Purple Prose + YA novel review

The Body Finder

Book blurb: 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 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 dead birds her cat left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, Violet realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murderer—and Violet Is unnerved by her hope 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.

I bought The Body Finder, by Kimberly Derting, for my trip to San Francisco last week, but had a hard time putting it down once I started reading it. I was afraid I’d have nothing left for the two flights home because I keep saying, “Only one more chapter.” As if.

As compelling and suspenseful as the paranormal part was, the romance between Violet and Jay was the part that kept me from putting the book down. It was both believable (for the most part) and exciting, though there were times that I thought the romance would end up going in a different direction. Let’s just say, I thought teenage hormones were going to eventually rule the day.

The thing I appreciated most about the book was Violet. She’s a strong individual who doesn’t want to be boy crazy. Nor does she want to sit on the sidelines while other girls are being murdered. She wants to help, and she definitely doesn’t want to be a victim . . . and that includes being a victim to the school beauty queen.

Overall, I enjoyed the story. Kimberly did a good job balancing both the romance and the paranormal storylines. And unlike in most YA paranormal books, the main character (Violet) falling in love with the hot guy (Jay) was completely believable. They’ve been best friends for forever. It wasn’t like in some books in which the protagonist knows the guy for what, like, five minutes and is already picking out their kids names.

I’ve decided to review books as a regular feature. Let me know if there’s one you’re interested in hearing more about. I might have already read it.

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The Body Finder + YA novel review