Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Review: The Body Finder

The Body Finder (TBF #1) by Kimberly Derting
Published: 16th March 2010
Publisher: HarperTeen

Description from Goodreads:

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 thoughts:

I was really hesitant about picking this book up, mainly because it sounds like a carbon copy of  the  Harper Connelly Mysteries, Charlaine Harris's' lesser known but IMO far superior series, but you know, for YA's. But it received such consistently glowing reviews that I cast aside my doubts and bought a copy.

The premise is an interesting one, a girl who can find dead bodies. I also loved the concept of the imprints, and how these could be noises or smells or images that were left not only on the dead but on the killer too. I thought this novel had a lot of potential, but in actuality, for me, it fell totally flat.

It was just too...nice. Too bland. Violet has nice, understanding parents, nice, understanding extended family. A nice, understanding best friend. She has this weird and hard to deal with power, but I never got that side of it because everyone was just so nice. 

There were lots of opportunities to have a bit of angst thrown in. Violet is totally in love with her best friend Jay, but even that ends perfectly, with not a hint of trouble.  Girls get murdered in Violet's town, but its okay cause she doesn't actually know any of them that well. I felt completely apart from the plot because we never knew any of the girls killed. They got their 15 minutes of fame in death alone. Well, apart from that one girl but she was hardly significant. 

Everyone has raved about the chapters told from the killer's point of view, but to be honest these didn't impress me much either. They were very stereotypical. Derting only had to watch an episode of Criminal Minds or read a murder mystery to develop this voice...again...bland. 

The story was just too perfect. Nothing really went wrong, and when it did it was easily and quickly rectified in my opinion. Maybe I've read so many murder mystery novels that I was expecting too much of this book? I genuinely expected an excellent MM with a paranormal twist, and for me it just fell flat. Also, the scene at the prom? So Twilight-inspired it made me want to cry. 

Despite my negative review, I would recommend this book. It's not for me, but I know  a lot of people have read and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm sure the originality of the concept will appeal, so please don't be put off by my views and give it a go. And/Or give Harper Connelly a go too. It's got some adult content, so be aware of that-but it's definitely a series worth reading.

I sadly give this book 2/5 


In other news my 30 books in 3o days reading challenge starts tomorrow!!! Feel free to sign up below:


  1. Well said! It's hard writing negative reviews, I know. O_O
    I have yet to read this, because I think I'll probably be one of the few people who don't like it, LOL


  2. Great book review, Cait. That was very well said. I completely trust your judgement and am starting to wish that I hadn't purchased this novel but different one instead.

    It saddens me to hear that everything was just...nice or bland and it saddens me even more to hear that this novel is simlar to the Twilight Saga. I'll be completely truthful and say that I have a strong dislike for the Twilight Saga and Meyer's characters. I honestly think I couldn't enjoy anything simlar to the Twilight Saga.

    Well, I'll most likley read this novel in the future since I own it already but I won't be to quick to jump at it.

    Thanks for the review, Cait.

    { Guess what? I had to rewrite this comment two bloodly times...bloody internet!!! }

  3. I do love your reviews, you write them so well.

    This sounds so good, but i'm guessing the story is there...just isn't executed very well. I think we do have high expectation for mysteries, but Twilight prom homage is too much for me.

  4. That was a great review! I have heard a lot of great things about this series, but it's always great to read a review from a different perspective. We have similar taste in books, so after reading this I think i'm going to skip this series, I don't like everything wrapped up nice & pretty, usually what draws me in is the conflict/betrayal/teenage angst in the book. But, that's just me :)

    Neri @ In The Name Of Books

  5. Thank you for your honest opinion. Often times bloggers just write about books they like or tend to write their review focusing on the good parts of the novel and leaving out what they didn't like. I've heard good things about this novel, but I haven't picked it up yet...It must be one of those six sense things.

  6. I like your honest review! I read this one awhile back and enjoyed it rather well. I also liked the Harper Conelly series by Harris too.

    Sometimes it is hard to right a review that's not so positive about a book a lot of people loved. I know I've had 1 or 2 and it was hard. I was constant;y adding in what I didn't like and said that it was just my opinion because I didn't want to bad mouth a book people liked so much or bad mouth the author who worked super hard on it.

    Writing a review with a not so high rating can be insanely tough. And I think you did a tremendous job!

    Old Follower
    Jessica@a GREAT read

  7. I've been meaning to give the Harper Connelly series a try but my stupid bookshop only has the 4th one in the series. Now, what good does that do???

    To be honest, I had only seen very positive reviews of this book until your one. After all those positive reviews, I started wanting to read it too, to see what all that positiveness is about. Not having read either of the series, I won't say anything about that particular comparison. But I do get what you mean that it was hard to like because everything and everybody was so nice. It's nice to have a different setting (as in most YA novels have absent or dead parents), but if every problem the character faces is solved in a nice way it can get irritating. I hope I get to read this for myself soon! Thanks for the honest review Cait!

  8. No!!! I've been wanting to read this FOREVER!!! I'm disregarding your 2/5!! lol!

    Thanks for the honesty chick!

  9. LOL you should totally disregard my review, like I said, I'm fussy-I expected too much. I'm sure everyone else will love it. But I appreciate how much faith you guys have in my reviews, cheers =]

  10. Chatting with you on Twitter right now (I'm @WilowRedHouse) and just had to check out your 'negative' review. Great job! I can see why you were disappointed. I've had this one on my shelf for a while and I know I'll get to it. Wonder if it will fall flat for me as well.

  11. Aww, too bad you didn't liked this one. I haven't read Harper Connelly series, though. But this is a really well said honest review ;)

  12. Your all of the thoughts are very motivated such that I keep on reading these thoughts with lot of interest. And the reviews which you have given here are very helpful. I will also start reading this book.


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