Friday, April 2, 2010

Book Review: The Body Finder

The Body Finder is first and foremost a love story, and secondly a paranormal suspense. Except when it’s the other way around. Because one of the things Ms. Derting does exceptionally well is keep the reader in the moment, balancing the light, airy feeling of first loves with the dark foreboding of a serial killer on the loose with the perfect touch, so that at any page you find yourself on, you feel the same emotions of the main character, Violet.

The story is, in short, about a girl who can find dead bodies – human or otherwise – and so naturally she finds herself in the center of the investigation of a string of murders. Also, she is falling in love with the boy who has been her best friend practically since birth and wrestling with the fear that he will only ever see her as a friend.

Violet is the kind of leading character every teenage girl should read. She is smart and independent, strong and determined, yet still vulnerable. She doesn’t need a boyfriend, but her longing for more than a friendship with Jay is so palpable my heart hurt. When she is confronted with the first dead girl’s body, she is both horrified and sickened, yet she knows she alone might be able to find the killer, and she wants to do this, so much so that she finds her own life on the line to save another.

While I’m not normally drawn to paranormal stories, Vi’s story is so unique and intriguing it’s hard to imagine anyone not liking it. Her gift is unlike any other I’ve read about or seen in movies, and definitely not your run-of-the-mill medium. She doesn’t hear dead people speak; she senses the unique echo each leaves behind. Some people leave smells, some leave tastes, some leave visions, some leave tastes. And when they die, not only does their own echo remain on their body (an oily sheen, a chorus of bells, a buttery garlic), it also sticks to the one who killed them. And so, by knowing the echo of the murdered girls, she knows their murderer …even if that person is the person she least expects.

The Body Finder is a book that will have you itching to turn the page faster and unable to put it down until you’ve gotten to the last one. You will find yourself holding your breath, chewing your nails, and cheering Violet on. Let’s hope this is just the beginning of a long career for Ms. Derting!

YA Advisories: language, sexuality, murders


  1. Good review and it sounds like a really good book!

  2. H--It sounds like a great read! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Great review! LOVED this book. I keep recommending it to everyone who will listen.

  4. Hmmm...intriguing. I just bought two new YA books with a gift card I had, but once I've finished them I may just have to check out The Body Finder. Thanks for the in-depth review.