Book Review: The Body Finder

Title/Author:  The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
(The Body Finder #1)

Genre:  Young Adult, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance

Published:  March 16th, 2010 by Harper Collin’s Children’s Books

Hardcover, 329 pages

How I Got This Book:  Checked it out from the library

Why I Picked It Up?:  I read this blurb and was immediately intrigued by this supernatural story!  And Kimberly Derting will be at YALLFest, so I moved it up on my queue!

Book Jacket Blurb:  “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 Review of this Work:

The Body Finder is one of those series that has been popular in the blogging atmosphere.  Each and every positive review I have read really influenced me to pick this series up and read it!  And because it has come so highly recommended, I think my expectations were higher than they probably should have been, because this book just didn’t sit all that well with me.  I actually wrote down some notes about this book, so for this review I will just address the problems I have with this story in number format.

1.  The story is really impersonal:  For whatever reason, Kimberly Derting decided to use third person narration.  While I am not inherently against third person narration by any means, I feel like the point of view plus the writing style just really disconnected me from the characters and the story.  I felt ZERO connection to Violet, which is a problem when you are supposed to like her and be rooting for her.  I liked the characters I guess, but I was just really indifferent towards them through most of this book.  And that is a BIG problem.

2.  Awkward story-telling:  I really felt like the plot kept jumping between “OH EM GEE she has to catch the serial killer!” to “OH I just like Jay soooooooooooooooooooo much!”  It was just a really awkward flow throughout the story which really deterred me from really liking it.

3.  The lack of paranormal explanation:  While this book is a mystery, the mystery centers around the paranormal fact that Violet can sense the dead.  This is the thing that excited me most about delving into this story, and yet I felt like the explanations of Violet’s ability were zilch.  It just wasn’t developed enough for my taste, and that prevented me from connecting to Violet because I really had no idea why she was who she was.  And it goes from this feeling to hearing things to tasting garlic with ZERO explanation to why.  Maybe her talents are developed in book two, but I really needed something more in this story!

4.  Violet and Jay’s relationship:  it was just a little too perfect.  I was actually really excited to see that the romance part of this story was going to spawn from an already established friendship (I am a fan!).  But the progression of their development was just bland and boring.  Everything was perfect, and not in a good way.

All of the negatives aside, I really think this story had the potential to be something special, but the execution of the story just fell short.  I really did appreciate her including snippets of text from the murder’s perspective.  This really helped drive the plot and the mystery for me, as we knew the killer without knowing the killer.  That was a definite LIKE for this book, but that was about it.  I was intrigued enough to finish it, and maybe I will pick up book two, but my overall feeling with this book is not high.  I am disappointed to say that this read was a bust for me.  Take it or leave it.  But as I know SO MANY bloggers love it, you should give it a try and see for yourself.  You may like it more than I did!

My Bookshelf Rating:

A Second Shelf Book.

This book had the potential to be a pretty solid story!  Unfortunately, it just didn’t make the mark for me.  While I liked the premise, the execution of the story was bland and impersonal.  I felt indifferent towards all of the characters.  And the writing was just too impersonal and was a little too choppy.  And the paranormal aspect was not explained well at all.  There were little details that I appreciated, but overall this story was just, well, “meehhh.”  I may pick up book two eventually, but I am in no real rush.

Love and Ritz Crackers,
Jennifer

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