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 won't lie, I was really expecting a Hunger Games epicness from all the amazing reviews that this book got, and was a little dissapointed to find it lacking that snazztastic quality. However, I'm not gonna lie about this either, I loved it.
Violet is your normal girl, if you subtract the creepy skill she has for finding dead things, which she inherited from her grandmother. I liked that she wasn't too full of herself looks-wise, but she wasn't one of the overplayed sorry-for-herself girls who find themselves lacking in practically everything. She was a strong character, I think, and enjoyed reading about her. Sure there was the romance with the BFF, but I think Ms. Derting did a wonderful job balancing out the mystery of it all and the romance. She actually had it well played, where both had to lean on each other in order for the story to work.
I figured I would be bored reading about the once-friends-but-now-maybe-more thing between Violet and Jay, but it was actually really fun. Of course the whole time I was cheering for them, wishing that they weren't so stubborn that they'd just admit they liked each other. There were quite a few instances where their friendship was thrown for a loop, many of which Jay was being (too dang sweet for his own good) protective of Violet, and I was glad to see that she wasn't quick to swoon and apologize. Violet definitely has an air of pride and girl power! I appreciated that.
I loved the murder aspect of the book. A lot. I love wanting to peek forward in the story to see if my guesses about who it was were correct, and Body Finder had me doing just so. Every few chapters there are a few pages from the killer's point of view, and I for one was definitely creeped out. His/her/(I can't tell) chapters were interesting in a "Oh my goodness, do people really think this way??" way. You get a little more insight with each of his chapters and the actual events follow out in Violet's chapters.
One thing that I really loved were the side characters, particularly Chelsea, Violet's best girlfriend. Each of the characters had a distinct and realistic feel, never truly falling under any particular stereotypes, and each also made me smile. Chelsea, I think, would be the very best ideal friend--sarcastic but caring but sportsy but girly. She's a nice mix and a great character to add to my To Find In Real Life list.
There were never any boring moments, due to the murder mystery, and any time I felt like the story was starting to slow, Violet and Jay quickly caught my attention once more. Not only that, the writing was awesome, and the events didn't feel forced or boring. Overall, I think The Body Finder, which has an amazing cover by the way, is quite an amazing book. I definitely suggest checking it out soon, if you haven't already!