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The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

June 14, 2010

So many people have already reviewed The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting, I’m not sure how much I can add to the conversation. But whatever. I’ll give it a try anyway.

Violet has the ability to sense not only the remains of people and animals that have been killed, but also those who are responsible for the killing. Her powers manifest in several different ways and are an open secret in her family and with Jay, Violet’s best friend and crush. They’ve been best friends since the first grade, and although Violet’s feelings recently moved well beyond friendship, she is desperate to hide them from Jay. When several teenaged girls in the area are abducted and killed, Violet is determined to help with the investigation.

I thought there were a couple of occasions in which Violet was, if not actually TSTL, then on the verge of it, and this eventually kept me at a distance from the story and characters. My exasperation with some of Violet’s actions aside, I did appreciate the way Derting’s writing style complements the story; it’s assured, fast-paced, and maintained a high level of tension for most of the book—both in terms of Violet trying to identify the murderer and Violet and Jay’s changing relationship. The third-person narration, with occasional forays into the point of view of the villain, added to the suspense. As for Violet and Jay’s relationship, the chemistry between them is strong and it’s obvious how much they care for each other, even when they’re “just friends.” From the beginning of the story, the reader is aware of Violet’s crush on Jay, so their developing romantic relationship seems natural and essential to the story.

The Body Finder is the first in a series, which is…well, a bit unnecessary, in my opinion. The book will appeal to many teens and fans who enjoy series will be pleased, while those who don’t want to commit to another series will be glad to know that the book ends with no cliffhanger and no loose ends.

Book source: public library.

The quasi-feminist critique: Okay, Jay is very protective of Violet. Then again, I can’t blame him for it. Violet is pretty headstrong and she doesn’t let Jay tell her what to do, even when what he’s saying makes sense. Though at times, I did appreciate Violet’s refusal to automatically obey Jay. **minor(?) spoiler** Like when she told Jay off for ignoring her for a week, then expecting her to do as he said after he rescued her from Grady. Speaking of, this might just be me, but I was a bit irked that the long-awaited first kiss between Violet and Jay happened in the direct aftermath of Jay rescuing Violet from being assaulted in an, “Oh no, don’t tell me they’re getting together right after he saves her” way. But this is a minor quibble, because I have no doubt Jay would’ve been just as angry even if he hadn’t been in love with Violet. **end spoiler**

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 14, 2010 10:45 am

    Yeah, this was DNF for me. The whole thing just felt . . . unnecessary. As you said.

    And can I just say, OHMYGOSH, you have THE ROAD HOME in your review queue!!!

    Ahem.

    • June 14, 2010 4:50 pm

      Yes, it is in my review queue! And it’s because you recommended it for the most romantic YA list at Flashlight Worthy. Obviously, recommended by Angie + written by Ellen Emerson White = Trisha needs to read the book. I need to finish my review of The Agency first, since that’s been in there for, like, at least two weeks. But! My goal for this week is to finish that review *and* a review of The Road Home. And, assuming my requests come in quickly, read the four Echo Company books.

      Re: The Body Finder, I liked it a lot in the beginning, then less so as the book went out. Obviously, I liked it well enough and was engaged enough to finish it, but that’s about it.

      • June 15, 2010 4:56 am

        Oh boy, oh boy! I can hardly wait. And the Echo Co. books are grrrreat. Especially those last two… :)

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