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Synopsis: From Amazon
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, 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, but now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town Violet realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.
Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murderer - and Violet is unnerved by her hope that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling in love, Violet is getting closer to discovering a killer...and becoming his prey herself.
WARNING: This book is seriously high octane all the way through, my heart did not stop pounding for a single second, either from the tension, suspense or the passion emanating from the pages. This is one terrific book, I have been recommending it to everyone in the school library so much that they have joined the public library in order to reserve it *grins*
Written in 3rd person narrative but focalized from Violet's point of view giving it an intimate feel. At 16, Violet has the 'special gift' of being able to locate murdered animals/people. Only her immediate family and best friend are aware of her unique 'talent'. They have all come to terms with it, yet they are all aware that this is something that should not be made public, protecting Violet and bringing a sense of normalcy to her life.
The idea that all living things possess a unique signature or aura is developed brilliantly within the narrative. The writing is richly descriptive providing almost full sensory involvement.
The inclusion of chapters written from the perspective of the killer, in first person narrative and written in italics, providing a means of distinguishing the characters voices visually while adding impact to the storyline.
All the characters are superbly well rounded. The portrayal of Violets parents especially fascinated me, they were polar opposites yet their personalities worked so well together and with Violet. Making the interactions and plot realistic. Talking of characters - Jay *mops brow* - WOW - he is definitely going on my list of hot male protagonists. Their relationship from friendship, to crush, to budding romance was sweet to follow yet contained so much passion I had steam coming from my ears.
The use of the 3rd person narrator allowed for some subtle misdirection within the plot, keeping me on my toes, always second guessing myself as to the direction of the storyline and occasionally close to tears. The plot twists were surprising, nothing could be taken for granted. Remember I am good with twists so this was a shock for me not to be able to figure out the direction in which it was headed. The action was well paced and the way in which the romantic aspect and the suspense wove together within the prose was a stroke of genius.
I always see the words ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR and I have never really understood what could make a book stand out so much from all the other wonderful books that are available, I can tell you with this book I completely understand. It really is a MUST READ. So if you haven't read it yet what are you waiting GO GET IT.
A really different yet completely brilliant book [ : D ]
At first when I heard about The Body Finder, I wasn't hugely excited, I thought it would just be another paranormal romance-y kind of book. But since then, I've read tons of amazing reviews and I'm convinced fellow UK blogger Leanna's whole life revolves around this book and Jay. LOL. So it was soon top of my wish-list and one of my most anticipated reads of 2010. I jumped at the chance to review it for Headline Publishing and I'm SO glad they sent it to me because I totally devoured it..
Violet Ambrose is drawn to dead bodies. Ever since she was little and found the body of a teenage girl in the woods near her home, she has noticed that she has the ability to discover dead bodies; it's mostly just mice and other small animals though. There is a special 'imprint' on each dead body, which is what 'calls her' to the body. It's different all the time, through colours, sounds and even smells. Violet has learnt to live with her unusual ability though, even though it sounds so odd, but when a serial killer starts murdering young girls across the town, Violet knows she has to do something. Especially when it seems like she's going to be his next victim.
The plot was fresh and original, and even though Violet's ability was an important part of the story, it's isn't overly-played and displays the right amount of significance.
Derting's writing runs at the perfect pace. I thought the parts from the killer's perspective were creepy and really added an sinister edge to the story; it was very interesting to read about what was going on inside his head, chilling, but nonetheless very interesting!
Violet was such an amazing, likable character. My favourite part of the book was definitely the relationship between Violet and her best friend Jay. What made it work so well was how unique their connection was. Jay isn't the shady bad boy-slash-vampire/werewolf/whatever we keep reading about nowadays, but has been Violet's best friend since they were just six years-old. Aw! They know each other more than anybody else and it was the most the natural thing in the world to watch them develop and understand their feelings for each other..aw! I remember when Violet was confused with these weird thoughts she kept having about Jay and they both started dating two different people to distract themselves from what was right in front of them and all the time I just wanted them to tell the other what was going on inside their head!!! Jay is incredibly sweet and so protective of Violet..this review should just be one big AWW! Violet is smart, caring and I love how
much she tries to live with the gift/curse she has, always thinking of others!
The Body Finder is suspenseful, thrilling and a definite page-tuner with an awesome female protagonist from an amazing debut author. Have this on your TBR? Move it straight to the top because you don't know what you're missing! It's fantastic to read as a stand-alone novel, but I'm mega-excited for the sequel, Desires of the Dead, to be published in March 2011.
The Body Finder is the debut novel by Kimberly Derting. It was published on 11th November 2010 in the UK by Headline and it is 336 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy for review.
Violet Ambrose has been different from other girls since she was a child. When she was 8 years old, she discovered that she has the ability to sense the dead, whether it be in the form of taste, sound or smell. Violet can't sense everyone that is dead though, only people or animals that have had their lives taken from them and she can also gets the same kind of sense from murderers.
After her first experience with a dead body, Violet could only really sense small animals that had been the prey of something else but her senses are getting stronger. As young girls begin to turn up dead in Violet's town, she can't help but have heightened senses, leading her to find more and more bodies. A murderer is on the loose and Violet may be the only one that can help the police. She knows that she has to use her gift for good but best friend Jay has a thing or two to say about it.
Jay is one of the very few people that know about Violet's gift but her newfound romantic feelings towards him leave her feeling alone and unable to turn to him for help. Trying to catch a killer could lose Violet not only her best friend but her life.
What I thought
The Body Finder is so different from anything else around at the minute and it was refreshing to not read about supernatural beings like vampires and werewolves (although I do still love them). Even though I loved the sound of the plot before reading the book, I wasn't sure if I was going to like the whole crime/ murder mystery side to it. Because of this book, I would now happily give anything along these lines a go now and give them more of a chance to begin with.
The story was fast paced from the start and that never stopped. There was always something happening, whether it be from Violet's POV or from the killers'. I sometimes get a little bored with stories from multiple POV's but not this time. I really liked the fact that we get to see into the mind of the murderer and what having this did to the story. Whenever the POV changed, the story went into a much deeper and creepier place which really made me skin crawl (in the best way possible) at times. Where some YA books are extremely predictable, this one wasn't at all and there were plenty of twists to keep me entertained and guessing throughout.
Kimberly Derting gave Violet such a hard ability to deal with alongside wanting to be a normal teenager and I felt that this gave her character a lot of depth. High School has to be hard enough without having the added pressure of helping the police with a massive investigation and young girls going missing left, right and centre. Violet was extremely brave, making the decision to help the police and do something good. I guess most girls in her position would have run a mile and stayed well away so I applaud her for doing what she did. Violet was also really likable and real. I loved how she had a massive fight with her unruly and frizzy curls every morning and I loved how she felt about Jay but was too scared to say anything. There were so many parts of her character that I could relate to which made me want to give her a big hug at many different times.
I really enjoyed getting to learn about Violet and Jay's friendship and some of the things that they had been through together over so many years. Their friendship was something that I would have loved to have had for myself. I did have a couple of problems with the way that Jay reacted at times but maybe I can just put that to guys being stupid/ frustration/ hormones or something. There were also times where I just wanted to slap the both of them and tell them to open their eyes a little bit.
I really, really hate to say it but I didn't love Jay. It wasn't that he isn't a fantastic and lovely character, because he was, he just wasn't one of my book crushes. A lot of people had really hyped him up to me and maybe this was part of the problem. Most of what I didn't like was the fact that he was so nice! I know how strange that sounds but I guess I'm just more into guys with a bit of bad in them. Even though I didn't love him in a crazy crush kind of way, I did really like his character. He was very sweet and loyal when it came to Violet, truly being an amazing best friend. I guess it was obvious what was going to happen in the romance department but I didn't mind that at all. I would have been extremely upset if it hadn't have happened.
The Body Finder is a fantastic debut and I can't wait to find out what happens next in the sequel, Desires of the Dead, due for release in March 2011.