Book Reviews

Review: “The Body Finder,” Kimberly Derting

June 8, 2011
Review: “The Body Finder,” Kimberly DertingThe Body Finderby Kimberly Derting
Series: The Body Finder #1
Published by HarperTeen on May, 2010
Genres: Mystery, Psychics
Pages: 329

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.

The Body Finder almost received a 4-star rating from me, as I enjoyed the leading characters along with their chemistry. However, the moments in the story meant to be action-packed and climactic felt lacking and seemed to follow the generic ‘staple’ endings offered so frequently in the YA-mystery genre.

I went into The Body Finder with neutral hopes. It’s way too often that I delve into a raved-about series and come out disappointed. This book wasn’t fantastic, but it wasn’t half bad, either. I really enjoyed the relationship between Violet and her best friend, Jay. It’s one of those relationships that develops from ‘best friend’ to ‘something more’ and instead of feeling corny and rushed, it just feels right. I can’t tell you how sick I am of the instant-love fests being raffled out amidst YA reads these days. Thank goodness The Body Finder offered a different dynamic in that aspect. The ‘I-Love-You’s could have been held off until the next book, but I’m not going to complain too much.

Violet also had a little bit of a difference about her – she didn’t grate on my nerves like other stupid heroines I’ve been faced with over the past few months. Sure, she has some stupid ideas and can get a little carried away, but I didn’t feel personally offended by it for once. It was a welcome change!

The whole ‘murder-mystery’ aspect of the story felt a little mediocre to me, as did the climax to the story. It’s a personal pet peeve of mine when the ‘murderer’ has these huge spiels on what they did, why they did it, and how ‘easy’ it was to fool said heroine of our story. If you’re going to kill someone – and are so worried about getting caught in the process – you get on with it, right? But no, in stories they just seem to drone on and pat themselves on the back. The Body Finder is no different in that aspect. I also had picked out the killer way before his identity was revealed.

But that’s not why I read this book. I didn’t go into it in hopes of a high-strung suspense.

All things considered, The Body Finder was an enjoyable read and is a series I’m definitely going to follow. I have the second book, Desires of the Dead, sitting on my shelf and I hope to get around to it in the near future.

Recommended to: Look into this book – and series – if you’re wanting a good YA read that doesn’t stray too far from the norm. Surprisingly, the same tried and true methods work this time around and offer a refreshing escape.

About Kimberly Derting

Kimberly Derting lives in the Pacific Northwest, the ideal place to write anything dark or creepy... a gloomy day can set the perfect mood. She lives with her husband and their three beautiful (and often mouthy) children who provide an endless source of inspiration.


  • Reply Amber June 24, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    One of my friends suggested this book to me and once I began reading I was hooked! It’s cleverly written, with the murder’s point of veiw intriguing me further.
    As a 15 year old girl I’m certainally sick of reading novels that result in an overwhelming, obsessive love that occurs instantly. ‘The Body Finder’ was a great contrast to that.
    This book was definitely an exciting page-turner and the review well reflects my own thoughts. Awesome =)

  • Reply Ivy June 8, 2011 at 4:31 am

    Interesting review. I thought this was a good YA-mystery book! I really like the idea of Violet finding the dead and helping to solve the mystery! I really enjoyed the book overall.

    Read my review:

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