Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Eerie Echoes

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
This book gets a great 3 gnomes and a gnome hat out of 5 gnomes for a story with some great characters but it's a tad predictable in some parts.

Violet Ambrose is not an ordinary teenage girl.  She can hear and see echoes from dead bodies.   The book opens with her as a young girl finding a dead body in the woods and then moves to the present day.  I like Violet's character a lot she's pretty outgoing and has an interesting relationship with her best friend Jay.  She of course realizes that she has feelings for him but doesn't want to have anything change between them.  Jay seems oblivious to all this.  The reader finds out more about Violet then they do about Jay but since they are together much of the time their story lines tend to mingle.

I like the interludes between some of the chapters that are about what the killer is thinking and planning to do.  These interludes add a very cool creepy aspect to the book.  I like seeing this aspect in a young adult book because it really heightens the tension of what's going to happen next.  Especially when the killer is looking at and thinking about Violet.

Violet has a very close knit family.  Her parents, uncle (the police chief), and Jay all know about her ability to find the dead.  Her parents even built a cemetery for Violet to lay to rest all the dead animals that she finds. This makes her ability an everyday thing to them but she doesn't like having the ability so she makes sure to keep it a secret from anybody else.

Violets relationship with Jay is fun to read about and great once she figures out that he has feelings for her too.  Before that happens though she goes out to a party with another guy friend who she has no feelings for.  Things start going  a bit too far, she says no and feels trapped.  When he won't leave her alone, Jay shows up and starts beating the holy snot out of this guy.  I don't like that she's appalled that Jay punched the guy, he pretty much rescues her and then at first she won't even get in the car so he can take her home.  This shows how Violet doesn't really think things through as much as she should when under pressure.

The ending of the book is where it gets kind of predictable.  It takes place at a school dance where everybody is supposed to be safe.  She gets found by the murderer and doesn't really deal with it well.  Outside forces figure out the mystery and come to a solution faster then she does.  The abrupt ending reminded me of a TV show fake out.  You know the kind of plot where something really bad happens and they show a funeral, but the person you think died  is then shown in the next scene talking or at the funeral for a different reason.  I like to see the ramifications more when traumatic events happen not just cut off to the next time the characters are together.

Overall a great premise and I'm looking forward to what happens next to Violet and if she'll use her power more.

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