September 21, 2010

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Summary: Violet Ambrose has been able to sense the dead ever since she was little. She's been okay with this morbid talent until she finds a dead girl buried in the ground. Fast forward years later when Violet discovers a girl's dead body floating in the water. A serial killer is loose in town and now Violet must find out who it is as well as navigate her way through high school and address these new feelings for her best friend, Jay.

Likes: The premise of this book sounded very interesting to me. A girl who can sense the dead? That is really unique, I've never read a book out there that had a girl with this ability. A little romance thrown in for good measure. Okay, not a major fan of romance, but I can stomach it for the sake of the story. A serial killer killing local girls for his own sick and twisted pleasures. I can live with this. I like things like this. I went into this story thinking I'd get a unique mystery with a little romance thrown it. That's fine. Except... that's not what I got when I read this book.

Dislikes: See my summary for this book? That's what the book should have been about. Instead it fell short for me and lost its focus. The point of view for one thing distanced me from the narrator, so I felt like I was just reading a book about her and not experiencing things with her as they happened. I didn't feel fully engaged with the characters. Everyone seemed incredibly two dimensional for my tastes. None of the characters seemed to be fully realized or fleshed out. They just felt like cardboard cut outs or stereotypical teenage characters. The girls that were being kidnapped, I wish I would have known them and saw scenes with them. Meaningful scenes, not "I saw someone in passing on my way to some place else" scenes.  I wouldn't have mind the romance if it didn't take up nearly 3/4 of the novel. Most of the story focuses on the relationship between Violet and Jay. They go through the typical high school romance, boy likes girl, girl likes boy, neither of them admit it, then they realize that they should have been together all along. Their make out scenes were really strange. I had to go reread and realize that they didn't actually do anything beyond kissing.

There was a disconnect between the scenes where they are looking for the serial killer and just the ordinary high school stuff. I admit I probably would have gotten more out of the story if I hadn't skimmed over the extraneous chapters in another point of view. I felt that they were almost tacky and lackluster in a way and didn't really do anything for me. My heart was racing more when I had skipped over them more so than when I was reading them.

The epilogues was unnecessary as most epilogues are. I think when I see the word "epilogue", I'm just going to enjoy the last chapter of the book the way it is. I don't think I care about characters in the future. If it wasn't important enough to be included in the overall narrative, it has no place being there. (I'm looking at you Mockingjay and Harry Potter). This epilogue was really unnecessary... I mean there's a sequel coming out to continue the story.

Overall: It's not a bad book, but it's not a good book either. I've definitely read worse and I've definitely read better. T asked me for book recommendations and I told her not to read it because I knew that it wouldn't be her cup of tea. I might recommend it to others though, depending on their tastes. For me, I didn't enjoy it as much as I wanted to. I felt like I was just reading a book and I finished it just to finish it, but not because I had to know what happened or who the killer was. The scene of immediacy was lost on me. It might because I demand a little more from my books now that I have a clear definition of what I like and don't like. As a teenager, I might have enjoyed this book more and maybe would have favored the romance aspect more than the serial killer. However, now that I'm older and experienced more, I'm not really impressed with this book. I'm not sure if I will read the sequel or why there needs to be a sequel, but there is. I hope the stakes are higher and the characters become realized. Maybe my brain is in school mode and is asking too much from this book... I don't know, your mileage may vary.

Recommended by: I've seen it on a few reading blogs here and there, but I can't think of one specifically.

Acquired: Library

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Missy said...

There's actually a mystery series by Charlaine Harris that's been out for a few years called the Harper Connelly series. The books are: Grave Sight, Grave Surprise, An Ice Cold Grave, and Grave Secret. The books have been out for a few years and the premise is that a girl (Harper) gets struck by lightning and can now sense where dead people are, and she sees what happened the last few seconds they were alive. I automatically thought of this series when Derting's book came out. It's a really good series (not YA) if you like mystery - though Harper's relationship with her stepbrother throw some people through a loop. ;)

Great review, by the way. Very honest! =)

Najela said...

Oh, I did start reading the books the Sookie Stackhouse series, but this one sounds more interesting to me. I hope I can find it somewhere.

Thank you.


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