Tuesday, August 24, 2010
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Published: March 2010
Publisher: Harper Teen
Copy provided by: Christabean via Library
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 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 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.
Christinabean was ahead of me on the hold list for this one, but she very kindly gave it to me to read first and I am really glad she did. This book was absolutely amazing! I finished it in less than 24 hrs and I loved every minute of it. It's really 2 stories in one. A beautiful tale of first love that just swept me away, and a gritty, frightening mystery that had my stomach churning.
Violet's growing feelings for her childhood friend are real and believable and I found myself smiling while I was reading. 'He was like an eager five-year-old. It was kind of childish. But also really adorable.' (p65) I really enjoyed exploring the new feelings Violet and Jay have for each other, at times happy and at others bittersweet. Never once did they feel forced or false. I also very much enjoyed Ms Dertings descriptions of life at school., 'Violet had never really stopped to watch the groupings before, and it was a bit like watching spastic monkeys at the zoo.' (p116)
But the other side of the book, the mystery over the deaths of several teenage girls, had me holding my breath, and checking over my shoulder. Ms. Derting uses italics for the chapters that are written from the killers POV and it got to the point that whenever I saw the change in typeface my stomach would clench. There was one point, around p180, where my heart almost leapt into my throat. I was so involved in what was going on that I started to feel nervous, and I could feel the adrenaline in my system. I was completely hooked.
Violet has a psychic ability, but this is not the focus of the book. The focus was on the characters and the tension that builds from the murders. Violet has come to terms with her ability (she refuses to call it a 'gift'), and is very down to earth about it. It is used as a tool to help solve a mystery. There is no drama attached to it, she just accepts it and I really liked this in the book.
There is a very important message that becomes obvious early in the book about never talking to strangers. We all know we shouldn't, and as little kids we are very aware, however as a general rule, as we get older we tend to forget and become more trusting. After reading this book, you won't be going out at night by yourself, or talking to anyone you don't know.
Excellent romantic suspense Ms Derting. I loved it.