Friday, April 27, 2012

23. The Body Finder

Book #23: The Body Finder
Author: Kimberly Derting
Published: March 26, 2010
327 Pages
3 Gold Stars

(summary from Goodreads)

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.

Mixing romance and paranormal aspects is a good way to get me to read a book. The fact that Violet can sense dead bodies is unique and strange enough to make me pick up this book. Her ability is one of kind, nothing like anything I've read before, and creepy enough to make it seem real. She can sense the imprints of murders on the murderers' bodies based on the imprint coming from the dead body. Trust me, it makes sense in the book. Violet is loveable, as she is suddenly attracted her best friend but not sure how to go about doing anything about it. This is something a normal teenage girl would feel, but it's harder for Violet since she is also dealing with her ability and the fact that there is a serial killer killing young girls in her hometown. She has her faults, trying to find the killer on her own and getting into trouble with it, but it's also heroic of her. She just wants to be able these girls any way she can, and that means finding who did this to them. I would hope if I were in her position, I would do the same. 

I was a fan of the story, but the writing was slightly off for me. Like I've said before, I'm a big fan of first person narratives, especially when we only see the world from one person's perspective anyway. There was only one part in the book that switched view points and I feel like it would have been more powerful if Violet told it. It would have been nice to see her power from her eyes, how it makes her feel and how different she feels from the rest of the world. In a story like this, I think how Violet feels is really important, especially since she is struggling with so much throughout the novel. The surrounding characters weren't strong enough for me. Jay didn't seem to have any flaws and he always seemed to be there whenever Violet needed him. I almost hoped that he was the killer just to make things more interesting.

I think the parts of the book that really kept me reading were the chapters told from the killer's viewpoint. We get to see how his mind works and how he comes about finding out about Violet and what she can do. This added suspense to the story for me, making me want to turn the page and keep reading, since the chapters as individuals weren't very strong to me. I'll still be picking up the next one, just to see what more I can find out about Violet's morbid ability and her relationship with Jay. 

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