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The Body Finder #2

Desires of the Dead

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Violet and Jay are finally dating, but adjusting to the new relationship is not as easy as Violet anticipated. Especially when she has to split Jay's time and attention with his new best friend, Mike, and Mike's pesky younger sister - who happens to be obsessed with Jay. Meanwhile, when Violet's special abilities lead her to the body of a young boy, her tip to the police puts her on the radar of the FBI. Violet tries to fend off the FBI's questions while maintaining the semblance of a normal life, but somebody's leaving her threatening notes and an echo around Mike's house reinforces that all is not right. Violet is forced to admit that perhaps the only people who can help her figure it out are the very people she's desperate to avoid - the FBI.

358 pages, Paperback

First published February 15, 2011

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About the author

Kimberly Derting

32 books5,041 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 1,642 reviews
Profile Image for Bonnie.
1,366 reviews114 followers
June 14, 2011
Me: So, Violet, congrats on not getting killed and all by that serial killer in your first big adventure.

Violet: I’m just so happy Jay was there. I was soooo scared when I thought he was dead. I mean, what would life be without him?

Me: Yeah, I guess that would’ve been bad. Anyway, you learned something from that experience, right? Like…to not wander off by yourself? In the dark? Where dead bodies are?

Violet: You sound just like Jay. This is why I don’t tell him things. And then he gets mad at me, just like you do.

Me: Because you’re being dumb.

Violet: I am NOT. The dead bodies call to me! I can’t help it!

Me: But you could tell Jay before you ran off alone in the vicinity of where a killer has been, right?

Violet: He’d just tell my parents or my police chief uncle or something. I have to do this by myself. I can’t tell Jay. Even though he is perfect.

Me: Why?

Violet: Well, he’s really hot—even random waitresses hit on him and give him free stuff, which is really annoying, actually. And he’s so sweet and we’ve been best friends since forever and he’s an amazing kisser—

Me: No, no, no. I don’t give a crap about Jay and his perfectness. I’m talking about why you have to uncover the bodies by yourself. You ended up calling the police about the body at the docks anyway, right?

Violet: Yeah, but—

Me: And you didn’t even help them solve that murder! In fact, the body at the docks was just a decoy plot wasn’t it? You didn’t do anything about it besides find the body.

Violet: Maybe, but—

Me: And you had someone in contact with the FBI aiding you when you went after the second body! Why didn’t you call them?

Violet: Well…

Me: Well, what?

Violet: *mumbles* The bodies call to me…

Me: Do the bodies make you immune to common sense?

Violet: You really do sound like Jay.

Me: And about Jay…why did you get in a fight with him, again?

Violet: He didn’t support me when I thought that his new bestie’s sister was the one who had left a dead cat on my doorstep.

Me: So…he didn’t believe you right away. Once. After you had shown a continuous lack of judgment and common sense. And you broke up with him after doing nothing but talk about how perfect and wonderful he was and how he was your best friend and you were soulmates or whatever?

Violet: He’s my boyfriend and best friend! He should trust me and support me! He’s supposed to believe in me no matter what!

Me: After you got into a fight over this, did he try to call you?

Violet: Yes.

Me: Did he try to apologize?

Violet: Yes.

Me: Did you just ignore him and avoid him?

Violet: Yes.

Me: Did you ever once try to have a mature conversation about how you were feeling?

Violet: No.

Me: So why did you think you were mature enough to be having sex?

Violet: It’s not a question of maturity. I can’t control myself around Jay. I mean, he was trying to take things slow. He kept telling me no, can you believe that?

Me: Hmm…teenage boy consistently turning down a girl trying to jump him every time they’re alone. Does Jay happen to sparkle in the sun?

Violet: What are you talking about?

Me: Nothing, private joke. Sometimes I get so bored I have to amuse myself.

Violet: Okaaay…

Me: By the way, do you actually like Chelsea?

Violet: She’s my friend!

Me: So you say. But you constantly describe her as annoying, loud, bratty, selfish, obnoxious and shallow. You kinda barely tolerate her.

Violet: She can be fun as long as no one else is around.

Me: Are you sure you don’t just hang out with her so you feel better about yourself in comparison?

Violet: I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Me: How about some quotes: “even Chelsea’s car was obnoxious.” And, my personal favorite: “Chelsea…looked crestfallen, like she was shriveling, and Violet actually felt sorry for her friend, something that took her entirely by surprise. But as bad as she felt for Chelsea, Violet wasn’t about to turn down the opportunity to be alone with Jay.” Are you actually that cold that you are surprised you feel bad when your friend is crushed? Or just that horny?

Violet: You don’t understand. Chelsea’s annoying. And Jay is Jay.

Me: I thought Chelsea was your friend

Violet: Jay’s my best friend.

Me: Yeah, okay. And you’re really possessive. You’re jealous Jay has male friends.

Violet: Jay is my boyfriend! We should spend all our time together!

Me: Except when you get pissed off at him and refuse to speak with him and go all drama queen.


Me: I’m almost done here, then you can do nothing but run headlong into danger and obsess about Jay. I just want to say I think you should hang out with Rafe more. He was pretty cool.

Violet: Are you trying to keep me and Jay apart?

Me: God, no. That would require a crowbar. I’m just saying you should make friends with Rafe. And try to be a real friend, not a friend like you are to Chelsea. Rafe is currently the most interesting person in your life, including you.

Violet: Was that an insult?

Me: Do you think Rafe is psychic?

Violet: I dunno. Does it matter? I bet if Jay was psychic he’d know I’m always right.

Me: Yeah, okay. Call Rafe or that FBI lady next time you think about running off by yourself, okay? It might save you almost getting shot.

Violet: Yeah, yeah, whatever. Look, I think I hear a dead body calling to me, so I’m going to run off into a deserted area by myself. Don’t tell anyone. I’m sure I’ll be fine. Later.
Profile Image for Stacia (the 2010 club).
1,045 reviews3,982 followers
October 26, 2012
Romance and Murder - two great things that go together like peanut butter and chocolate.

Okay, so maybe these two things shouldn't really go together. But it sure makes for the kind of story that I would want to read.

Three point triple six stars. You do the mental math. I'm sort of freaked out to actually type the number. Yes, I am that chicken.

For those who aren't aware of what this series is about, it revolves around a girl named Violet who can sense dead bodies and the people who are responsible for those corpses by sensing echoes/imprints which connect the killer to their victim. Of course, this leaves Violet in constant danger, but she always has the support of her faithful best friend-turned love interest Jay. Creepy + romantically sweet = weird, but good mind trip.

I get why not everyone liked Desires of the Dead as much as The Body Finder. For me, both books were equally enjoyable as reads. The reason why this book was just a slight bit weaker, is because the suspense and creep factor of the first book did not even come close to the same level in book 2. In book 1, we got to spend part of the time being freaked out as we were in the mind of a serial killer. There were a couple of scenes which had me nervous in book 1. My stress level never tipped into the danger zone for this book.

However, this is not to say that Desires was a bad book. I might not have gotten as much of a thrill ride in the psycho killer department, but this was a fun little romp nonetheless. More of the focus was on the romance side of the spectrum, but there was at least a setup for other heavy-duty adventures in future books. We'll call this the "lovers bridge" book. In a way, the romance was better because it felt less angsty in the second installment.

A few random thoughts :

~ Using the seven deadly sins as headers when the PoV switched to the "bad" person was creative.
~ There's a new boy in town. While he is appealing, I'd rather not see this series go the love triangle route. Jay is one of the better male leads in YA fiction that I've read, so he deserves to keep his hero status.
~ The transition of the FBI into the story felt clunky and inauthentic. When you're not sure if the FBI is even legit, there's a chance that the author probably should have done a little more research.

Best friends-turned-romantic : a refreshing departure from the tired setup of "new and cocky guy comes to town." Why can't we truly have more decent and likable guys in fiction? Is there a reason why everyone's got to be a d*ckhead?

How could you not love Jay?
Her voice was soft. "What did you think when I first told you about the animals I found?"
"Violet, I was seven years old. I thought it was badass. I think I was probably even jealous."
She made a face at him. "Didn't you think it was creepy? Or that I was weird?"
"Yeah," he agreed enthusiastically. "That's why I was so jealous. I wanted to be the one finding dead bodies. You were like an animal detective or something. You were only weird 'cause you were a girl." He grinned. "But I learned to overlook that since you always took me on such cool adventures."

Granted, he is still protective, and he still has his growly moments like any guy who has a thing for a girl, but he is able to continue to be the fun best friend. We need more characters like this - people who show that life is not always about being the most chest-thumping control-freak.

"Oh, and Violet," he whispered against her ear, his breath tickling her cheek, "I'm still your best friend. Don't ever forget it."
Profile Image for Kelly Marbury.
4 reviews2 followers
May 19, 2011
When I first read The Body Finder I was struck with the feeling I had found something special, complete with the a great plot, heartwarming romance, suspense, and character development. So when I heard there would be a sequel I found myself counting the days until the release. Then (finally) I read Desires of the Dead and I must say I feel a little let down.

I stayed up all night reading The Body Finder because as much as I wanted to put it down and get some rest for work in the morning, it wouldn’t release its hold on me. Naturally, I thought that the sequel would have the same effect - but it didn’t.

I struggled to get through this book and even found myself trying to remember why I was so enamored with the first one. To summarize my disappointments I will touch on 3 points:

The first being Violet. She was the biggest let down for me in this book. She was very jealous when it concerned Jay’s new-to-town friend Mike without just cause. At one point Jay even tried to make it up to Vi for spending so much time with Mike. She acted very childishly when afterwards he said he needed to stop by Mike’s to return something he’d left in the car while helping Jay with Violet’s surprise. I mean, really Violet? Get over yourself. Many other scenes in which she makes stupid mistake after stupid mistake follow this. Her inability to open up to ANYBODY throughout the book (including Jay and her family), her overreaction to a disagreement she had with Jay which caused her to miss TWO days of school and become severely depressed, her refusal to even consider her own safety as she places herself in extremely dangerous situations time after time… the list goes on and on.
Second is the relationship between Violet and Jay. Though many people will wonder why I see this as a downfall because obviously Jay is head-over-heels in love with Violet and treats her as though she could do no wrong – and what could possibly be wrong with that? I see things little more realistically. The main flaws in their relationship had to do with Violet’s hang-ups. I get it. Everybody has his or her own insecurities but whereas Jay was absolutely, sickeningly PERFECT when it concerned Violet, she was the complete opposite toward him and to me the imbalance was unfair to say the least. Also, sex does not necessarily show relationship progression in a positive light. If anything, it can be the cause for more problems and confusion and in light of Violet’s lack of confidence in Jay and his feelings for her (which I outlined above) I do not feel like this helped solidify their transition from best friends to a dating relationship.
Lastly, it would have been nice to get a little bit of a glimpse into the character of Rafe. As I closed the book after the final chapter, I know no more about him than when he was first introduced. I get that Derting may be trying to set things up for her next installment, but just a peek into his character would have been a nice treat. Especially since its pretty clear that if she does continue the series, he will most likely be a key player - possibly even a 2nd love interest (if all of the not-so-subtle sparks between him and Violet whenever they would touch means anything besides the fact that they both have paranormal abilities).
Profile Image for ~Tina~.
1,092 reviews159 followers
January 21, 2011
(4.5 Stars)

Desires of the Dead starts off soon after the first book, and all seems to be right in the world for Violet and her best friend-turned boyfriend, Jay. That is till Violet's ability to sense the echo's of death begin to call again. This time it brings Violet to a little boy trapped in a cargo hold and soon enough the FBI start getting involved, which is only the beginning of Violets problems.

Written just like the first book we get the pov's in both Violet, and this time instead of the Hunter, we have a Stalker. I actually liked this one better. The Hunters thoughts were pretty dame freaky and while the Stalker was clearly not all there, it wasn't so bad, or at least, not for me.

Jay and Violet are hands down one of the sweetest couples in YA literature. To many yummy moments that just melted me. But, they also felt different in this one.
Poor Violet, she has some real hard issues to deal with and apart of me felt really bad for her, but the other part, well, it kinda wanted to smack her. Just a little.
In one scene she totally took it a little to far, and while I get it, I was still pretty surprised that she had that in her. The secrets she's keeping was beyond frustrating, I mean I understand that she's scared, and honestly who can blame her? But the girl has to have realized all along that she was never ever alone in this.
As for Jay? ~sigh~ Jay Jay Jay, what happen to ya buddy? I can almost hear the crack of the whip in the background during that scene. Tsk! What happened to the stead-fast, firm but gentle guy that was in the first book?
As always, Jay is the knight-in-shinning-armor. Fiercely protective and hopelessly devoted, and that's a good thing, but some of the scenes just...didn't add up to there original personalities, or maybe it's just me.
Still, I adore these two and if I'm being honest, they are the reason I love this series so much.

On to the flip side. The Stalker. No worries, I wont spoil anything, but I will say that it's nicely done with a good twist. I didn't see it coming. I love how Derting can separate the two sides of the story. It's very complex and intense and definitely kept me on my toes. As for the new characters, they were fine I guess, I don't really have anything to say about them. The FBI was interesting, I can see something happening (hopefully) in the next book.

Overall, I really loved this one. Sure it had a few scenes that upset me, but that's why I loved it. If a book can piss me off then it means I care, or well, most of the time anywho's. This has all the elements I love in a great book. Mystery, suspense and swoon-worthy characters. I hope the series keeps going, I'm not ready for it to end just yet.

Thanks Alexa for sending me a copy! Loved it!
Profile Image for Asenath.
607 reviews36 followers
July 26, 2011
What. The. Heck. This book was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO disappointing! I loved The Body Finder, so I was really looking forward to this one. The Body Finder had an excellent plot, good characterization, awesome twists and was so suspenseful that I literally could not put it down. But this one was hard for me to finish.

Things I liked:
-The plot wasn't exactly the same as the first book, and could have been good.
-The addition of Sara and Rafe. I want to learn more about Rafe, and would be interested in learning his story

Things I wish had been changed:

-About 100 pages should have been cut from this book. Most of it was Violet whining, or being unsure, or "deeply" kissing Jay. Boring.

-Violet was super annoying in this book. I remember being frustrated with her sometimes in The Body Finder, but her stupidity has no limits in this book. WHY DO YOU KEEP GOING OFF BY YOURSELF VIOLET? WHY?!? You claim you don't want to upset your family, that you want to protect them but EVERY TIME you go out on your own you come back an emotional/literal wreck and then refuse to tell them what's going on, because you don't want to worry them. Guess what, they're already worried! And her reasons for not trusting people are stupid, and oh so contrived.

-Contrived, contrived, contrived. This plot was predictable. There were no twists. Well, I guess there was one, but it was contrived, and therefores super easy to figure out. In fact, I figured out everything about half of the way through. I was hoping I'd be wrong....but I wasn't.

-A completely unnecessary sex scene. While it wasn't graphic/explicit, it was still unnecessary. I've said this many times, and I will continue to say it: when a girl has sex at such a young age [yes, 16 is young. I know you think you are super mature, but you're not, sorry] there are lasting psychological repercussions. Sure, the guy can be a real gem, but USUALLY he is not. Girls are *already* far too willing to believe that the guy they are dating is the exception to every rule, that he loves them, will never leave them, etc, when REALLY, the guy just wants to get it on. Teenage girl readers should not feel like this is the acceptable norm. I know that teenagers are capable of making their own decisions and won't do something JUST because they read about it, but if you're going to have your characters have sex, be realistic about it. If she broke up with her boyfriend THE NIGHT AFTER having sex, there would be A LOT of psychological damage done.

I think that's all. So disappointing. I don't know if I'll read the 3rd book in the series...
Profile Image for Tammie.
1,353 reviews158 followers
July 12, 2022
2.5 stars. Desires of the Dead was not nearly as good as The Body Finder. I thought The Body Finder was a great stand-alone book, and I sort of wished it had stayed that way

There were a couple of edge of your seat moments in this one, but most of the time I felt like Violet was an idiot. She suddenly feels as though she can't talk to anyone and starts hiding everything, and the reasoning behind it is just flimsy to me. Where was the confident Violet? She seemed like a different person in this book.

I thought the romance between Violet and Jay in the Body Finder was sweet, the way they realized that they felt more than just friendship for each other. However, in this book we are assaulted with their hormones. Jay is trying to hold off on having sex, but Violet keeps pressuring him into it. This went on for half of the book until they finally give in and have sex, which was not surprising considering the situations they kept putting themselves in.

Violet is already conflicted and confused about the change in their relationship, and having sex is only something that will complicate it more. She is just so immature in this book. And to prove my point, she completely overreacts when Jay doesn't believe something that she believes, and thinks that their whole relationship is over because of it. She goes all to pieces and can't handle going to school or anything. She holes up in her room for two days! I mean really if she can't handle this tiny little bump in a relationship, then she really shouldn't add sex into the mix.

Overall, I felt the book was pretty predictable. There was no real mystery about who did anything, except for who killed the little boy at the beginning of the book, and that was because the book wasn't about that murder. It was just thrown in there to introduce Violet to the profiler, who she obviously will be working with from now on in the rest of the series. I was disappointed in this book and have decided not to continue on with this series.
Profile Image for Paradoxical.
351 reviews35 followers
June 7, 2011
Argh. It was like in the span between the first book and this one, Violet has gotten ten times more melodramatic. It's so irritating seeing a character backslide like that. She's jealous of the time Jay is spending without her, she doesn't talk to her family or Jay about her problems (even though they have known for years about her ability to sense the dead), and I spend a good portion of the time wanting to slap some more sense into her. It was like the author took her main character and forced emotional upheaval all over her just to give the book more drama.

Then there's Violet's friend, Chelsea, who is an awful person. I don't care if she seems cool, or that she speaks her mind, there are ways to do that without being a jerk. Every time she wanders across the page I lose most of my interest and just wait until she goes away. How Chelsea is any better than the cheerleaders that the main character derides is beyond my understanding.

And, oh jeez, Violet's inability to stand up for herself, to tell her family and Jay what is going on, is the most frustrating part of the book. Someone connected to the FBI starts snooping around and what does she do? Not tell her family. She spends so much time trying to run away from reality that I can hardly stand her now. Jay is perfectly sweet to her (to an almost sickening degree, honestly), and she doesn't nearly match him in that. I liked them together in the first book, but in the second I was mostly feeling sorry that Jay even stuck around Violet.

The plot was shallow and seemed mostly... petty. Then there was the reveal at the end that sort of just pops up and I didn't care at all. I expected a lot more from the book--the least that the book was be all right like the first--only to have those expectations fall flat. 1-2 stars.
Profile Image for Danielle Ellison.
Author 8 books175 followers
February 4, 2011
This was an amazing sequel. It was what I hoped it would be--complete with the awesomeness that is the Jay and Violet love story. It was filled with new characters, new scenarios, new drama, new challenges. If you liked TBF then you will not be disappointed!
Profile Image for Lena ♫ ♪ .
278 reviews36 followers
October 17, 2010
Holy cow! Desires of the Dead is one of the best sequels I've read in a really long time. I forgot how amazing Kimberly's writing is. I'm literally at a lost for words.

Wow. Just...wow!

What I love about Desires of the Dead is how Kimberly write's from Violet's point of view, but switches every now and then to "the bad guy's" POV. This is what originally hooked me on The Body Finder. It's dark, it's twisted, it's made of win!

Violet and Jay's relationship begins to develope into something hotter, sexier and more complicated than it was in The Body Finder. Just like all couples, they start dealing with intimacy and trust issues. It's not always happy, but at least it's interesting!

Unlike a lot of sequels out there, this one comes full circle. I really enjoyed that. Sometimes, too much of a cliffhanger can become not only tiresome, but irritating. In this case, it's just the right amount of satisfaction and craving for more.

Fans of The Body Finder will jump and cheer for Desires of the Dead. It's deliciously dangerous in all the right ways.
Profile Image for Sophie Jordan.
Author 70 books8,112 followers
March 7, 2012
Wow - as good as the first! Better!! Hope the series never ends. Love the direction it's going.
Profile Image for AH.
2,005 reviews373 followers
August 9, 2011
2.5 - 3 stars

Desires of the Dead is the second book in Kimberly Derting’s Body Finder series. The premise of this series is quite original. The main character Violet has a special ability: She can hear, smell, or see echoes of the dead. The dead – both human and animals – call to her. A matching echo can be found on the murderer. Oftentimes Violet will find dead animals, but there have been occasions where she finds human remains.

This book takes place three months after the events of the first book. I will preface this review to say that I really enjoyed the first book and while it had a few niggling problems, I gave that book 5 stars or an A rating. This book did not strike me in the same way. Those few niggling things that bothered me in the first book drove me nuts in this one.

First the good – the story is well written and it has a nice element of suspense. I liked how the author interspersed regular chapters with chapters from the mind of a troubled young girl. It was a little too easy to guess who it was and not as creepy as the first book.

Despite my rant below, I did like most of the characters, especially Jay, the most “awesomest” boyfriend ever. Jay is loyal, protective, loving, and romantic. A 16 year old boy who creates romantic picnics lit by glow sticks? Jay is just too good to be true. Jay and Violet have been best friends for a long time. Jay understands Violet’s talent and how it affects her.

So we have a girl who can find dead people. Not a particularly safe past time for a young teenage girl. So herein lays my problem with this book. The main character does way too many things with no regard for her personal safety. Violet drives to Seattle in the middle of the night to check out a container at a pier because she felt the call of a body. Port? Pier? Container? Not the safest place to be on your own at the best of times.

Other stuff happens to Violet and again her disregard for her personal safety bothered me. Someone leaves a dead cat next to her car. A threatening note is left on her windshield. Crank phone calls. Does she report any of this? No. Here’s the kicker – her uncle is the police chief, but she doesn’t want to tell him because she is afraid that her parents would worry.

Violet’s lack of communication was another issue for me. Rather than talking over her problems with her someone, or anyone, she just shut down. This led to many misunderstandings. She is also jealous when her boyfriend makes friends with Mike, the new student.

I was struck by the lack of parental presence in this book. Violet does not go to them for help, nor do they act like parents. They don’t seem too concerned she was out late; they only worry about her feelings. This is a girl who just 3 months earlier had her life threatened. Why would they not be concerned about her safety and well being?

All criticism aside, I really did enjoy this book and I will be reading the next book when it comes out.

Check out my review at Badass Book Reviews

Profile Image for Krys.
748 reviews170 followers
March 6, 2014

Well, I'm on a roll. This is the third book in a row that I have read this week in a matter of days. I'm very pleased by this. Completely.

To that end, I read Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting. This is the sequel to this year's The Body Finder. Wow. Derting does it again. These books make me so happy, and desperate for a sequel. Which means I now have to wait until Spring(ish?) 2012. Whinge!!!

Anywho, intelligent review. Yes! Yes, I can do that.

Violet and Jay have developed their romance. As they get deeper Violet becomes aware of new, protective feelings of Jay. She's become territorial, particularly when a new brother and sister, Mike and Megan, move into town. Besides that, Violet keeps experiences echos that signify bodies, bodies that will eat at her until she sees them laid to rest. She's already dealt with a mass murderer but now she has a new conflict - someone is stalking her, and Violet has to find out why... and who.

Like I said, or rather implied, I love these books. They are creepy in all the right ways, tender in all the right moments and, better yet, have a wholly believable female character helming the ship. Violet is perfect, her voice rings. It's refreshing to see a heroine who doesn't just crumble under her romance with Mr. Perfect (coughcoughbellacoughcough). Violet is independent, headstrong, intelligent, and charismatic. Violet also swears, and does stupid things, and gets horny, and jumps to conclusions. Violet is a real character, which makes her that much more fun to read. It's wonderful to find something in the young adult genre that is not just another abysmal Twilight clone. Especially now that so many publishers are publishing abysmal Twilight clones. I realize I am more or less repeating my impressions of The Body Finder, but the point is even more extraordinary with a sequel... the sequel stands up to the first one. That's probably the best praise I can offer to Derting.

5 out of 5 stars. If you haven't read The Body Finder yet, you must.

- review courtesy of www.bibliopunkkreads.com
Profile Image for Leanna Elle.
409 reviews190 followers
March 18, 2011
Love, love, love, love, love, love, love! Sigh! How long until my next Jay fix? Totally smitten!



Oh, how I swooned over The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting. That book grabbed me right from the first page, and made me fall completely and utterly in total book love. Then there was Jay, who I also fell completely and utterly in love with. Oh, swoon! If you are a regular reader of this blog, or if you follow me on twitter, you will know that I literally never stop talking about Jay Heaton! Out of all my book boyfriends, Jay is my number one. So, with all this in mind, you can imagine I how excited I was for this sequel, and I can safely say that Desires of the Dead totally impressed me. It’s a taut, fast-paced mystery, with the same great characters you’ve come to know and love, and of course, that hot romance that fans of the series just can’t get enough of!

Full Review on my blog: http://daisychainbookreviews.blogspot...
Profile Image for Milly.
637 reviews23 followers
April 17, 2011
*ARC Review (amazing enough, I didn't find any typos)

I have always admired Kimberly Derting's writing. Body Finder was beautifully written and the beginnings of Desires of the Dead was just as beautiful. The setting of the book takes place again in a small town in Washington but the book starts off in Seattle when Violet takes a trip with her friend. The way Derting described Seattle deliciously beautiful makes me miss Seattle and reminisce of my vacation trip one summer. Starting out Desires of the Dead with this beautiful prose definitely had me entranced from the very start.

In this second installment, we see a development in Violet's ability to sense the dead. In addition to being able to see colors, hear distinct sounds and smell particular odors that come with each dead spirit, the dead could now somehow visit her dreams as well. As she finds another dead body in a container in Seattle, somehow the FBI finds her in their radar and attempt to recruit her to help them solve some cold cases involving missing persons. It is in this process that she meets another teenager with unique abilities just like her. Enters Rafe and his strange ability that eventually saves Violet in the end. Rafe is very mysterious and has a potential to be another significant character in this series. Although I find him interesting, I sure don't want him interfering in Violet and Jay's relationship in the future. I hope Derting doesn't make him a third wheel in the next installment.

Although I enjoyed this book very much, I have just two qualms about the book. First, I didn't find Meg's part in this book believable as an obvious villain. Her role in it just seemed too convenient and I find her character as an accessory and inconsequential. I am sure that Derting penned her character in as a main distraction to deter us from finding the true villain in the book and to bring in the mystery and thriller that surrounds the true killer. What I didn't find believable enough is Meg's actions involving the cat (especially if she cared about that cat that much) and her stalking ways. I get that she's troubled over the loss of her mother, the downward spiral of her father, and the unrequited feelings she has for Jay...but...to result to these behaviors? Derting just failed to convince me here. Again, this is my personal opinion and I could be completely wrong about it. But, it was a part of this book that bothered me.

Secondly, Violet oh Violet. Her characterization as a whiny and insecure person in this installment annoyed me. It made me wonder again how someone like Jay could like someone like her. She was a rain cloud hanging over him constantly. I loved Jay's character the more as I liked Violet's character the less. It annoyed me that Violet's character was portrayed as being weak and so dependent on Jay. Come on Violet, Jay needs to have some guy time with his friends too. He can't spend every waking time just with you! How could you be jealous of another guy?! Jay's apparently the only mature teenager in this book and I loved his character for it.

One of the reasons I liked about this book was Jay. If there was a male literary character I wanted animated, it would be Jay for sure! His patience for Violet and his unfailing loyalty to her is so admirable! He's even more attractive because he doesn't know how good-looking he is. And, he truly is a nice guy through and through. Violet just doesn't deserve him, at least in this book, unless she grows up! Sorry Violet. I just find you a little disheartening in this book.

But, like I said, I still enjoyed reading this book and I would definitely look forward to the third in the series. I still recommend you pick this up especially if you're a fan of Derting's writing and of the series. I just thought Body Finder was a lot better than this one.
August 27, 2014
So here I am again with a short and sweet review. Violet and Jay are only continuing their journey from book one, and there's no need to write a long, drawn out review about their undying love for one another and Violet's ability to 'sense' the unsettled dead that call to her.

More than anything, this book was based around the growth of Jay and Violet's relationship-the trust that is earned and given between a new couple. But Jay and Violet have been best friends since they were young, so the trust is already there in spades...until she has to tell Jay what she believes about his new friend's family, causing a rift among them they've never experienced before.

I loved how the 'killer's' POV was represented in this story-through the seven deadly sins. I thought it was cool how she began the incorporation of the sins into the mind of the weirdo that was supposedly stalking Violet. It did become a little forced and a bit of a stretch when the sins started to dwindle down to gluttony and sloth, but I still liked what came of the story because of this creativity. I do wish the author chose to keep the identity somewhat mysterious for us to figure out as readers in each installment of this series, but the story is still good enough to keep me interested without the mystery. Even with the 'twists' she generally throws in, they aren't hard to figure out. But, as I said, I still thoroughly enjoyed the story despite the lack of unpredictability.

There's still a somewhat corny feel to the story, but I think it was less so in this second one. I am used to the writing and it's so subtle that I can hardly complain about it-I've chosen to continue the series so why not enjoy the light, fun read? I still love Jay and Vi, they make an adorable couple despite their little fight that ultimately tested how strongly they felt for one another, and I am excited to finish this series with books three and four on a strong note.

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Profile Image for Alexa.
351 reviews279 followers
January 1, 2011

My review can also be found on my blog Collections.

Desires of the Dead starts off a few months after The Body Finder. Everything seems to have pretty much returned to normal for Violet after the incident during the Homecoming dance. Things change, though, when she discovers the body of a young boy stashed in a cargo ship container in Seattle. Violet is later contacted by the FBI, who want to know exactly how she managed to locate the body. This is when Violet's problems begin.

It's hard not to compare this book with The Body Finder. Both books are similar in that there's chapters for the 'stalker' and Violet needs to figure out that person's identity before an innocent person gets hurt or even killed. Some of the differences in this book are that there's a couple new characters and Violet is much more secretive. I will admit that those are the reasons I didn't love it like I did the previous book. Of course new characters are to be expected, but I didn't have much of a feel for them. The brother and sister felt random. And the FBI characters seemed really important, but they didn't get much scenes. (Maybe the author is saving them for a third book?) As for Violet and her secrets, I got pretty annoyed with her when she kept information from everyone, including Jay. Those secrets just led to more problems and caused her to be upset throughout the book. Sometimes it was a bit too much.

There were some other issues I had with the book, but they were minor compared to how I felt about the new characters and the secrets. And while I didn't love it as much as The Body Finder, I did enjoy Desires of the Dead overall. The moments between Violet and Jay were probably my favorite parts to read. I would recommend this sequel to those who liked The Body Finder and want to know what happens next with Violet (and Jay).
Profile Image for Heather.
482 reviews44 followers
October 11, 2011
I am having a hard time writing a review for this novel. It was every bit as good as The Bodyfinder. All the same characters were there, but the focus was more on the kids this time than the parents. Chelsea had more "face time" so we got to learn more about her. Jay and Violet's relationship continued with some major hiccups. I'd say Jay showed some character growth, showing some more vulnerability where it comes to Violet, and maturity at not forcing things out of her before she's ready to talk. But I felt like Violet took two steps back. She was childish, not telling Jay when she got threats, when she felt the echos calling to her. When she had suspicions. She lied by omission quite a bit saying she was protecting her family. And all the time she was putting herself in danger. I didn't like who she was in this novel. Instead of being strong, she was stupid and childish, very immature. I hope she grows up in the next book.

The plot line moved at a fast pace again, barely letting you catch your breath. Just when I thought it was going one way, it went another and then a curve ball was thrown in and I thought "Hmm, maybe." I turned out to be wrong, but who knows in a later book. The suspense was there, the terror, the mystery all there.

The romance was there, too. It was so good I read late in the night and picked it up first thing the next day. I love Kimberly Derting's style. It's sharp and lean. Not too much description, just enough to let you get a mental image. The dialogue is great, especially Chelsea. She's snarky and funny. I really loved this book.

I guess my only disappointment was Violet's increasing stupidity as the novel went on. Everything else was great. I do like where the story line seems to be headed, I just hope the dreaded triangle isn't going to come into play. Please.

This is a book for older teens as sex is an issue in this book. Along with death.
Profile Image for Jacquelyn Simon.
396 reviews29 followers
March 23, 2018
So up until 148 pages into the book, I thought this was going to be my review. This book is feeling really similar to The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. The Naturals is one of my all time favorite series, but it’s to the point that I’m getting bored with this particular book. I originally really enjoyed The Body Finder, because the concept was so unique. Now, the sequel, just feels unoriginal. I guess I just feel disappointed of its lack of originality, or perhaps, in the world of mystery books, I’ve read all there is to read in the genre. I certainly hope, it’s NOT the latter.

Since finishing the book, I realized that it’s not fair to compare it to The Naturals, because, nothing really happened in this book. That’s my main criticism. Sure, there were a few times something somewhat interesting happened, but most of the time it was just Violet being moody. If you market a book to be about a teenager who finds dead bodies, I would certainly hope it would be more fast paced and less of a romance than this book. I love a good romance, but this book mainly consisted of the love life of two sixteen year olds. If I wanted to read an entire book like that, I would’ve picked up a contemporary, not a mystery.
My last complaint has to do with both books, which is that they tied up too neatly. I hate it when I read a mystery series and all of the plot lines get tied up in a nice little bow and everyone lives happily ever after. Like, I’m sorry, but life doesn’t happen like that so it just bugs me when authors choose those endings. It feels like a cop out and honestly endings like that are too boring and innocent for me. The first book could’ve honestly been a standalone. This book was not needed.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
43 reviews
February 26, 2011
I hate to say it, but I was frustrated with this second Body Finder story. Not because Kim Derting isn't a fine writer. Wow, she is. I love her style, and will definitely read the next book despite being out of sorts with this one. But Violet, the heroine, frustrated me so much in DooD that I found myself putting it down now and then and reading other things. Unfortunately, I felt Violet committed that heroine sin of acting TSTL a few times too often, being unwilling to let anyone know when she went out alone...at night...in deserted places... and when she was stalked, and when authorities contacted her...it just made no sense to me after all she went through in the previous book, despite the natural instinct of her character to keep her ability to herself. I felt she'd learned nothing and hadn't evolved credibly.

That said...I still love Kim's story telling, there's something about her atmospheric style that grabs me and I enjoy, despite wanting to off Violet myself a time or two. I am looking forward to whatever happens next.
392 reviews334 followers
May 3, 2011
The second book in the Body Finder series. Again another great read from Derting, although I didn't quite love it as much as the first book. It took me a bit longer to get into it but once I did I was hooked. The plot is intriguing and I love the way that Derting is setting up this series adding in some new elements. It certainly has got me excited for the next book. Jay and Violet were gorgeous as usual. I LOVE their romance. Sweet yet full of passion and heart. Definitely worth a read!
Profile Image for Anne.
62 reviews
Want to read
July 3, 2010
I am so excited to read this book!! :D
Profile Image for Amber J.
918 reviews64 followers
April 11, 2022
As with book one. I loved this one. This series is quickly becoming one of my favorite series. It's basically a YA thriller with a paranormal element to it. This one wasn't as suspensefully nail-biting as the first book but it was still a very good read. I especially like the plot twist near the end, even if I did suspect it.
Profile Image for nick (the infinite limits of love).
2,120 reviews1,363 followers
June 5, 2012

Read more of my reviews at Nick's Book Blog

I read The Body Finder some time back and I enjoyed the book. Because of that, I was very excited to jump into the second book, Desires Of The Dead. However, I felt like the book didn't really satisfy as a sequel and I ended up being disappointed.

Violet is still recovering from the murder cases that she dealt with last year when she comes across yet another body of a young boy who was kidnapped some time back. In doing so, she attracts the attention of the FBI. At the same time, someone keeps sending Violet threatening messages.

When I read a sequel, I expect a main character to have grown emotionally from the previous book. Violet, in my opinion, went downhill instead of going uphill. She acted incredibly stupid and took rash and hasty decisions that made her seem immature. You would have thought that with everything she had gone through in the previous book, she wouldn't ever go out alone in search of dead bodies, but no, Violet constantly kept going out in the middle of the night. I was incredibly frustrated by her behavior. On top of that, she never talked about the bodies that she found with members of her family or her boyfriend, all of whom knew about her secret abilities. These very people were a constant support and help to her in the previous book and it's unfathomable why she refused to share her discoveries with them. Even when it came to Jay, she acted hypocritical and childish. She clearly didn't trust him with her secrets, but when she confessed to him about the possible identity of her stalker, he had a tough time believing it and he told her that. What did our dear Violet do ? She threw a fit about how Jay did not trust her and broke up with him ! I was like "Really, Violet ?" People in relationships have disagreements, but does that mean you break up with them when you have differing opinions ?

The romance in The Body Finder was really cute. In Desires Of The Dead, it became downright sappy and completely annoying. All Violet and Jay did was making out on every occasion. Like I mentioned above, Violet had huge trust issues when it came to Jay. I couldn't understand why. He was a good guy and he was her best friend for such a long time. Because of that, their relationship seemed unrealistic. A relationship isn't only about kisses and dates, it's also about trust. It, also, annoyed me how Violet became jealous of Jay's new friend, Michael. She kept saying that she had to compete for Jay's affection now. Seriously, did she expect him to be constantly around her ? Hypocritical, considering the fact that she refused to share her secrets with him. Plus, I thought Jay was a little too overprotective of Violet. There was basically no chemistry between the characters and overall, it was a let-down.

I even found the plot line to be bland this time around. It was very predictable and I had already guessed the guilty party early on. One aspect that I love when I read murder/mystery books, is the actual element of suspense. Desires Of The Dead failed in that department. While the previous book was highly entertaining, this one ended up being a bore. There was nothing really captivating about the whole story. The fact that Violet's parents were so absent throughout the book was also very concerning. I didn't understand how they weren't aware that their daughter often wandered about late at night. One other thing that bugged me was the whole thing with the FBI. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the FBI supposed to obtain permission from the parents before they can question a minor ? This book had my eyes rolling continuously throughout my reading !

I expected something more epic from Desires Of The Dead. I wanted it to be more exciting and enthralling than it was. Unfortunately, this book just wasn't for me. I will give the third book a shot since I already purchased my copy, but I don't have high hopes. If Violet keeps acting immature in that one, it might end up being a DNF for me.
Profile Image for Erin.
232 reviews103 followers
August 16, 2011
2.5 stars.

So, just to be clear, I gave this 2 (and a half) stars in true Goodreads fashion-- it's not that I didn't like it; I thought it was okay. I definitely enjoyed it more than its predecessor, The Body Finder. For one thing, Jay's kisses were only described as "possessive" once or twice. A step in the right direction!

I truly don't have much to say about this book. It was a decent way to pass the hours. It alternated between bland and engrossing. It may have been one of the most predictable books I've ever read, at least for a book that's real appeal is in the "mystery" of the plot. But somehow I didn't get too annoyed. There was something comforting, at times even beautiful, about watching the story unfold just as I had expected. I think it could have been much less predictable if the prologue had been written differently-- as it is, it reveals too much.

A big, fat compliment I can give this book is that Violet, the main character, didn't make me want to scream. Meaning, despite the fact that I always figured out stuff before she did, it normally only took her a few extra pages to catch up with me. And even when I had the big picture of it all clear in my mind, I couldn't fault her for not getting it, because it made sense for her to not put the pieces together as easily as I, an objective observer, could.

The beginning of the book was really bad, though. The writing style is so painfully mediocre that I didn't even want to turn the pages. But as the book progresses, my tolerance level increased and the plot picked up, so it was easy to get past it. That's not to say that the writing drastically improved (even as I was mildly enjoying the book, I still cringed). I don't think the author is good at the whole telling vs. showing thing, or at dialogue. But there were moments where I thought the writing was verging on good, usually involving scenery.

And bonus points for handling sex in a thoughtful and responsible (if not quite emotionally deep) manner! Woo hooo.

P.S. I liked the plot about Violet venturing to share her secret with others. I felt hilariously defensive of the secret right along with her at first, but as the book went on I learned to see the good in confiding it. I'm moderately looking forward to the sequel to see who else she shares it with and what exactly Rafe's power is.

P.P.S. I don't care what anybody says, Chelsea is hilarious.
Profile Image for Debbie.
902 reviews166 followers
November 7, 2010
If you read my review of The Body Finder then you know I loved that and was so excited when I was able to get my hands on the second book in this series. While you are pretty much able to predict what happens in this sequel it was still a wonderful book that I could not put down. Violet is pulled into another mystery as she tries to figure out who is stalking her and leaving her ominous messages while also trying to adjust to going from best friends with Jay to boyfriend/girlfriend with him.

The Characters

I still love Jay but Ms. Derting introduces a new mystery guy, Rafe, who I was anxiously waiting to learn more about through out the entire book. He's good looking, mysterious and apparently has powers of his own. What those powers are is a mystery waiting to be unraveled.

Jay is still Mr. Dependable and it is cute how much he worships Violet's uncle after having his life saved by him.

Violet still continues to make some dumb decisions that made me shake my head but I suppose that just sets her up nicely to have Jay come rescue her which just makes me love him more.

The Storyline

Like I mentioned above the basic storyline is pretty predictable and I thought it was easy to figure out who the stalker was but I enjoyed the new twist of Sara and Rafe, apparent independent crime consultants who use unusual means to solve cases. It sets up nicely for future adventures if Violet decides she wants to work with them or even to see what they do if Violet decides not to work with them. I am also curious to see what kind of guy Rafe turns out to be.

This is definitely another great read from Kimberly Derting.
Profile Image for Leah  (Simply Nerdy Book Reviews).
66 reviews41 followers
October 1, 2010
I loved loved loved this book! Just as with its predecessor, Desires of the Dead is stunning on all counts. It's romantic, mysterious, suspenseful, funny, and very creative. Kimberly Derting'swriting is so fantastic, and her characters all so three-dimensional with such different and pronounced personalties that they, the plot, and the books themselves are so completely unforgettable.

Violet comes off just as strong as before, and her eerie ability becomes even more eerie in this novel, when it begins to involve characters closer to her and Jay. Violet's choice of working for someone, using her ability purposely to find murdered people and their killers, was easy to sympathize with--could you really tell someone something you'd spent your entire life keeping a secret, if it would benefit others? Even if it was something as dark as Violet's ability?

Jay is so sweet and protective--the ideal boyfriend/best friend--that you just have to love him, and I swear, I'm more in love with him than Violet is. The normal (well, semi-normal; most of us don't have to deal with the prospect of murderers coming and killing us,) issues that him and Violet face help with building the strong romantic focus, make their relationship very realistic and paced just right, unlike quite a few other young adult fiction novels of today.

I have to say, Derting does a fantastic job--even better, I think, than Kiersten White (author of Paranormalcy)--with supporting character development. My favorite character, actually, is Chelsea, Violet's closest girl friend. She's absolutely hilarious, and definitely has the most memorable personality in the two books. She's just so snarky and witty; I completely adore her! Claire is so sweet an innocent, too, that it just makes me laugh.

As with the first book, I really enjoyed the brief chapters in the supposed "killer"'s perspective, because you feel connected with her on a certain level, and sympathize with her emotions and the circumstances in which she lives . . . you can almost understand why she does the things she does. This adds to the book's suspense, because, in some ways, you almost wish that what it's telling you is wrong--she cant really be the killer, can she? This aspect of the book was very unpredictable, because you never really knew--not until the very, very end.

The seeds of doubt the events in the book planted in my mind drove me crazy with suspense and kept me reading until late at night, unable to stop. The romance reels you in from the very start, and the suspense doesn't let you go. I read for hours on end, staying up as late as I could, putting my homework aside, all along not even realizing how fast I sped through it, how quickly I passed each chapter mark. All in all, Desires of the Dead is another masterpiece by Kimberly Derting!

These books would be fantastic for fans of the 1-800-WHERE-R-YOU series by Meg Cabot, Melissa Marr's stunning Wicked Lovely novels, and the Darkest Powers series by Kelley Armstrong.

Profile Image for Tess.
88 reviews
April 28, 2011
I remember reading The Body Finder and loving it, especially the budding romance between Violet and her childhood friend Jay, which was truly sweet. And so, when this sequel hit the shelves, I knew I wanted to continue their story.

Hence, here I am a few chapters in. Violet and Jay are now a couple, and as much in love as before. But troubles are closing in, and it comes from various directions.

Firstly, there are two new kids in school, Mike and his sister, and Jay has started to spend far too much time with Mike, to Violet’s dismay. Meanwhile, someone – a girl – is feeling angry with Violet for supposedly taking Jay from her and has started threatening Violet with various anonymous messages.

As if that wasn’t all, Violet has also found a new body. As you may recall from The Body Finder, Violet has the uncanny ability to sense murdered bodies, as they give out a special echo sound that only Violet can hear. Once discovering a body, the echo will keep bugging Violet until it has been given a proper burial-place where it can rest in peace.

Hence, after coming across this latest body, she places an anonymous call to the police so that it can be found. Problem is, her call is traced back to her, and before she knows it, the FBI has approached her for questioning. What will happen when they find out about her ability?

And this is as far as I’ve got.

Unfortunately, I have to admit I’m not feeling it yet with this sequel. Violet has started to bug me, because she keeps everything a secret, refuses to let anyone help her and in general is just too meek, quiet and gloomy for my liking. I’ve wanted to yell “get it together!” quite a few times already. Which can’t be a good sign. I’m especially frustrated with the way Violet treats Jay, who does everything in his power to keep her happy, yet all she does is pouts.

Moreover, the plot is not much of a plot yet, rather it’s screaming filler. Particularly the subplot about a psycho girl who dumps dead cats on Violet’s porch is a bit too over the top for me. It sounds more like Glen Close in Fatal Attraction than a little school girl who is jealous over another girl’s boyfriend, don’t you think?

In short, I’m trying to remember now what was so good with The Body Finder, because doubts are creeping in. Or maybe I’m being too harsh here, it may get better the more I read, let’s hope so..

Full review at:

Profile Image for Brianna (The Book Vixen).
667 reviews9 followers
December 30, 2015
Why I Read this Book: When I finally got a hold of and read The Body Finder, I was pleased to find out that the things I heard about the book were true. It truly is a great debut novel. I was expecting a cliffhanger ending at the end of The Body Finder but there wasn’t one.Why was I expecting one? I’m not exactly sure. Maybe because it’s a series that involves the same main characters with a continuing storyline. And while all loose ends were tied by the end, I was still interested in reading Desires of the Dead to find out what else was going on with Violet.

What I Liked: As with The Body Finder, I was invested in the author’s writing style. The descriptions were vivid enough without being too drawn out. Also like it’s predecessor, Desires of the Dead included brief chapters that gives the reader an idea of what’s going on inside the antagonist’s mind. This actually threw me off, not at first but about in the middle of the book. You think you know who the antagonist is but then something comes up, leaving you not so sure.

I liked that the prologue is an event that takes place towards the end of the book and the book leads the reader to that point. The prologue definitely pulled me right in. You will want to devour Desires of the Dead in one sitting.

What I Didn’t Like: I can’t believe Violet was so untrusting of Jay, unlike her relationship with him in The Body Finder. And Chelsea is getting on my nerves now, big time. She’s too selfish and self-serving. I wanted to smack her silly.

Overall Impression: Desires of the Dead is a good follow-up novel. I feel that this book was up to par with the first; neither of the two books outshone the other. Towards the end of this book, I was a little concerned about how things were going to be wrapped up but the author pulled through and did a fabulous job. Most loose ends were tied up so there was no major cliffhanger. There was just enough of the storyline left open to get me interested in reading the next book. There’s definitely room to expand on this series and I cannot wait to see where the author takes the storyline next with the next 2 books. The story arc involving Sara seems interesting and I’m curious to see where the author takes it.
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