Monday, 17 January 2011

Review: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Dear Blog,
I know it's been ages since I've done a review,  I've been in something of a reading slump and have been totally incapable of reading books that aren't silly slice-of-life shojo manga.

Summary (from Amazon, because the Goodreads summary was too long): 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.

Review: So. The Body Finder is one of those books that I obtained in December to try and complete the 2010 Debut Author Challenge (epic fail). I didn't actually get round to reading it until recently.
The Body Finder is one of the multitude of books that falls into either a) supernatural b) paranormal or c) urban fantasy novels that are slightly drowning the rest of YA at the moment. However, I loved the idea- a girl who could sense the spirits of those who've been killed. Intriguing, and a lot more refreshing than anything else. There was no love triangle (!) to boot- though I'll get to the romance in a bit.

Violet, the heroine, seemed a nice enough character. She had a backbone of her own, though aforementioned backbone did have a tendency to lean on Jay a lot of the time, especially later on the book.  Still, she was one of those characters I would mind getting to know if she wasn't fictional (the downfall of most of the people I'd like to be friends with...they don't exist), and I tried to overlook that as much as I could.
Now then; the romance. *rubs hands evilly*
For a lot of readers, this seems to be the thing that drives the book. And it was nice enough, well written, that is- but it just seemed so easy and predictable.
Perhaps I just wasn't expecting so much of it, and by the end I was getting slightly irritated by the amount of intense kissing scenes. They were well-written, admittedly, but they weren't why I bought it. Kind of like the irritating salad that gets put on the side of your plate when you order food at a restaurant (I also compared the flashbacks in If I Stay to salad. However, that was some of the most delicious salad I've ever eaten)- it's a nice idea, but that's not really what you're there for. Anyway, various scenes of "Violet, I don't think we're friends anymore" and "take me right now" and various other elements of sexual tension were just getting in the way of the core plot by the end.

The plot. Hmmm. This is another area that was kind of, well, lacking. It's a brilliant idea for a book; but the plot didn't really live up to its full potential. I suppose my main (and I guess only) problem with it was how easy it was. It didn't take them very long to find the antagonist at all, and it seemed certain from the start that there was only really one suspect- all they had to do was just track him down. So there was little detective work to do, especially seeing as Violent could sense his ghostly villainous whispers of self. And there was no huge climax, either- but I can't go into too much detail on that front lest I give something away.
It just seemed to my mind slightly irritating that she had so much help, either from her various companions or her own natural abilities, which seemed sort of like cheating to my mind. 

That said, the occasional interludes which appeared at random points throughout the story to provide insight into both the mind and the comings and goings of the murderer of all the young girls, were pretty interesting, especially seeing as a lot of the time they seemed to parallel Violet and Jay's encounters with the murderer and the frequently disappearing girls.

So, in conclusion, I'm kind of glad I read it, despite those few flaws which played a big part in the book.  Still, when it comes out I'll definitely read Desires of the Dead, because The Body Finder and Kimberly Derting respectively have potential to be truly awesome.  I'll be interested to see what Kimberly Derting does next.

In three words: anti climatic, romantic, hmmm.
Recommended for: fans of supernatural-type novels with pretty covers and lots of romance.
Rating: 2.75. (Should I really give things .25 and .75 ratings, dear blog? Not quite sure.)

1 comment:

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