Monday, July 12, 2010

The Body Finder (Body Finder, #1)

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.
Let me begin by saying this is first and foremost a young adult romance. Spiced with a paranormal edge and some suspense that concerns a serial killer Kimberly Derting does a wonderful job blending three genres. I read this book within one day and lent it to my son's girlfriend, who is nineteen, and she scarfed it up immediately. She now has given it to her mom who is reading and enjoying it as I write this review.

Violet can find dead bodies. She didn't ask for this 'gift'. She is confused and scared at times with this benefaction. She is an only child and her father and mother each have a separate way when they deal with this issue. At this point I will include that it was refreshing to read that she had two parents...not separated, divorced, or dead as so many other stories would have. Somewhat oblivious I don't think most parents would allow some of the situations to incur between the two teens that this story allowed but that is what makes it young adult fiction.

Jay has known Violet since they were young children. Always there for each other they have had a deep friendship, something that is unusual between a boy and girl. Now that they are growing up things are changing. On the brink of adulthood, honest conversation about their feelings now becomes difficult. Stilted at times, they assume that each can read what the other is thinking. Because of this a few poor choices are made and there are some hurt feelings.

I don't want to give away the plot because I want to encourage you to read this story. Nothing too deep, take it for what it is: a romance between two best friends on the brink of adulthood. You won't find graphic details about the murders or explicit sex. That is not what this narrative is about. Though I hate to compare it to the Twilight series by S. Meyer, if you didn't like that style of book you probably won't like this. Sometimes a bit 'wordy', I felt this gave the story an advantage. I ended the the story with an "Ahhhhhhh..." and enjoyed it immensely.

Aimed at the teen/girl audience Violet and Jay's relationship has passion and desire, the chemistry is present. There is the typical high school angst and if you are looking for some deep mystery or a shocking chiller look elsewhere. For the older audience if you are afraid to invest the money, take it out from the library. I am looking forward to Ms. Derting's next book DESIRES OF THE DEAD due out in March of 2011

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