Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Review: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Title: The Body Finder
Kimberly Derting
Genre: YA Paranormal mystery
Publishing Information: 336 pages; March 16th, 2010 by HarperTeen
Series: The Body Finder #1; sequels Desires of the Dead, The Last Echo and an Untitled fourth book (2013)

Where I got it:
E-book library

One sentence:
Violet Ambrose, high school junior, has two major problems on her hands: her special talent of sensing the dead makes her the only person who can stop a serial killer on the loose, and her feelings for her best friend Jay are starting to get in the way.

Mystery, supernatural, serial killer, romance, best friends

Main character:
Violet was an extremely relatable female protagonist whose special ability does not diminish her ability to appeal to the audience. I found her reactions and emotions down-to-earth and strikingly realistic. To those who say she was a “Bella” type character, I would disagree and argue that while not fiercely independent, Violet’s times of needing help were more reasonable than a character who has everything figured out and can do it all on her own.

Secondary characters:
Obviously, the romance between Violet and Jay was adorable, but it was made even better because I have had a similar experience with a childhood friend. Jay himself, I wasn’t sure about. I wanted to know more about him, besides the fact that he was Violet’s best friend who had suddenly turned hot. Beyond that, there was actually very little secondary character development, which I found disappointing.

Writing style: 3/5
Derting’s style alternated between sweet, high school friendship turned romance, and intense, nail-biting suspense. The interludes from the serial killer’s point of view provided a break from the action and insight into the mind of a madman, but it also provided fodder for my sleuthing. The realistic dialogue and easy-to-read approach were nothing special, but got the job done.

What a premise! The combination of the high-school drama/romance and the serial killer murder mystery with a dash of supernatural made for the perfect combination of sweet and suspenseful. The progression of Violet and Jay’s relationship had the perfect timing, especially when paired with the succession of murders and their search for the killer. Toward the end, I felt jolted from the story a little bit because of an encounter Violet has with the killer without learning his identity, but Derting smoothed out the rough points and pulled through.

Ending: 4/5
I enjoyed the ending! I was huddled on the couch, afraid to go on, but unable to stop reading. I LOVED the fact that it can be a standalone novel, and that it wrapped up the conflict!, even though there are sequels.

Best scene:
No doubt, that suspenseful ending!

Interesting premise, quality portrayal of that premise, relatable main character, ending

Negatives: Underdeveloped cast of secondary characters, just ok writing.

First Line: Violet Ambrose wandered away from the safety of her father as she listened to the harmony of sounds weaving delicately around her.

Cover: Simple, but pretty!

A quality debut from Kimberly Derting that combines the drama of high school romance, the suspense of murder mysteries, and the fun supernatural aspect.

7 / 10

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