The Body Finder (Body Finder Series #1)

The Body Finder (Body Finder Series #1)

4.5 533
by Kimberly Derting
     
 

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A gripping tale of a girl with a morbid ability that could lead her to a killer . . . and the boy who would never let anything happen to her.

Sixteen-year-old Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her unusual so-called gift. While her confusing feelings for her best friend are new, she has been able to

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Overview

A gripping tale of a girl with a morbid ability that could lead her to a killer . . . and the boy who would never let anything happen to her.

Sixteen-year-old Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her unusual so-called gift. While her confusing feelings for her best friend are new, she has been able to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered—and the imprints that attach to their killers since she was a little girl. Violet has never considered her ability useful, but now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Fiercely protective of her, Jay agrees to help Violet search for the murderer. But even as she's falling in love, Violet is getting closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself.

Editorial Reviews

Melissa Marr
“The romance and the mystery in THE BODY FINDER were so intense that I didn’t know whether to hold my breath or scream. I did know I wouldn’t be getting anything done until I read the whole book.”
Claudia Gray
“You’ll be drawn in by the love story—and kept up all night by the suspense.”
Booklist
“First–time novelist Derting has written a suspenseful mystery and sensual love story that will captivate readers who enjoy authentic high–school settings, snappy dialogue, sweet romance, and heart–stopping drama. A real page–turner, this will have readers checking behind themselves and refusing to go anywhere alone.”
Publishers Weekly
Derting's first novel demonstrates unusual skill in weaving together contemporary teenage preoccupations with its paranormal plot twist. Violet is starting 11th grade with a beatup Honda, a vow to get to class on time, and a crush on her longtime best friend, Jay. She's also learned to cope with an eerie skill inherited from her grandmother—the ability to hear the “echo” left behind by those who have died violently. Usually this means chucking the cat outside if it's killed a mouse, but when the bodies of girls turn up, Violet turns away from concerns about the upcoming homecoming dance and becomes determined to use her ability to find the murderer. The third-person narration views Violet and the events of the book with a removed, thoughtful quality (“Coincidence. Chance. These were the words she counted on to create a veil of deceit, to keep her 'gift' a secret”), but Violet's thoughts and words feel true to her age and personality. Short, interspersed sections from the perspective of the killer add a creepy, page-turning quality. A strong debut from a promising author. Ages 14-up. (Mar.)
VOYA - Etiene Vallee
Violet Ambrose is starting her junior year in high school and faces problems shared by many teens. She is madly in love with Jay Heaton, her best friend since first grade, but does not know if he feels the same. She is trying to do well at school, but classes do not always hold her interest. Unlike others, however, Violet has the ability—or perhaps the curse—of sensing violent deaths around her. Every demise leaves a hint screaming to be discovered: sometimes a sheen of colors, other times a chorus of bells or even a specific smell. When Violet was eight, she discovered a girl's body in the woods behind her house. This same killer is now striking her community again, kidnapping and murdering teenage girls. He even seems to be getting closer to Violet with every kill. She must deal with her emotions for Jay at the same time as she tries to stop this vicious murderer before it is too late for both. Derting's first novel provides the reader with both Violet's and the killer's perspectives. Violet's fear is palpable and rises as her attempt to find the murderer leads her close to death and as she confronts her feelings for Jay. The explicit and unsettlingly candid tone of the killer reminds one of Robert Cormier's Tenderness (Delacorte, 1997), while several twists and turns keep the pages flipping. Older readers will quickly find themselves pulled into Derting's neighborhood. Reviewer: Etiene Vallee
Kirkus Reviews
Violet doesn't see dead people, but she does hear, smell and taste them. Murderers and their victims give off psychic echoes that cause Violet to have synesthetic reactions. A serial killer plagues her small eastern Washington town, so Violet enlists the help of her best friend, Jay, to find the killer by matching his echoes with those of the victims. Complicating matters are Jay's sudden ascent to hotness and popularity and Violet's massive crush on him. Her crush turns out to be reciprocal, something that will appeal to romantics everywhere. The whodunit aspect of the novel, however, is less intriguing than the romance. Although the killer actually joins in the narration, he is not named, so readers never really have a chance to sleuth out who it might be, so readers never really have a chance to sleuth out who it might be. This makes the ending feel anticlimactic even as the murderer threatens Violet's life. Violet, despite her talent for finding bodies, is ultimately a run-of-the-mill damsel in distress, who injures herself and has to be rescued from the killer by Jay. Weak characterizations bring down this promising murder mystery. (Mystery. 14 & up)
Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“…several twists and turns keep the pages flipping.”
VOYA - Rayna Patton
Very few people know of Violet's inborn ability to sense the presence of dead bodies, whether small animals, birds, or, on one horrible occasion, a young girl buried in the woods. Violet can also feel, taste, or smell a killer, at first mostly the family cat. Her parents understand, as do her uncle, Stephen, the local police chief, and Jay, her best friend since first grade. But Violet and Jay are high school juniors now, and Violet has grown up. Confused, she discovers she is deeply attracted to Jay, while he continues to act as her best friend. As she agonizes about their relationship, she finds a murdered girl, and later two other girls are found dead. The community realizes there is a serial killer among them. Violet feels a responsibility to find the murderer, and in fact she is able to identify him for her uncle. But there is another dangerous predator still loose, much harder for her to sense, who is the killer's partner. Not primarily a killer, this man gets his thrills from the hunt for victims. Worse, he is a police officer—and he has witnessed Violet's strange ability. Stationed as a security guard at the prom, he plans to silence her. Only Jay is there to save her. Striking cover art will attract teen readers, who will love the story of Violet and Jay's developing romance and find its skillful interweaving of murder and mystery satisfyingly thrilling. Reviewer: Rayna Patton
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—This story begins with an intriguing and promising premise: violent deaths leave a unique imprint on the victim and the killer, and Violet Ambrose can sense them. Add in the facts that her uncle is the local police chief and that a serial killer is on the loose, and you have the makings for an exciting suspense/horror novel. Unfortunately, The Body Finder never lives up to its potential. Instead, most of the book deals with the relationship between Violet and her lifelong best buddy, Jay, who has suddenly blossomed into the junior-class hottie. Does he know that she is attracted to him? Does he feel the same about her? Is he really oblivious to all of the girls throwing themselves at him? Could they, should they, will they be more than friends? These questions are mulled over ad nauseam. And when they are finally answered, the writing devolves into near-bodice-ripper style. "She surrendered to the onslaught of his deep, fervent kisses..."; "She heard herself moan and could feel the throbbing of her own pulse flickering hotly through her veins." There is a mystery and some suspense here, but the compelling scenes are too few and far between to redeem the book. Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely (HarperTeen, 2007) and Rachel Vincent's My Soul to Take (Harlequin, 2009) are much better choices.—Anthony C. Doyle, Livingston High School, CA

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061779831
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/15/2011
Series:
Body Finder Series, #1
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
261,734
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile:
940L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

What People are saying about this

Claudia Gray
“You’ll be drawn in by the love story—and kept up all night by the suspense.”
Melissa Marr
“The romance and the mystery in THE BODY FINDER were so intense that I didn’t know whether to hold my breath or scream. I did know I wouldn’t be getting anything done until I read the whole book.”

Meet the Author

Kimberly Derting is the author of the Body Finder series, the Pledge trilogy, and the Taking series. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where the gloomy weather is ideal for writing anything dark and creepy. Her three beautiful (and often mouthy) children serve as an endless source of inspiration and frequently find things they say buried in the pages of their mother’s books. You can visit her online at www.kimberlyderting.com.

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