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The Body Finder by [Derting, Kimberly]
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The Body Finder Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 402 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 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
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


“You’ll be drawn in by the love story—and kept up all night by the suspense.”

Product Details

  • File Size: 383 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0755378954
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (February 27, 2010)
  • Publication Date: March 16, 2010
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003A7I2J6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,752 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By AJ VINE VOICE on March 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I was fortunate enough to win an ARC of The Body Finder through a
giveaway that Kimberly Derting held on her blog earlier this year, and I had no idea just how fortunate I was until I read it. This book raised the hair on the back of my neck one chapter (there was a point while reading this book where I audibly gasped), then sent my pulse racing the next. If you're looking for a scary and sexy read, consider it found.

I typically loath reading books with chapters written from the perspective of serial killers, but in this case I'm actually glad I didn't know that there were serial killer POV chapters in The Body Finder as I probably wouldn't have read it. Don't let that fact frighten you off. Kimberly Derting does a wonderful job of providing readers with just enough insight in to the mind of a monster without forcing an unwanted intimacy with his depravity. This glimpse added to the trepidation and real dread felt throughout the story.

I also really appreciated the well crafted balance between Violet's very realistic feelings for Jay (who I just loved! He was the kind of best friend/crush that every girl should get to have), and the equally real threat of a killer in this story. Had more emphasis been given to either one it would have greatly diminished the impact of the other. As it is, the aspects of love and death in this story serve to bolster the realism of both in a truly beautiful way.

Go read this book. The love story here is tender and sweet, the threat pulse-pounding and terrifying, and the supernatural elements utterly believable. The Body Finder surprised me in the best possible way; it didn't exceed my expectations, it shattered them. The sequel, Desires of the Dead, is due out in 2011.

Sexual Content: Kissing, a scene of mild sensuality, references to a sex act, references to homosexuality, implied sexual assault/rape.
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Format: Hardcover
Plot Summary: Violet Ambrose inherited a rare family gift - she can sense dead bodies, whether human or animal. As an eight-year-old girl, she discovered the body of a murdered child in the forest, and at the age of 16 she finds another victim. With a serial killer on the loose, Violet is determined to use her ability to track him down, and she needs help from her long-time best friend, Jay Heaton. Only things have been strange with Jay lately, because Violet finds herself attracted to her friend, along with every other girl at school.

Before a mob with torches and pitchforks shows up on my front lawn, I want to state upfront that I thought The Body Finder was pretty good, but no, I'm not in the camp that thinks this is a five-star book (I'm thinking 3.5 stars). Please consider this an opinion from the minority. Kimberly Derting has written a solid young adult thriller, and I'm super impressed that this is her debut. The Body Finder is like `serial killer lite.' It's a watered-down version of the adult thrillers that I enjoy, and I think it's wholly appropriate for teen readers.

I had a few "Twilight" flashbacks while reading this book. There was the porcelain-skinned heroine tramping (and tripping) through the soggy forests of the Pacific Northwest, lots of high school scenes, and a lurking menace. However this time, it's the heroine who gets the special ability, which enables her to find dead bodies. Don't get me wrong, Violet is no Bella, but there are just enough similarities to make me think that Twilight fans could really like this book.

The reason I'm not raving is because the story lacked sophistication.
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Format: Hardcover
Gold Star Award Winner!

Bear with me for a moment as I gush fanatically about how much I loved THE BODY FINDER like some crazed Twilighter who has just caught a glimpse of Robert Pattinson. I loved this book. Absolutely, totally, completely loved it. I want to, as I used to say when I was seven, marry this book. If I could, I would erase it from my memory and go back and read it all over again, just to experience it anew. And, right this minute, I would gladly give up either of my children to have another book featuring Violet and Jay to read right...this...minute.

Okay, end of maniacal gushing about how awesome this book is.

THE BODY FINDER has to be one of the most unique YA books I've ever read. It deals with a serial killer, which I've never run across before in a book marketed to teens and young adults. Since reading about serial killers is one of my favorite pastimes (no cruel jokes about my tormented psyche here, please), I knew before I even began reading the story that it was probably going to be great.

It also deals with a teen who can sense death. A sound, a smell, a feeling, a presence - somehow, ever since she was little, Violet Ambrose could find things that had died. It started out as finding dead animals, but one particularly horrifying experience at age eight had Violet discovering the body of a young girl. So far, Violet has never been overly-traumatized by her special ability. She has the full support and understanding of both her parents and her best friend, Jay Heaton, so she's never had to deal with this talent all alone.

This year, though, things are about to change.

First, she's having some definitely non-friendly feelings towards Jay.
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