Friday, August 17, 2012

Review: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Title: The Body Finder
Author: Kimberly Derting
Pages: 329
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: The Body Finder #1
Released: March 16, 2010
First Line: "Violet Ambrose wandered away from the safety of her father as she listened to the harmony of sounds weaving delicately around her."
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."

My Thoughts:

 I was so excited to read The Body Finder, but I'm sad to say that I was disappointed with this book. I was hoping for so much more, but this book didn't meet the high-expectations I'd set after seeing the great rating on Goodreads and all of the raving reviews. I guess this is one of those books that is over-rated.

I was drawn to this book by its title: The Body Finder. Sounds creepy and interesting, right? The idea of a psychic girl who senses dead bodies sounded really cool. The story starts out strong with an attention-grabbing scene of an 8 year-old Violet discovering a body in the woods. But unfortunately the story was lacking and by the end of the book I found myself skimming. There wasn't a whole lot of body-finding going on as much as there was boy-pining.

There was just too much romance in my opinion--it took over the story. Violet pines for her best friend Jay, who she suddenly discovers she has feelings for. What really irritated me about this romance is that she developed romantic feelings for him because he had 'developed into a man' and now he was 'hot' and she and every other girl in the book were now taking notice. Come on. Why couldn't she have fallen for him because he was an awesome guy? I know she liked him in part because he was nice, but the author talked about Jay's physical attractiveness sooo much that that got overshadowed and Violet began to feel shallow to me.

The romance just didn't work for me. Which sucks because it took up 2/3 of the story. I think the reason why was because of the characters. They were all underdeveloped and forgettable, and I didn't feel attached to them. Jay was nice but boring. Violet was alright, but Jay was always saving her which got annoying fast because, #1 Why couldn't she save herself for a change? and #2 Every time Violet got into a bad situation it became predictable that Jay was going to save her which killed the suspense.

But what irked me the most was the first kiss scene where the author switched back and forth between the killer's POV and Violet's and wrote it in a way that made it seem that Jay was the killer. And Violet was kissing him. I was so confused that I didn't even care that they had finally kissed. I didn't figure out Jay wasn't the killer until the next page, but by then I was irritated with the author and had totally given up on the romance.

It is true that a romance either works well or falls flat, and unfortunately in this case it was the latter for me.


Overall, the book was just meh for me though there were some scenes that kept me on edge. The writing was average and could use more strengthening, and the initial concept was great but for me failed in execution. I don't think that I would recommend this book to a friend, and I won't be reading the sequels. Borrow it from the library if you have to read it.

My Rating: 

Writing: 3/5
Characters: 2/5
Plot: 2/5
Creativity/Originality: 4/5 (for initial idea)
Kept me interested: 2/5

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