Saturday, 15 October 2011

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

The Body Finder
I was in need of something light and fluffy so I picked this book – a YA romance with serial killers and deaths of teenagers. Makes sense, right?

The Body Finder is the story of Violet Ambrose, a 16-year old that would have been normal if not for the little detail that she can feel the bodies of recently murdered beings – be it the small animals her cat kills, or a teenage girl when she was eight. But that is not all, it's not just the feeling of dead bodies, she also can sense the killer, who has an imprint for each kill (making the cohabitation with her cat a bit strained), of which each body has an echo (this is what she senses, the echoes). But when girls start disappearing (and she starts finding bodies), Violet decides that she will do everything to help catch the bad guy.

Of course she is not alone, she has her best and childhood friend Jay, who knows of her strange powers. And because the book wouldn't be complete without some romance, at 16 Violet realizes the changes Jay has suffered during the summer, and has trouble sorting out her feelings.

What the book promised, it delivered – it was light and fluffy, with serial killers and a lot of death. On one hand we have the story of Violet and Jay, that is pretty much straightforward and very sweet. And then we have the disappearances and the body dumps. It was ingenious to have, in the middle of Violet's story, some chapters from the point of view of the bad guy, of how he loved the hunting game of finding a suitable young girl. In a way, this book is like combining Criminal Minds (which I love), with Veronica Mars (which is entertaining) and a show like Ghost Whisperer or Medium (I never really watched much any of those, but I'm going for the paranormal/death thing, and those where the ones I could remember).

The mystery of the murders kept me reading page after page, especially towards the end that I kept thinking that Violet was going to get in BIG trouble (going Oh! No! in my head). And in the end it was rather intelligently done, not too obvious (especially since we actually I have the POV of the bad guy). And I liked that the kids went to the grown ups when things got dangerous, nothing of evil-fighting all alone (sensible kids, I like that).

As for the romance and more normal aspects of the story, Violet and Jay make a nice pairing, first as friends, then as girl/boyfriend. I think one of the reasons they work is because they are friends, and even if puberty and hormones play a important part, they stay with each other because they actually feel good with each other (not because the other is hot). But in its essence it is young love, with all its overwhelming emotions of "I can't live without you" and "I will love you forever". (Ah... love at 16, isn't it sweet?)

And since this book is set during school time, there are mean cheerleaders, idiot jocks, and a dance (not prom, but homecoming). But it was never intrusive on the story – it didn't stop the plot just so these teenagers could go dance – and I actually ended up liking Violet's friends, who helped me believe that for all her spooky powers, she is actually just a normal kid. (Although I do have one complaint about the character – about her complaints, to tell the truth: Girl, you're 16, if you can drive, you can cook as well – so stop moaning about your mum's frozen lasagna being the only warm meal of the week and go learn how to use the oven. Jeez.)

Well, minor complaints apart, it was a nice book, light like I needed, despite its theme – but that doesn't mean the matter of the dead girls was dealt frivolously. All in all, it's a good story, that kept me entertained and turning the pages one after another.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Other Reviews: 25 Hour Books | Bookeater/Booklover | Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing | Candace's Book Blog | Cuidado com o Dálmata |

This Book on: LibraryThing | GoodReads | BookDepository UK | Book Depository US | Amazon UK| Amazon US|


  1. *cries from joy* :'D
    Deve ter sido o único livro YA que li nos últimos tempos que não me fez ficar com vontade de dar com a cabeça na parede por causa do par romântico. E também porque, como disseste, a Violet conta as cenas a um adulto quando precisa de ajuda. Irrita-me tanto quando um protagonista se arma em herói e vai sozinho enfrentar o mau da fita. Nervos.

  2. :D

    Faltaram os clichés que tanta vontade dão de encontrar um parede onde bater com a cabeça: os triangulos amorosos, o gosto/não gosto, as atitudes de drama queen...
    E o tio ser policia ajuda bastante a Violet a ir ter com ele quando as coisas ficam perigosas.
    Mas para dizer a verdade, gostei bastante da Chelsea (nome à parte), fez-me lembrar uma personagem daquela série Wonderfalls que andava a ver.

  3. Gostei deste livro porque é bem refrescante no panorama YA - como dizes, ficaram de fora os clichés irritantes. A Violet é uma miúda normal, com uma família normal, apenas com um superpoder esquisito. E a relação dela com Jay é bem fofinha, totalmente adolescente, mas saudável. :D

  4. Sim, para um livro de romance paranormal, as personagens são todas tão normais que é excelente - dá alguma esperança que haja miúdos normais nos dias de hoje, que não seja tudo a morrer de amores pelo primeiro morto-vivo que lhes apareça à frente, ou que todas as famílias sejam disfuncionais.

  5. It sounds really cool! :D I was in doubt if I'd read this book or not. I don't like strong or nive teenagers...

    1. It is cool, I was surprised to like this book as much as I did. The characters feel like real teenagers.