Published: March 16, 2010
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 Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer.. she might become his next prey.
THE BODY FINDER is the story of high school junior Violet Ambrose and it is the beginning of the school year, and she has a secret. She has fallen in love with Jay Heato, her best friend since elementary school. Though they are accustomed to spending all their time together, it is getting more and more difficult for Violet because of her new feelings toward Jay. Complicating matters is the fact that half the girls at school are suddenly attracted to the handsome, easygoing Jay as well. Violet is determined to push aside her feelings, hoping to preserve the friendship that has meant so much to her for so long.
THE BODY FINDER is suspenseful but not too scary. In fact it could have been far scarier. I like that Violet’s parents weren’t depicted as idiots but as supportive of her and her ability. I also enjoyed seeing the growth of the relationship between Violet and Jay from best friend to boyfriend and the positive way he treated her. There is bad language and dark issues in the last half of the book and I’m not really sure why the author included them.
There are a few nice twists in the novel (as well as a few predictable ones), Violet’s ability is interesting, and the author keeps it fairly mysterious. Unfortunately, the killer is not creepy enough and the ending is abrupt. Still, the book is an intriguing debut and intense enough to make it a worthwhile and fun YA thriller.