Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books)'s Reviews > The Body Finder

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
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's review
Nov 29, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: 2010-debut, ya, paranormal, read-in-2010, own
Read from August 30 to 31, 2010

While I enjoyed The Body Finder, it really did not live up to my expectations. I’ve read some great reviews of it, but it just fell short for me. The premise of a girl who can sense the dead and their killers through smells, sights, sounds, tastes, etc. is beyond interesting and holds so much promise, but we don’t learn much about it. Violet has this strange gift and it’s just accepted with no further discussion. I’m hoping Desires of the Dead focuses a bit more on that aspect.

The story moves pretty quickly once Violet discovers the first body. Derting does an exceptional job building suspense about just who the killer is and the descriptions of Violet’s ‘sensations’ towards the echoes (the smells, sights, tastes, sounds, etc. that stick to the dead/murderer) are chilling at times. Violet herself is easy to like. She’s young and, while a little dumbed down by love, she’s more than strong when need be and she doesn’t back down from a fight.

One thing I loved about this book was the involvement of Violet’s parents/family. YA often brushes parents aside and forgets about them, but Violet’s family is involved. Things go wrong, they’re there. She’s upset, they’re there. They don’t ignore her or disappear on her. They actually care about her and pay attention to her. They worry. They act like parents for a change.

Now onto what I didn’t like…

The murder story took a backseat to the romance. I was hoping for this crazy murder plot made more interesting by Violet’s ‘gift,’ but instead I got a love story with a murder thrown in. And I wasn’t all that into the love story. Jay just didn’t appeal to me the way he does to almost every girl in the book. Violet’s feelings for her best friend Jay borders on crazy infatuation at times. There’s a killer on the loose knocking off girls like it’s his job and sometimes it seems like Violet’s only worried about what Jay’s doing and why he isn’t talking to her.

As a character, Jay fell kind of flat for me. He’s nice and sweet and good-looking, but there’s not much more depth. I know other readers will adore the cute boy, but I don’t. I don’t hate him by any means, but he was too one dimensional for me, as were all of Violet’s other friends. A few aspects of the plot just seemed way too convenient and contrived as well. It was like every piece just fell into place too easily.

Still, The Body Finder is definitely a worthy read. The story is paced well and kept interesting by the interspersed chapters from the deranged killer’s mind. Those chapters are more than a little creepy and kept me glued to the book. I was anxious to find out just who decided to turn these small towns into killing fields.

Opening line: Violet Ambrose wandered away from the safety of her father as she listened to the harmony of sounds weaving delicately around her. ~ pg. 1

Favorite line(s): He was insatiable, he decided. Unquenchable. Ravenous for the chase. Soon, he assured himself. Soon. ~ pg. 156

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