Released: November 11th 2010
My Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Find it on 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 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 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. (from Goodreads)
I’m gonna be straight with you – The Body Finder was a book that simultaneously drew me in and severely creeped me out. I did really like this book, not only because I liked the characters and the plot, but because it was so different - but I do have to say, the chapters from the killer’s point of view actually scared me (maybe because I was reading alone at night, which was not the best of ideas), so much so that I had to get out of bed, double check everything was locked, close my curtains so there was absolutely no gap and make sure the door was completely shut. And even then I couldn’t sleep :P. The chapters just seemed so real, and even though I was repulsed I felt like I had to keep reading. It seriously freaked me out. I woke up with bags under my eyes looking like I’d just crawled out of a horror movie...
Violet was an interesting character. I wish we’d learnt more about where her “power” came from, but apart from that I thought she was fleshed out and quite believable. I was impressed by her ability to deal with all the things she’d found – if I had seen some of the things she had, I’d have locked myself in my room for weeks on end and would’ve refused to speak to anyone. Violet, however, dealt with it by focussing her horror and anger on catching the killer, which I thought was brave (though some of her actions weren’t the smartest – you can’t just be walking into men’s bathrooms and confronting killers, Violet! People don’t do that!). I also found some of her thoughts on Jay and all the girls that followed him around pretty damn funny, and I loved reading about her when she was angry because she came up with the funniest things!
I also really liked Jay; he was so sweet, yet at the same time oozed this sexiness I can’t really explain, and you could tell he really cared for Violet and worried about her; I think it was obvious to everyone except Violet that he liked her as more than just a friend. I really loved how Violet and Jay were actually friends before, though, because it meant they knew each other well and could actually talk and be there for one another – there was none of this “Oh damsel whose name I do not yet know, our fated destiny doth bring us together this day, let us be together henceforth and loveth each other eternal!” or whatever (basically, no “insta-love”) that I’ve really come to dislike in YA. I felt like their relationship actually had a basis, which was a refreshing change from a relationship where two people being in some kind of trouble/danger was the only common point between them. The only thing I disliked about Jay is I felt he could be a bit demanding at times, which didn’t sit well with me.
I also really liked some of Violet’s friends; they were minor characters, but people like Claire and Chelsea really did make me laugh. Plotwise, I suspected part of the outcome, but I didn’t see all of it, so there was a great element of mystery in the novel. You really felt the increased panic, as more and more girls were abducted; there was this heightened sense of urgency to find out what was going on. I really enjoyed the suspense, and half the time my thoughts consisted of “hnvghfgjhffg!!!!!”
Overall, The Body Finder was a very enjoyable read and I hope to read the sequel, Desires of the Dead, very soon. Hopefully next time I’ll have the sense to read the book in open daylight – I don’t think I can afford to lose any more sleep...