Thursday, January 27, 2011

Review: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Tags: YA, paranormal, suspense, serial killer


Her whole life, Violet has been able to see what she calls “echoes”: psychic residues imprinted on dead creatures and their killers. Normally she only stumbles across dead animals, but then she is drawn to the bodies of dead girls, and she realizes that there is a serial killer among their community. Teenage girls are disappearing and dying at a horrifying rate, and only Violet, also juggling strange new feelings for her best friend Jay, has the ability to find the killer…even if it means putting herself in great danger.


THE BODY FINDER is a frightening and disturbing debut YA novel—and I use those adjectives in the best sense. The plot is fresh, the romance butterflies-inducing, and—despite its flaws—it’ll be hard to get this book out of your head.

THE BODY FINDER’s unique and suspenseful plot is the driving force behind this book. In between third-person narration that follows Violet around, we get flashes into the killer’s mind, which will make the hair on your arms stand on end—until you realize that the watcher (Violet) has also become the watched, and then you’ll be clutching your blanket in raw fright. The paranormal element is unobtrusive enough to still keep the setting firmly planted in our world, which only adds to the suspense.

Violet and Jay are a delightful pair of main characters. Individually they’re unfortunately not especially stellar: the narration felt curiously distant from Violet, despite her being the protagonist, and she seems like a real wallflower character (not just in her world, but also in the YA genre), not really doing much until external circumstances force her to change. Together, however, their connection is strong, well developed, and believable. It’s rather sad that a YA romance that does not involve insta-lust or a perfect boy chasing after the girl is rare enough to make me sit up and nod my head vigorously in approval, but that’s the truth of the matter. Violet and Jay have definite chemistry going on, and it was a delight to read about them discovering their growing feelings for one another.

So Violet is a little too passive, and secondary characters unfortunately too flat and unbelievable, for me to lose my heart to this book. But if, for whatever reason, you want a book that will raise goosebumps on your skin, check out THE BODY FINDER. It’s a taut thriller with a great romantic sideplot.

Similar Authors
Annette Curtis Klause
Anne Spollen
Vivian Vande Velde

Writing: 3/5
Characters: 3/5
Plot: 3/5

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5

Cover discussion: 2 out of 5 - Ehh, I'm not that impressed, unfortunately. They aren't how I pictured the echoes, and if they aren't that, then they just look like moody imitations of the Twilight-esque dark paranormal cover to me.

HarperTeen / March 16, 2010 / Hardcover / 329pp. / $16.99

Out in paperback in February 2011!

Copy borrowed from library.


  1. I really want to read this one, Thriller is my favourite genre so I am willing to try this one in the YA genre.

    Sounds like a great debut, it has received a lot of attention.

  2. I can't wait to read this series. I've heard a lot of great reviews for it. Great Review!

  3. You're right about the suspense in this one -- gives you goosebumps for sure!

  4. The premise of Body Finder was great but the follow through was just okay.

    The author had me at the beginning but lost me in the middle.

  5. I'm thinking about conducting a reverse cell phone look up by going on the internet. I'm having these calls by someone that I don't know and am concerned who believe that they are contacting. All types of crazy texts and also messages are being left on my personal voice mail and it is starting to drive me mad. And so, exactly where should i locate these reverse phone look up sites?

  6. I enjoyed this one a lot--can't wait for the next :)

  7. I enjoyed this one but didn't adore it. Jay's personality bugged me. I'm not sure exactly why. Was he too perfect? Too protective? It was some combination.
    Definitely an interesting premise.


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