The Body Finder

Kimberly Derting, Author
Kimberly Derting, Author . HarperTeen $16.99 (329p) ISBN 978-0-06-177981-7
Reviewed on: 03/01/2010
Release date: 03/01/2010
Compact Disc - 978-1-4805-6327-8
Hardcover - 368 pages - 978-0-06-177982-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-4805-6209-7
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-06-198574-4
Paperback - 329 pages - 978-0-06-177983-1
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Derting's first novel demonstrates unusual skill in weaving together contemporary teenage preoccupations with its paranormal plot twist. Violet is starting 11th grade with a beatup Honda, a vow to get to class on time, and a crush on her longtime best friend, Jay. She's also learned to cope with an eerie skill inherited from her grandmother—the ability to hear the “echo” left behind by those who have died violently. Usually this means chucking the cat outside if it's killed a mouse, but when the bodies of girls turn up, Violet turns away from concerns about the upcoming homecoming dance and becomes determined to use her ability to find the murderer. The third-person narration views Violet and the events of the book with a removed, thoughtful quality (“Coincidence . Chance . These were the words she counted on to create a veil of deceit, to keep her 'gift' a secret”), but Violet's thoughts and words feel true to her age and personality. Short, interspersed sections from the perspective of the killer add a creepy, page-turning quality. A strong debut from a promising author. Ages 14–up. (Mar.)

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