not obsessing over Jay, Violet is disturbed by the reports of missing girls in her community, but the disappearances only become real once she finds a body.

At this point, the novel takes a nose dive.

Here, as readers, we are introduced to a random chapter from the point of view of the killer. He's hunting these girls and gets off on the chase. Oddly, he likes girls that surrender meekly; if they struggle, it ruins his mood. His sections of text are always in Italics--you know, in case we mistake his thoughts for those of Violet. We have to have that extra visual to make certain that we understand that Violet would never consider a girl her age "delectable." (I could be wrong about the word there, but it's the sort of word he would have used. I'm too lazy to flip through my nook and find a real quote.)

Personally, I hate mysteries that include chapters from the point-of-view of the killer. The viewpoint hopping disturbs me simply because I'm not a fan of splitting a book between two characters, for one reason. For another, in this book it seems like a sloppy attempt to imitate adult mysteries or television shows. In a show like Criminal Minds, it makes sense to show the killer's POV. This gives viewers a chance to compare his/her behavior with what the profilers recognize and to build suspense. However, in a novel, it doesn't work so well. In this case, the killer is used to build suspense and cause readers to constantly fear that this time he's got Violet in his sights . . . but he doesn't. The cheap trick of having Violet and the victim act alike gets old, and quickly. Even more annoying, I have to admit that I don't think this trick belongs in a YA novel. I have no problems with YA novels about murder. However, I don't think it's a good idea for a YA to be from the POV of the killer. Asking teens to read those thoughts seems inappropriate.

Add to this the fact that the novel was boringly predictable. When I realized the timing of the end of the novel, I bet my husband $5 how and when the novel would end. He didn't take the bet, which is just as well. I would have won.

I found this book to be a terrible waste of my time. I will not read the second book, and I doubt that I'll read anything else by Kimberly Derting. I understand that this is a young adult novel; I read YA novels more than almost any other genre, so I'm familiar with its tropes. Just because it's YA doesn't mean that it has to be bad, and this one is very, very bad. In fact, it sucked.
Profile Image for Mizuki.
2,973 reviews1,178 followers
January 25, 2022
Oh. My. Goodness.


It took forever for me to finish this book, and I don't enjoy a mere second of it. Yes, reading The Body Finder is as painful as having my teeth pulled out one by one.

Get the picture now?

You may want to know, just how bad The Body Finder actually is?

Well, let me tell you one thing: You just know something must have gone terribly wrong with a book when you would rather read about the evil serial killer in the story kidnapping and hurting innocent girls than reading about how the "heroine" is getting on with her daily life.

See that guy's pissed off face and the middle finger from the dude in the back? I reacted to this book in the exact same way.

And why would everyone be so excited about Kimberly Derting's supposedly *original idea* about a girl who has the special ability to find dead bodies?

I mean, hello Violet Ambrose; you are a Body Finder, you can sense and locate corpses, right?

So...have you ever heard of a woman named Harper Connelly before? Miss Connelly also can find dead bodies! And guess what? Her books were published before yours did!

Therefore, please don't tell me The Body Finder has an oh-so original idea.

Plus, Violet is a purely innocent special snowflake, to a point she makes me feel sick. She's also so damn boring, holier-than-thou and hateful to be neither interesting or likable. Instead I think she's quite a mean spirited little bitch. Not to mention she's also Too Stupid To Live, for why else would an untrained person go after a serial killer!?

*sighs* Let's face it, Violet Ambrose is not better than Bella Swan. Yes, I'm talking about Bella Swan from the godforsaken Twilight.

Her love interest, Jay is no better. The guy shamelessly uses a girl to get Violet jealous. Right, he doesn't even have enough balls to own up to his own feeling nor run the risk of being rejected. Instead he just has to play games.

Violet's friends, they're also not any better, they're a bunch of fools who're only interested in dating and makeovers, whose IQ drop right to zero whenever a handsome guy walks on by; they act like they have nothing in their heads aside from drooling over boys. I am serious, from start to end all I can see is these girls talking about dresses, makeup, who is dating who, and how to get themselves a boyfriend. Plus they freely badmouth the Popular Girl for being a slut and make mean-spirited remarks on said Girl "giving it all up to every guy". I want to throw up.

And I think it's unrealistic for Violet's ability to sense dead bodies to remain a secret in her hometown. Wouldn't people be talking? Wouldn't they be a bit suspicious? Wouldn't they talk about Violet as "that girl who had discovered the little girl's corpse in the wood" or "that weird girl who likes to bury dead animals in her personal graveyard"? I bet this kind of things would be mentioned for years upon years in a small town.

It drives me crazy when the author, Kimberly Derting, wrote in an outrageous, charmless, over-the-top "Tell, Not Show" style. In fact, her writing is all about telling, with 0% of showing. Her writing is that bad.

Final Words: If you were interested in making yourself suffer, then go ahead and read this book.
Profile Image for Lucy.
102 reviews1,796 followers
May 1, 2011
Two stars because it was compelling enough for me to finish, although I wouldn't recommend it to anyone else. There's a lot of telling in this book. Whole scenes are told to you instead of actually occurring in a way you can read about them. The author would benefit from a basic writing class or twelve. There are numerous interactions between Violet and a boy who is not her love interest but rather an obstacle before her love interest. This interactions are unimportant, at least according to the author, because you are given summary after summary rather than any actual scenes. It was very annoying.

Derting also lacks any real understanding of serial killers or crime scenes, or you know police procedures. I kept getting drawn out of the book by how ridiculously unrealistic so much of it was. I figured out the 'twist' pretty much from the get go. I can give her some leeway here because not everyone shares my obsession with serial killers. (Let's just say if we played a drinking game listing serial killers I'd win, win, win.) Most people won't realize how far off the mark she is, but that doesn't change the fact that she's far off the mark. If you're going to write a book that has plot points that lean on things like criminal behavior maybe you should know as much as a novice possibly can.

What was worth while in this book? The relationship with Jay and Violet was sort of cute. I found myself skimming to read that stuff. It was mostly fluff and none of it was written with a great amount of skill or sophistication, but it was still cute.

This book is a skip. Anyone old enough to read content about a serial killer murdering teenage girls will not be drawn into the writing quality here.

Edit: I made a friend who annoyed me read this book when she lost a bet... so I guess it qualifies as an instrument of torture now.
Profile Image for Nomes.
384 reviews376 followers
November 15, 2010
2.5 stars

This is a hard one for me to rate. First off, I flew through it - it's an easy and fairly addictive read - but I don't think it's a book that will linger or be a favourite.

For a serial killer book, it wasn't that creepy and there weren't clues for the reader to feel a part of the investigation (which is part of the thrill for me as a reader). I can't help but think of books in this similar genre in Adult fiction which pack a lot more punch, and maybe it's unfair to compare a YA novel with Adult thrillers, but it fell a little flat for me - there was nothing original or surprising about the killing/investigation part of the story.

The book really was more about Jay and Violet. Unlike most people, I found Jay to be fairly dull despite his gorgeous grin. We are told he and Violet are best friends, told he is hot and then watch for a good quarter of the book how half the girls in the school are falling all over him. The scenes with him and Violet were sweet, but he didn't do anything to impress me. His dialogue was standard, neither funny or brilliant.

That is, until half way through. Okay, so after the party - things turned (suddenly) hot and Jay's personality finally showed up. It just took half a book for him to get there. And considering nothing happened between him and Violet for the first half, well, Derting more than made up for that in the second half. Jay knows how to charm the parents but once they leave the room, he brings the sexy right on back.

As for the supporting cast of friends, they all seemed a little interchangeable - none made an impression on me.

I did love the family vibe, Vi's parents were cool and so was her uncle.

This book is written for teens and it probably is the perfect blend for them - some wish fulfilment with a hot stud of a best friend turned boyfriend, lots of sexy/hot scenes that are still PG, a not too freaky serial killer to ease young teens into the genre - (although when I was a teen I read lots of thriller/killer adult fiction with some freaky bad dudes and coped pretty well :)
Profile Image for Megan.
418 reviews385 followers
June 1, 2010
I don't remember what inspired me to add this to my TBR list, but possibly I was swayed by all of the 4 & 5 star reviews. Unfortunately, there are sooo many reasons I disliked this book, that I don't even know where to begin :( So, rather than writing a proper review, I'm just making a list of issues, starting with:

Violet's "power" We learn that Violet, the protagonist, has the ability to sense dead people & animals. Basically, she feels an overwhelming pull in a certain direction and will be lead to a dead thing which has its own distinct smell, taste, sound or feeling. If the thing was killed by another being (regardless of the intent, so murdered by a person, hunter, predator seeking prey, etc.) the killer will bear the same smell or whatever as the dead thing. So Violet then feels incredibly uneasy until the dead person/thing has been buried in consecrated ground (leading her to construct a pet cemetery of sorts, so that she may put to rest various dead animals she comes across.) Sorry for the long explanation, but I just don't buy this supernatural power. Granted, Derting deserves some kudos for creating something new when we are all reading a lot of the same old over and over. But this power is just so specific and doesn't seem to make much sense. For example, the whole buried in consecrated ground issue is obviously rooted in Christianity ~ so what of people from other cultures, with other beliefs? What if Violet converts to Buddhism, for example ~ would she wish dead things to be cremated? Would she suffer conflict between her super power & her religious beliefs? Yeah... this is a YA book and I am an adult who is taking it way too seriously. But this "power" doesn’t seem to be anything more than a opportune plot device to involve Violet in the murder mystery. Speaking of which, she inherited this ability from her grandmother... so her uncle, who happens to be a cop working on the murder case, can take advice from Violet and she doesn't have to come up with a reason for why she knows what she knows... since Uncle Cop is already familiar with her sixth sense. Convenient, eh?

Violet's involvement in the mystery So, if you read any synopsis of the book, you already know there is a serial killer on the loose. And as I mentioned, Violet does manage to put herself in the middle of the hunt ~ but not through wits, detective work, or even trickery. She & her ability simply happen to be in the right place at the right time. Furthermore, every time she lands herself in a bit of trouble, she is rescued by a male. Nitpicking? Perhaps. But I really do like to see any protagonist think their own way out of a situation.

Violet is the worst sort of role model for young girls/has creepy relationship issues Not that any author has a responsibility to create a decent role model. But Derting has painted Bella Swan's ickier little sister... or something ;) Violet screams when she discovers a dead body. She allows herself to be picked up and carried multiple times by Jay, her friend/love interest. (And all these times, she is protesting, but lets him do it anyway) She always waits for Jay to make a move, romantic or otherwise. Violet just doesn't take any initiative with him. But even worse, Jay is ridiculously protective, which Violet doesn't mind, because it shows he cares. Argh!

"Jay didn't ask her if she was ready to go or not: he just put his arm around her. There was nothing gentle or reassuring about the contact, it was meant more to guide than to comfort her, as he led her out of the mall to the car."

Again ~ I don't believe that authors have a responsibility to create upstanding characters. But on the other hand... as an adult I am aware that super protective and sometimes controlling guys in books are one thing, because they have other awesome qualities, right? But in reality we all know that relationships like this often become unhealthy at best, abusive at worst. So, while I don't mean to sound as if I endorse censorship of any kind... I do have a problem with YA authors writing over-protective, controlling guys as the perfect, romantic boyfriend. It's just wrong.

And regarding the creepy relationship *SPOILER ALERT HERE AND IN THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH* ~ before Violet & Jay confess their feelings for each other, they use other people to make each other jealous. But, no hard feelings because the people they used were bad people. Uh... Violet's guy got on her nerves and made a very aggressive pass at her when he was drunk. That is what was wrong with him. And Jay speaks to Violet of the girl he used, "Don't worry about her. If she wasn't such a bitch I might have felt sorry for [using:] her."

We never see Violet or Jay suffer the repercussions or their actions; they never apologize to these people or even privately reflect on their behavior. Hell, even the folks on Seinfeld had to answer for their crappy deeds in the end, right? I'm not against characters behaving badly so long as someone is aware they are behaving badly, you know? But apparently, in this case, it is just me. I mean, we don't even see the people they used approach either one of them and say, "You really hurt me..."

Another complaint with is that a lot of the extra material isn't very original. The head cheerleader is a blonde bitch. The bad guy is deeply disturbed and carries his abduction tools in a duffel bag... yeah, I'm grasping at straws here... and this is all from my life-long reader/adult point of view. But I’m just saying… :)

My last issue with The Body Finder involves the big twist at the end... so warning *HUGE SPOILER ALERT IN THIS PARAGRAPH* but in the final pages we learn that there isn't just one bad guy... but two bad guys who work as a team! A man who gets off abducting young girls, and his mysterious acquaintance who likes to kill them. These two have been in cahoots for quite some time but we never learn how they met or when they started doing this ~ which is something I would really like to know. How, exactly, does one go about finding a sociopath friend who enjoys the same activities you do? How fucking convenient that one only wants to enjoy the chase without the messy killing, and the other loves to kill but is too lazy to get his own girls? Unfortunately, Dertling doesn't see the need to include that bit of information.

If my ridiculously long rant isn't enough to make anyone avoid The Body Finder, this nifty description of Violet & Jay's first big makeout session should,

"She was only dimly aware that they were moving, that he was maneuvering her through her own home, as he stroked, and touched, and explored her with his firmly gentle hands. It wasn't until he was easing her down that she realized they were in her bedroom, and that he was lowering her onto her bed."

Man, I wish my first kiss was that smooth! And for the record, the only times I have been so unaware of my surroundings... well, there were lots of chemicals to blame for the distraction ;)
Profile Image for Annie Brewer.
Author 15 books761 followers
January 31, 2012
Ohhhhhh. Emmmmm. Geeeeeeeee.! This is my new favorite series!!!! Holy crappadoodle!!! Fdgdrtesacvnkoyessxcnooyrecbhtrd hfdh. Yea that's what I said! Review to come as soon as my head clears!! This book left me speechless!!!!!

Okay, I think I am composed enough to write this review now. Sorry, my head was reeling from the events that took place before my very fearful eyes. WHEW!!!! It was a whirlwind for sure. So, upon reading this, I had bought this book along with its sequel about 3 months ago. The covers intrigued me, compelled me to read them. But instead they sat on my shelf collecting dust with the rest of my forgotten sad and lonely books. Then just two days ago, my friend (VEE, seriously...YOU ROCK SISTER....okay Shreya you too....before I get yelled at!!)had reminded me of this book. She read it and raved about it and told me I had to read it now! Well, I didn't do it right then exactly, I was in the mmiddle of My Soul To Take(which is amazing by the way). So I put the book on hold and searched for my copy of The Body Finder and started it right away. WOW!!!!I read this in ONE DAY people. ONE DAY!!!!!! I couldn't put it down!!! It was mesmerizing, intense, suspenseful, romantic, haunting...but I absolutely loved every minute of it!!!!!


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.

My review:

So I have no idea where to start. I've got to admit, this book was creepy. I normally don't read murder mysteries. This one didn't leave a very fuzzy wuzzy feeling in my stomach. In fact, there were times that I checked my front door to make sure it was locked at all times and was very observant of everything around me in public. Paranoid much? I think not, since it is not unusual for this to happen in real life. But what made up for the freaky-deaky storyline was the two main characters-Vi and Jay.

First of all, let me talk about the secondary characters for a second. I have to give them notice because they did their parts well. Too well I think. Chelsea...Vi's best friend. She was cool. I liked her alot and her sarcastic bitchy attitude. It was quite humorous at times. Although, she was an idiot at the end of the book and I practically yelled at her for she did. I wanted to jump in the book, grab her and shake her like a rag doll. OMG, I was on the edge of my seat. Actually, no I wasn't...half the time I was pacing almost biting my nails off yelling out loud to myself. It would have rather comical to see me in person. Then Jules, Claire and some other friend of theirs I can't remember were pretty cool too. They made me laugh at their gossipy hilarious banter. I felt like part of the crowd. It was great! Then we have Uncle Stephen-the police chief who played a huge and important role in keeping Violet safe whilst using her gift to help track down the monster-not to mention heroic. He was a great uncle, always trying to protect her from the sadistic psychopath. If it hadn't been for him.....nevermind. *mouth sealed*

Violet Amrose. Vi. Wow, what an amazing heroine she turned out to be. Although I had a feeling from page one I'd love her. But seriously, she goes out looking for trouble and shit, I was screaming at her for being so damn stupid and careless. She put people's lives in danger because of her stubbornness. In all honesty though, she did what she had to do and if she hadn't played "hunter", things would have turned out differently. I had to forgive her for being impulsive. The burdens she carries with her since she was a child is more than I myself could bare. Really, there have been worse heroines *COUGH* *CALLA* *COUGH* SO I am just grateful I actually liked this girl. I was kinda jealous of her though. Shhhhh, don't tell her!

Then there is JAY. JAY Heaton. Snookums. Hottie with a Godly body. Knight in shinning armor. Man of my dreams. OMG, I could write a story on this guy and it would be a whole book in length. Okay, so when I say he was better than Daemon. *GASP* Yes, I know......SHOCKING!!!! How can anyone be better than that sexy hot Godlike of a man. Considering Daemon is all I could obsess over for weeks now. Looks like he has competition. But to be fair, Jay isn't powerful or immortal or even a bright light for that matter. He is just Jay, which is good enough for me. He is human. Perfect in every way. I guess Daemon still wins in the non-human competition...but in the ever so stunningly hot, sexy, knows-all-the-right-words-to-say and never ceases to place more and more fluttery butterflies in my stomach just seeing his name competition-JAY takes the cake or metal or whatever it is they win. I mean, holy shit!!!! I cried in some moments just because of his romantic heartfelt words were so genuine and left me breathless. Of course a couple of times I wanted to backhand him for being a douche. But I loved this love story because for once, there really wasn't a love triangle. Sure there were other trying to win both of their affections but once they both realized (and I knew it before she did and wanted to hit her for being blind since it was so obvious the signals he was giving her)that they were meant for each other, it was totally lust-worthy and steamy at times. I found myself blushing so hard I thought my face was gonna burst!! I was cheering them on and so happy for them that they finally figured it out after all these years of being best friends-how ridiculously cute they were-pretending to be "just friends". But I was also glad that it took them sometime instead of that insta love or "love at first sight" crap. They both knew each other inside and out and no one understood them better than they did. Ah, I can't get him out of my head. I really want to read Desires of The Dead (the sequel) but I must finishe My Soul To Take first. Jay and Vi will have to wait. Enough about him....holy crap, see? This is a long spiel about the oh so gorgeous and swoon worthy Jay Jay! *SIGH* *blushing profusely* My face is gonna fall off.

Another thing I loved was that Derting included the killer's devious and creepy plans. Every few chapters it switched to his mindset and how he lured each girl into his arms and to their fatal death. That was the creepiest part, it really showed how sadistic and psycho he was and how he showed no remorse for taking innocent girls' lives. But it really had me glued to the book, the descriptives of his plans in action was none other than creepy. He would find them alone and pretend to help them if they were out on their own and get them to trust him until he had them......then BAM!!! I wanted to spit at him, except I'd never get that close to him. *Shudders*

The story was great-sad but it was told very descriptively and vividly. That was the scary part. I could see the events unfold before my eyes and I ached for those young innocent girls. Stupid psycho!!!!! It was like watching "The Lovely Bones" all over again, though there were some differences but the storyline was pretty much the same. Wow, this book did a number on me. I had to hide out in my bathroom a few times away from my kids so that I could get the full effect and they didn't freak out at the mask of horror written on my face or the curse words spitting out of my mouth as I am holding on for dear life in absolute fear and suspense of the last few chapters of this book. *shudders* Kudos to Derting, she really captured me from the start. The writing is spectacular and believable, telling the story of every mothers' worst nightmare. I recommend this to all who love romance and a little mystery. It was so worth the lack of sleep and my zombie-like state I am in today.

Some of my favorite quotes:

“He loved her.
Jay Heaton, her best friend since childhood was in love with her. He didn't say it but she knew that it was true.
And the part that really freaked her out, the part that caught her completely off guard, is that he wasn't alone. Because even though she'd been denying it for a long, long time, it had always been there... waiting beneath the surface of thier friendship. And now that it was out there was no going back.
And it was so wierd to even be thinking it but...... she was in love with him too.”

“I swear that boy can't function without you, not even at lunch.” ~Chelsea

“I was just waiting for you to want me as much as I wanted you.” His words were quiet but carried one hell of an impact. “I knew we were going to be together; it was just a matter of time. I kept hoping that you would figure it out. But for a smart girl, you’re a little dense, Vi. I kept bringing up Lissie Adams, and showing you the notes she was leaving me, hoping that you’d get pissed enough to finally admit how you felt about me.” ~Jay

“I've been so worried about strange men following you around that I forgot how dangerous Homecoming Queens can be.” ~Jay

“What was that all about?" Jay asked in loud whisper.
She still felt like her head was reeling. She had no idea what she was going to tell to Grady when school was out. "I think Grady just asked me to Homecoming," she announced to Jay.
He looked at her suspiciously. "The game?"
Violet cocked her head to the side and gave him a look that told him to be serious.
"No, I'm pretty sure he meant the dance," Violet clarified, exasperated by the obtuse question.”

“No, I tried to use Lissie. But apparently you're more pigheaded than I gave you credit for. I thought for sure that would do it. Instead, it backfired on me, and you agreed to go to the dance with... someone else.”
Profile Image for Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller.
726 reviews1,204 followers
July 21, 2022
Check out my Booktube channel at: The Obsessive Bookseller

Hail the first YA I’ve enjoyed in ages! Join me for a minute for a mini-rant before we get to the review stuff:

I’m testing a theory on why I haven’t been enjoying YA as much lately (5 or so years). Now, I don’t think it’s because I’m no longer a YA – I first got into the genre long after that ship had sailed lol. It might have something to do with the number of books I’ve read and getting tired of similar tropes. But many of the books I’ve picked up over the last few years have actually been quite original. So what changed?! I spent some time examining my reading history, and then it hit me:


That’s it. Audiobooks. As soon as I discovered them as a means to consume more content, my average YA rating plummeted dramatically (I could draw up a chart, but I can’t be bothered atm – just trust that there’s a strong correlation). I love audiobooks in general, but something about the production of YA books where it’s always the exact same sounding 20-something woman trying to make her voice more vocal fry to appeal to the younger generation just throws me off. And they never get the content out fast enough, where even listening at 2.0+ speed makes me feel like I’m wasting my time. And the love interests. Omg the love interests who sound anything but appealing, despite the narrator’s best attempt to infuse masculinity. I just don’t like them. I’m sure there are exceptions, but I don’t think I’ve listened to one yet (note: I did not try listening to the audio for Body Finder, so I’m not specifically criticizing any one production here, just speaking in generalities based on my personal experience).

Anyway, so I tried an experiment – physically reading my next YA book…. And Attempt 1/1 was a huge success!

The Actual Review! (thanks for sticking with me)

I loved this book! Now, granted, I was starting with a gem to begin with. The concept is compelling – a girl who can sense the resonance left by the dead and gets caught up in a local murder mystery. It had the perfect blend of paranormal and whodunnit that had me page-turning all the way to the end.

The book also included a surprisingly good romance! The type where the characters already had a deep history of companionship and you could totally see and feel their draw to one-another throughout the book. It was based on connection and experience without a single insta-love trope in sight. I loved it. I will say the drama may have played out just a tad too long for my tastes when considering overall pacing, but at the end of the day it’s still one of the most delightful ones I’ve read (uh, ever).

I’m hoping the next book will contain even more mystery and magic and perhaps slightly less emotional drama, but after all it’s still a YA, so it’s par for the course.

Another thing I appreciated is that the main character wasn’t a total idiot. There were one or two questionably borderline decisions, but for the most part I thought she handled the situations shrewdly. I liked that.

I had the chance to meet Derting at a signing event several years ago and listen to her speak on a Q&A panel. To this day she is still one of the coolest authors I’ve ever met. Her approach to storytelling and her dry humor in person translates perfectly into her books, and I can’t wait to read more from her. I still have the rest of this series, a prep-school one, and an alien one (I’m really interested in the last one).

Recommendations: if you want a fun mystery infused with a cool paranormal magic on top of a compelling romance, this is a great book! One of my favorites I’ve read this year.

Thank you to my Patrons: Filipe, Dave, Frank, Sonja, Staci, Kat, and Katrin! <3

Other books you might like:
The Naturals (The Naturals, #1) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes The Fixer (The Fixer, #1) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes Hex Hall (Hex Hall, #1) by Rachel Hawkins The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1) by Alexandra Bracken Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1) by Seanan McGuire

Via The Obsessive Bookseller at www.NikiHawkes.com
Profile Image for Jennifer Wardrip.
Author 6 books479 followers
November 9, 2012
Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com

Bear with me for a moment as I gush fanatically about how much I loved THE BODY FINDER like some crazed Twilighter who has just caught a glimpse of Robert Pattinson. I loved this book. Absolutely, totally, completely loved it. I want to, as I used to say when I was seven, marry this book. If I could, I would erase it from my memory and go back and read it all over again, just to experience it anew. And, right this minute, I would gladly give up either of my children to have another book featuring Violet and Jay to read right...this...minute.

Okay, end of maniacal gushing about how awesome this book is.

THE BODY FINDER has to be one of the most unique YA books I've ever read. It deals with a serial killer, which I've never run across before in a book marketed to teens and young adults. Since reading about serial killers is one of my favorite pastimes (no cruel jokes about my tormented psyche here, please), I knew before I even began reading the story that it was probably going to be great.

It also deals with a teen who can sense death. A sound, a smell, a feeling, a presence - somehow, ever since she was little, Violet Ambrose could find things that had died. It started out as finding dead animals, but one particularly horrifying experience at age eight had Violet discovering the body of a young girl. So far, Violet has never been overly-traumatized by her special ability. She has the full support and understanding of both her parents and her best friend, Jay Heaton, so she's never had to deal with this talent all alone.

This year, though, things are about to change.

First, she's having some definitely non-friendly feelings towards Jay. Somehow, she's begun to notice not just how funny and smart he is, but also how hot and sexy he is. The more she tries to convince everyone around her that she doesn't have a thing for Jay, the harder it is to convince herself of the same thing.

Secondly, someone is abducting and killing young girls in the area around where Violet lives. With the ability to sense not only those that have recently died, but the lingering effects of death on those that have caused it, Violet is determined to figure out who is wreaking havoc on her town. With or without Jay's help, she plans to follow her senses wherever they take her, hoping that they'll lead her to the killer so that she can point him out to her uncle, who happens to be the sheriff.

But as almost always happens in cases like this, Violet and Jay find themselves up against something - or someone - a whole lot more crafty and cunning than they could have imagined. If they're not careful, they could end up being the next victims of this vicious killer.

Okay, just a little bit more gushing. Not only is the storyline of THE BODY FINDER amazing, so are the characters and the dialogue. I have to give Kimberly Derting the highest praise for writing a story that never, ever patronizes its intended readers. I have had problems in the past with a few YA titles, due only to the fact that certain authors feel the need to tone or water down their writing, since they're not writing for adults. Ms. Derting doesn't do that - her story is scary, sexy, emotional, and downright riveting at all times; she never "writes down" to the teen or young adult who will pick up the book.

Pre-order THE BODY FINDER now, today, right this second. And please, Ms. Derting, pretty please, I'm begging you here, write another story featuring Violet and Jay. These are two of my favorite new characters, and I really, really need to read another story featuring them!!
Profile Image for Flannery.
326 reviews
November 21, 2010
If I were to compile a list of the times characters in books make ridiculously stupid decisions, Violet Ambrose would fill several slots in the top 40 or so. There are at least 10 conversations in this book about how Violet should never go anywhere alone and they ALL end up with her being somewhere alone almost directly after each one. I wanted to punch her in the face. But, as you can see, I gave it three stars. Why? Well, mostly because Jay is a pretty adorable character. I liked their friendship and his protective vibe, though I found it annoying that he always just happened to be there when she needed saving.

The plot moved along, though it wasn't especially well-written. It was entertaining and a quick read, so for that I'll give it the 3. I'll probably read the next one...

I still enjoyed the story, but the crime part of it was too hurried and not realistic enough.
Profile Image for Melissa Marr.
Author 125 books12.7k followers
November 9, 2009
The blurb sent to the editor: “The romance and the mystery in The Body Finder were intense enough that I didn’t know whether to hold my breath or scream. I did know I wouldn’t be getting anything done until I read the whole book.”
Profile Image for Amber J.
899 reviews59 followers
March 6, 2022
Psychic, epic romance, nail-biting suspense. What's not to love?

Violet can sense dead things. There is a pull to them. Usually, it's dead animals found around the forest of her home. But while out with her best friend Jay (Who she is seriously crushing on), she feels the pull and discovers the body of a girl. There is a killer out there. More and more girls are going missing and Violet believes she may be the key to catching the killer.

That was the most intense ending that I've had in a long time. Every muscle in my body was on edge waiting to see how everything would turn out. I loved it. There was a lot in this book to love. The first thing that draws you in is the book's premises. I mean, I girl that can sense dead things and their killer. So much potential here. Then you have the romance. I mean OH MAN. So much chemistry and swooning. I would read this book for the romance story alone. Finally, you have the edge of your seat, nail-biting suspense. I highly recommend this book and I will definitely be finishing the series.

If I had one complaint it was the seriously stupid decision that the MC made at the end of the book. I don't want to spoil anything so I'll just say. If there is a higher than normal chance that being alone would put your life in danger, then you don't be alone. That's a seriously stupid idea.

Oh, I guess I actually had two complaints. While as a whole I love Jay and he made up for it in the end. He can be a serious jerk when he's mad. The MC calls him stubborn. I call him immature. He can be a serious baby.

Age recommendation 16+
There is some violence and death. Nothing too bad though.
Profile Image for Julia.
451 reviews32 followers
May 25, 2010
This book is readable & will probably appeal to some teens. That makes me sad.

Sorry to those of you who liked it, but this book has more flaws than I can count. The premise of a girl with a supernatural ability to sense (hear, smell, see, etc.) murder victims and their killers was a cool one. The problem is that the mystery had flaws. It was not solvable by the reader - despite reading occasional mini-chapters from the killer's point of view - because the reader doesn't really meet the killer anywhere else. That made it a huge let down after building suspense around every other male in the book.

However, where I give the mystery a C+, I have to give the romance in the book a C- or maybe even a D. There was no originality or suspense. Girl discovers she suddenly has feelings for best friend (a boy). She tries to supress it so the friendship isn't ruined. But anyone with half a brain can see that he likes her too. Her stupidity can be forgiven due to teenage insecurities/blindness. However, once they get together the dialogue about their feelings is generic romance novel stuff. Blech. Not to mention that the boyfriend is incredibly vanilla "perfect guy."

Plus one last observation: any book that has a scene where the girl is racing away from the killer & actually trips & falls only to be saved by the spontaneous appearance of her boyfriend just screams cheap (and sexist) theatrics. Sadly, someone will probably make a movie of this unworthy book.
Profile Image for summer.
248 reviews299 followers
November 21, 2013
What the hell? Why is this book rated so highly? All I read was a boring and undeveloped typical YA PNR. The protagonist was a walking blob with no personality and almost as dull as that chick from Fallen. The only redeeming factor I found was Jay, who is the only character the author seemed to have put much effort into. The mystery was an absolute fail, and I was not creeped out in the least. Does laughing hysterically at the stupidity of this count?

That's all I have to say. I got this for $1.99; you get what you pay for, I guess.
Profile Image for Lindsay.
234 reviews121 followers
March 29, 2011
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

You know, books like these really make me stop and ask book lovers like myself a really important question. WHY OH WHY DID IT TAKE ME SO LONG TO READ THIS? SERIOUSLY! This book has been sitting on my shelf now for months. I remember it being on my to-read list for god knows how long and how excited I was to read it but after I bought it, I just didn't pick it up again. And now that I have read it...I have to say that I am amazed!

I mean, when I first started reading this, my rating for the book was like a four and I was only mildly impressed by what I was reading. But then the excitement really picked up. I was actually shocked to be so drawn in by a character in the 3rd person but Violet certainly had mine after the first 50 or so pages. I found her to be quite enjoyable, not one of my favorite YA characters but by far better than most. I am really looking forward to what happens to her in the next book because Derting has left me desperate for more.

And then of course...there's Jay! *swoon* Now I FINALLY see why the bloggers are all obsessed with this guy! Seriously, how could you not be? He's an actually sweet guy that doesn't seem like a girl dressed in drag. Plus he had his super cute moments, especially when he tried to make her jealous, which is something A LOT of guys do. The only problem I had with him is that I felt Jay lacked character. I would have loved to see more of him, get a greater feel of his personality and that's the only real problem I had with this book. I'm hoping that he develops some life in the sequel.

And the plot. Holy crap! At first, when I started reading the predators POV, I was pretty skeptical. I kept thinking, 'This is a little dumb' and I kind of laughed at each of the kidnappings (I have a twisted sense of humor). But then I realized just how much of the book was affecting me. It was so wonderfully crafted that my heart would pound and when it was dark, I honestly had to look over my shoulder to see if I was being followed. I couldn't even have the lights off because I was so chilled to the bone by the ending. But the read was well worth it.

Long story short, I absolutely loved Derting's debut. I can't stop asking myself why why why did I wait so long to read this book and I'm just so excited to get my hands on the sequel, Desires of the Dead, which is out in my bookstore so I'll be getting that in a few weeks. :)

Rating: 4.9 out of 5 Stars
Profile Image for Kristi.
1,188 reviews2,892 followers
July 24, 2010
Another great debut to add to the list!

The Body Finder is one of those can't flip the pages fast enough novels. And the point of view chapters from the serial killer added a creep factor like no other ya novel I've read! It was enough to make afraid to be out alone at night...!

I loved the relationship between Jay and Violet. It's so very obvious that they both have feelings for each other and watching their relationship progress was probably my most favorite aspect of the novel. It really balances out that whole creepy serial killer part.

The Body Finder is just an outstanding read, I can't think of anything that I didn't like. The writing was simplistic, easy to read and entertaining. The characters were realistic and intriguing, and I especially loved the duo of Jay and Violet. The plot was engaging... mysterious and managed to throw in a few plot twists in there I never anticipated.

Bottom line... I am a FAN!

Looking forward to seeing where Derting takes us in the next installment.
Profile Image for Crystal.
449 reviews91 followers
May 23, 2011
WOW! I cannot believe that I waited so long to read this! This is the second book that I have read where the two main love interests have known each other since they were anklebiters and I am loving this concept. Violet and Jay are one of my favorite couples of all time and really I could squee and gush about them forever.
The story is far from simple. Violet ever since she can remember has been able to sense death in a variety of ways. She sees, tastes, or feels an "echo" from a dead body or from a predator. I really liked how her family knew about her gift and so did Jay, it wasn't hidden. Sometimes I get tired of reading books where the main gift in the story is secret, this was a nice change for me. Well, Violet feels an echo and when she follows it she finds the body of girl who had been murdered. So the story begins and it is very goosebump worthy. Derting throws in chapters from the killers point of view and every time I read one I wanted to throw the book in the freezer. They were that creepy. I have to also applaud the author because I never saw the twist coming and WOW what a twist it was. I also liked how we got to see Jay and Violet grow together throughout the book. The mystery was great but the love story was just awesome. Did I mention that I really like Jay yet??!!
I think everybody should try this book, it has everything imo, murder, mystery, love, and snark what more could you ask for?? I can't wait to read the sequel!!
Profile Image for AH.
2,005 reviews370 followers
June 10, 2010
The Body Finder is the story of Violet Ambrose. Violet is a normal high school student in every way but one: She can find the imprint of dead people and she can sense people that have had contact with the dead. This gift becomes handy because there is a serial killer on the loose in her town. At a party by the lake, Violet and her best friend Jay find one of the killer's victims in the lake.

Let me say a few words about Jay. Jay is the perfect best friend and later on the perfect boyfriend, probably too perfect to be realistic. He is very attractive and he cares deeply about Violet. Their relationship moves from best friends to boyfriend/girlfriend through the book, with a few annoying hiccups due to the usual miscommunications.

The chapters written in the killer's point of view are downright creepy and scary. He thinks like a hunter, referring to himself as the predator and the girls as his prey.

There is an underlying sense of danger. The book was well paced and full of suspense. It was hard to put down.

Profile Image for Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker.
596 reviews372 followers
March 21, 2010
This book is a young adult book. I'm in my thirties. Okay, so maybe I'm not giving the book a fair chance. So, I took my 14 year old daughter, and read some of the dialogue between the two main characters (both in their teens). She laughed and said "who in their right mind would ever talk like that". Ok, so maybe it was because I was reading her the dialogue out of context. I don't know.

The book seemed like many of the suspense books I read years ago. The "body finder" angle didn't even seem original to me. I guess if you are in your teens, this book would be original because you have nothing to compare it to. I did though.

What did I like about it? The cover. I also thought this would be a great book for first time readers (kind of like how Twilight introduced many pre-teens to reading) because its writing is very simple and it would hold the interest for young readers.
August 27, 2014
*4.5 Stars*

A quick, fast-paced read that I almost finished in one day. I literally had to slow down so I didn't have two reviews to write in the same day because I was just reading THAT fast. TBF was one of those stories that while it wasn't anything new or groundbreaking, it was fun and took me away from the real world for a bit. It was an escape from reality and it was a change of pace-it came at the perfect time.

He reached out, capturing her hand in his. He laced his fingers casually through hers. Violet leaned against him and the calm finally came, settling over her peacefully. And then he kissed her. Gently. Softly. Not on the lips, as she'd imagined so many times before, but on her forehead. The gesture was sweet and a little possessive.
Violet hoped, maybe, it was a start.

I've been in two different funks lately-either the books I am reading are SO good that those following don't stand a chance or I've been reading the same old same old and a change of pace is welcoming. Turns out that this time, it was a case of both. I read two or three awesome books in the last week that knocked me off my feet-and while that was refreshing, it also dragged me back into that slump where one of my favorite couples invaded my mind and made it hard to jump into another story (yes, I'm talking Dex and Perry via Ashes to Ashes). I didn't realize it, but I needed a book to pull me away from my favorite ghost hunting duo and back into that happy medium where more than one couple will do, and this book was perfect for the job.

One of my biggest gripes in books is corny dialogue....and this book was stepping all up in it. BUT, for some reason, and I'm not sure why, I just didn't care. The best part of it is, I didn't have to just cringe and deal with it, it just skirted the issue-it would start something that otherwise normally led to full on unrealistic and forced banter, but it would stop before it got to that point. Not only that, the characters in question of being corny (i.e. the best friends and oh-so-present-enemies) were actually likeable. Yes, likeable. I think that plays a big part in my annoyance most of the time.

And even more than that, I hate when the author tells us what is happening or going to happen instead of letting it just show in the scene. It's hard to explain, but it's like when the author gives you a play by play of what's going on instead of letting you decipher what it all means and then adding a quote at the end of the explanation in response to what's 'happened'. Probably not the best way to say what I mean, but it's the best I can do. Luckily, I was so engrossed in the story that it didn't seem to matter, and that made me very happy.

I loved Jay and Violet-I loved that they grew up best friends and did everything together and still did everything together. It made it so adorable when they finally expressed their attraction to one another and only added to the compatibility they clearly already shared. Although, you guessed it, corny, I loved every minute they were together and every minute leading up to it.

There was suspense, there was jealousy, there was protectiveness, and there were climactic parts that actually had me scanning the pages at lightning speed. I was utterly surprised at the creepy undertone and the idea that young girls were being abdcuted and killed all around our two main characters. It was more than I could have asked for as a filler and I will surprisingly continue this series forward. I can't wait to see what suspense lays ahead of our girl, Violet.

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Profile Image for Ariana.
938 reviews1,303 followers
March 20, 2015

Isn't Jay the perfect boyfriend ever? :D

I just LOVED the romance in this book. It felt real for once, you get know why Vi loved Jay - and it was not just a silly crush over his messy hair, or deep eyes or any other thing like that - and you get to love him too for being such a sweet guy. That's because he is so nice to her, always supportive, understanding her (no need for words) and so romantic, and funny.. They are perfect for each other and you get to feel that. For the first time I felt in love with a character :)) Some say that he is "to perfect", but from time to time to perfect is just.. perfect :)

The suspence/mistery part was great too (not so dark anyways) and I liked the chapters from the "hunter"'s perspective. I feel that the action from the ending was not that great (not that much action and a bit rushed), but that's just a little minus in this equation.
5 stars already, yeah, it's a great book.

I just need more, can't wait for the sequel!

PS: did I say how much I liked Jay? :p

This review can be found at ReadingAfterMidnight.com

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Profile Image for Georgieeeee.
56 reviews28 followers
February 4, 2017
4.5 stars!

Oh my gosh!

I loved this book, so much. I didn't know what to expect going into this, all I knew was that the blurb had me intrigued. The body finder had everything I look for in a book; a little bit of romance and not only were the main characters amazing and the plot intriguing, but Kimberly Derting's writing style really added to the thrilling side of the novel.

I really enjoyed the romance within the book and liked how it wasn't insta love or rush and how it intertwined with the plot.

The plot was really well done and sucked me in from the first page, I mean a girl who can find dead bodies, how amazing and creepy does that sound! The prologue was absolutely outstanding, one of the best I have eve read and just from reading that I was gripped which compelled me to keep reading. I really enjoyed the mystery and liked how Kimberly Derting summed the book up, but I would have liked maybe just a little more suspense towards the ending and whilst finding out hat as actually going on.

The way Kimberly Derting wrote the book, especially the mystery parts that kept you on your toes, just added to the suspense feeling, that is created. It wasn't just what Kimberly Derting had written, it was the style in which she had written it, in such a descriptive way that added to the haunting and thrilling aspect of the plot.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and am really excited to see how the series progresses through each book.
Profile Image for Amy Plum.
Author 31 books4,861 followers
December 20, 2010
Someone warned me I would fall for Jay. They were right. What a sweet "first love" story (with lots of kissing!). Add a horrific murder mystery and a new paranormal mythology, and it was definitely a page-turning fun read. I'm definitely buying the sequel!
Profile Image for Kami Garcia.
Author 115 books16.6k followers
January 11, 2016
A great and original novel, with a strong female protag and a believable romance!
Profile Image for Morgan F.
512 reviews465 followers
August 30, 2010
Sixteen year old Violet Ambrose is like any other teenager except she has the ability to sense the murdered. Whether it is a mouse that her cat killed, or the girl she found buried in the woods when she was little, the murdered and the things that killed them are tainted by echoes, which can be sounds, sights, and smells. Despite this morbid ability, Violet has always had the support of her family and her best friend, Jay. But now there is a serial killer loose in town, one that is killing young girls like Violet. Violet realizes that maybe she is the only one who can find and stop him. Things are further complicated by Violet's growing feelings for Jay, who over the summer has become quite a hunk. But Violet doesn't count on the serial killer targeting her.

I did not like this book as much as I would have liked to. For a book with such a morbid concept it was surprisingly fluffy. I guess I somehow wanted it to be edgier. People describe this book as being fifty percent romance, fifty percent paranormal, but I think it was more like sixty percent Violent pining over Jay, thirty percent sappiness, and ten percent worrying about actual concerns. It was annoying because it was obvious how the romance was going to play out, but that didn't stop Derting from taking nearly two hundred pages to get there. And the rest of the time was spent with them two making out. The "thriller" part wasn't particular suspenseful because the killer couldn't actually be someone Violet knew, because she would know instantly. And Violet doesn't do much. Things just kind of happen around her. There was one twist I won't spoil. That was it. And the only scene that had me on the edge of my seat was when Violet faces the killer (no surprises there), and even that reaction was stupid in retrospect, because I logically knew everything would turn out all right and there would be a HEA (no surprises there either).

So, as you can tell from the mini-rant, this book was a miss for me. I would have liked it if it was edgier, the romance was a subplot, and there to be more action/suspense.
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