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My TBR list here!
**Originally, I was going to use Mary: The Summoning for this one, but I thought The Body Finder actually made more sense and fit the description better.**
First, the two main reasons that people are going to have issues with this book: The almost annoying focus on young love amidst a killing spree and the third person POV.
Second, the reason they didn’t negatively impact my rating: The story was pretty original (the body finding part anyway) and very well written.
Third, the moment I fell in love with this story:
“She waited only a few moments longer than she needed to, silently thanking Brooke for sharing this time with her… for sharing her heartbreakingly beautiful echo.”
How many stars do I give this? I’m going to surprise myself by giving this FIVE FREAKING STARS.
I didn’t expect to fall in love with this story. In fact, I was on the fence about buying this one in the first place, but now I’ve definitely got to check out the rest of the series AND add Kimberly Derting on my Authors To Read list.
Halloween Horror Rating:
Two out of five bats. I hate to say it, because this is such an awesome novel, but ultimately it just wasn’t all that scary. There were a couple of moments where it had some good suspense or thrill to it, but I just wasn’t buying the concept of “terrifying” here. Would it have been scary in real life? Absolutely. Was it scary as a novel? Maybe not so much.
Even so, I’d read it a thousand more times.
But let’s begin with The Engaging And Overtaking Writing.
What I enjoyed personally:
That this was easy to get into. This is a combination of story and writing, but even if the story is good, the writing is what seals the deal and that’s what happened here. It was easy to fall into the story. By the end of the prologue I couldn’t wait to read the rest of the book (and I did so in under 24 hours, so there!). The writing was sort of long, if you know what I mean. The sentences didn’t rely on being short and choppy to be easy to process, but rather were well built. They varied to keep the writing interesting, not afraid to have those quick, jarring statements, or the long rambling ones. Italics were used freely and without judgement. They were mostly well placed and added some good emphasis, as italics should. Overall, I found the formatting and style pleasing and that goes a long way for me.
What I felt was a little questionable:
I’m not a huge fan of third person for YA (though it tends to work better for Adult novels and sometimes Middlegrade) and sort of feel like this could have been a little bit better of a novel in first, however, I don’t think it destroyed the novel to be in third. I think it’s going to bother a lot of readers, however, who maybe feel like a third POV is going to put too much distance between Violet and the reader when there’s the potential for so much emotional charge. It wasn’t a problem for me, but for some I think it will be.
Moving on to The Addicting Like True Book-Crack Story.
What I liked:
Everything. Well, just about anyway.
I loved the romance and while I think it might be off putting to some people who really want the grittiness of the serial-killer slash psychic portion of the story, it was ultimately a very successful story. I even think, in a little role reversal, the romance was the vehicle for the supernatural/killer portion! It was great to see them struggling against their feelings, but also once opening up to them, how they still interacted with each other basically the same. They were still friends, despite all the touchy feely things that had sprouted up between them.
I felt like it was interesting to have the short chapters from the killer’s POV and it helped to add a little bit to the end when we finally realize who it is. And I liked that it wasn’t cut and dry. There was a tiny twist that you almost kinda saw coming, but I think you were distracted enough by the romance that it wasn’t obvious. I also liked that the Epilogue had your heart pounding. Awesome.
I love, love, love the body finder stuff. I mean, seriously. The echoes? Freaky and awesome. The drive to find dead things? Totally weird. I mean, I was really sold on Violet’s ability and I loved that only the people closest to her knew about it—including her family. It made an already good story that much better. I was really impressed.
What I didn’t like:
I think maybe the romance developed a little too quickly. Like, head over heels before book two too quickly. However, even that isn’t a huge unlike. Because they were BFFs from the getgo, so I can see the romance moving rapidly as a result.
Other than that… I didn’t like the scene at the part. The end of it, yes, that was awesome, but the part with Grady? Just too typical. Too “Every YA Book Has This Scene” (which I’ll go over later). I think it might be the only thing I truly didn’t like in this book. Really. And as I mentioned, I loved the end of it.
Next, Le Characters.
What was good:
I loved that Violet wasn’t just a goody-two-shoes girl who was like “oh, woe is me!” She’s abrasive and at times aggressive, moody and very occasionally manipulative. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t have her insecurities. She doesn’t look like everyone else, she doesn’t feel like she’s “changed” enough or “grown” enough as some of her friends have. She doesn’t think she’s good enough to get the guy, etc. HOWEVER, I will say that her self-deprecating attitude was mild, making it, in my humble opinion, far more authentic. She was just this normal teen who, as a result of hormones and crazy things going on, had insecurities that she dealt with in the best way she could.
I also loved that Jay was… self-aware. He wasn’t just some cocky jerk, but he could be at times and I felt that was pretty genuine, too. He was gorgeous, but his personality allowed that to be an incidental trait that carried his character a little farther.
Also, he’s my new Book Boyfriend. *Sigh*
I liked that the parents HAD A ROLE IN THE STORY. Like, a legitimate one. Sure, at times they were lax—like with the open/closed door policy—but mostly they were struggling like real parents between protecting their daughter and letting her develop into a real, live person. Go figure. They didn’t have to be the Absentee Parents to make the story believable. Her family was involved without hindering the overall flow of the story and I appreciated that.
What was bad:
Seriously, even Lissie Queen of the Bees was an acceptable stereotype for me, because she didn’t play that big of a role. But Grady? He was supposed to be one of their good friends and then he goes all slobbering mangy rabid boy dog on Violet? No, too convenient. Not to say it doesn’t happen, but that whole Incident felt too… tropey. It was staged to the point where, while I appreciated the Good Save and all, I had a hard time not rolling my eyes. It was just this excuse to bring things together, a means to an end, and that really bugged me. Because everything else flowed really well and then you have Grady. And we never really resolve Grady, we just have to live with him.
Finally, a section for Tropes and Other Much Hated Things:
Ah, alas, there are tropes and stereotypes here. Even in the best of books a little rain must fall… I don’t think that’s how that quote goes. Regardless.
A) Girl Is Attacked For Being Foolish… But It’s Okay, Love Of Her Life Miraculously Saves Her!
B) The Fated High School Dance… Like OMG
C) I’m In Love With My BFF, But I’m Not Admitting It
A) Pretty People Are Mean… Except For My BFF/Boyfriend Because He’s Super-Hot AND Nice
B) I Have Curly Hair So I’m Not Pretty… Except I Totally Am and Just Don’t Know It (okay, also a trope, but you get me)
C) The Sporty One, The Pretty One, The Dumb One, and The Main Girl
Would I recommend this? Hell. Yes.—If you like reading YA at all and care even a little for suspense. I mean, jeez. Awesome.
Title: The Body Finder (The Body Finder #1)
Author: Kimberly Derting
Approximate Length: 327 pages
I have a used softcover copy.