Title: The Body Finder
Author: Kimberly Derting
Release Date: March 16th, 2010
Age Group: Young Adult
Rating: 5 Stars
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
I have to say that the start of this series is the best way to end the year. I wasn't sure what to expect when I started this book, because I could not imagine how it was that someone found dead bodies. It was interesting, I won't lie, but I couldn't really picture it. So, the way Derting expressed it through the book felt so original.
Violet, basically, can find the dead or at least those that went through a violent murder. Those murdered, and she assumes that it's only the ones who's lives were wrongfully taken, leave an echo that calls to her. And this calling - it can be any of the five senses plus this feeling - does not leave until the bodies are laid to rest. And on top of that the killers leave an imprint that matches that of who they murdered. So when a serial killer appears in her little hometown Violet feels their call. But on top of all this, as if it weren't enough, she has to deal with her growing feelings for her best friend Jay.
Overall, I loved the book. It was an excellent start to an excellent series. The character of Violet is conflicted with her emotions about her gift and that of her best friend, which just makes being a teenager that much more complicated. Derting brought Violet to life for me. While I wish that Violet was a little more stronger, instead of withdrawing into this zombie state that she gets in whenever the call of the dead is too powerful. And that she didn't lean so much on Jay, but in consequence it's a little cute, which makes the ending that much better.
I also enjoyed the alternative chapters that Derting gives. Not only do we get to see Violet's side of things but also get into the minds of the killers, which always asks the question: "Who did it?" That's what I feel Derting did an excellent job at. Not only did she keep us in suspense but she held on with all the twists that she had up her sleeve that kept the book going.
It went at an excellent pace and it didn't take long for things to really start going and once they did Derting kept it for the entire book.
This is on the list of my favorite new series for 2011 coming into 2012. I loved Violet and Jay, though if he could lighten up that would be great.
It was like I could not read this book fast enough. It was dark, haunting, hair-raising fun that made this first book excellent.