Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Co-Review: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Our latest debut author spotlight has been shining on Kimberly Derting, author of The Body Finder. We interviewed Kim last week, and because we were lucky enough to get our hands on an ARC of The Body Finder, Donna and Frankie decided to do a co-review -- our fun, conversational way of telling you what we love about a book!

About The Body Finder:
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 that 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 the 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.

F - Let’s get started now shall we?
D - And what better place to begin than at the beginning. Pretty logical.
F - Donna, you are so smart!
D - And The Body Finder begins with a prologue. Confession: I see the word “prologue” and I tend to cringe. But this one worked for me.
F - The prologue definitely drew me in, I was particularly struck with the imagery and the sheer creepiness and suspense of what I knew Violet was about to discover…eeek dead body!
D - It sets up Violet’s unique ability (of sensing the Echoes of murder victims) very well, and it shows the reader that it will be a vital part of the plot, especially since much of the first chapter has to do with the budding romance between Violet and her childhood best friend, Jay.
F - That was an interesting part of the story. I wasn’t expecting a sweet romance between two lifelong best friends to develop amidst this serial killer thriller. It added a nice reprieve from the extremely creepy thoughts of the killer. (Chapters alternated to the POV of the killer.) Kimberly, you’re a sweetheart, but man something was twisted inside of you to write that ;)
D - Haha awwww. Yes, we love Kim. And I knew that the romance would be a part of the plot before I began reading, but I didn’t expect it to be given as much weight as the serial killer storyline. Although, hey, I love a good romance, and Jay is totally crush-worthy!
F -Yes and I’m really thankful for Jay-he definitely had a good head on his shoulders and was strong enough to protect Violet from the many dangers she faced. I thought that the town might have gotten more involved in the protection of its teens, maybe adding in a curfew or a town watch system, you know a la Scream. But this was a book about finding dead bodies…
D - And I really respected Kim for giving Violet dead bodies to find. It sounds sort of gruesome, but many authors would’ve let the serial killer hold the girls hostage, turn it into a “race against time” type of plot. But Kim wasn’t afraid to up the stakes, because if a girl was taken, she quickly ended up dead, and it lent urgency to Violet’s quest to prevent other victims from falling prey.
F - That’s a good point, this wasn’t your typical suspense thriller. The way Kim structured the plot allowed the suspense to develop in a different way. If she didn’t discover the identity of the killer then there would be severe consequences, not just for the girls involved and their friends and families, but for Violet as well, both because she becomes one of the killer’s targets and because future deaths would have weighed heavily on her conscience. Let’s talk about her power and some of the implications.
D - Love our blunt segues! I really enjoyed how each victim’s Echo manifested through a different sense. It brought Violet’s ability to life for me – for example, seeing an oily sheen on water, or tasting garlic, or hearing bells – each victim had an individuality that made them more distinct emotionally to the reader.
F - Yes! It’ll be very interesting to see how Violet’s power and sense of self develop in the next book (Desires of the Dead). I wonder if she will be living in a very different town, affected by the many murders. Or if she will join forces with her uncle in some way on the police force. That’d be cool!
D - Kimberly has hinted that Violet’s still discovering aspects of her power, so I’m definitely looking forward to that. And also how Violet and Jay are faring. Seriously, I’m quite the Jay fan. He’s just so…casually confident. Or self-possessed and sure. I find that very attractive!
F - Yeah…I won’t object to lots more Jay in the future. And on that note…what more could you want from the end of our review than drooling over a major fictional hottie?
D - Maybe our readers want a link to pre-order the book—that way they can have a fictional hottie of their very own.
F - Why do I always get stuck doing promotion?
D - It’s an honor to promote a debut author! That’ll be us one day (fingers crossed, fingers crossed).
F - [Properly chastised.] True. Ok you win! Want your own hottie and a fun night of thrilling reading? (Warning: do not read this book when you are alone at night or babysitting like I did…it leads to paranoia.) Go HERE and pre-order The Body Finder today. Then go visit Kimberly Derting at her WEBSITE and BLOG and let her know that The First Novels Club sent you!
D - Happy reading!

Want to check out other FNC co-reviews? Here are the links to our slightly silly chats about Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick and Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver!


  1. Fabulous co-review ladies! Love the format. And I'm DYING to get my hands on this book. I've already got my copy pre-ordered, but I want it NOW.

  2. Wow! I *love* the Co-Review format...and you two are hilarious!!! So glad you enjoyed the book ;)

  3. Im so eager to read this one, its just awesome, great plot and a beautiful cover, fantastic!!

  4. Great co-review! I can't wait to read this book, only about 5 months until it comes out. Seems like such a long way away. *sigh*


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