Source of my copy: I bought it
Synopsis (from Amazon)
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.
This book tells the story of Violet Ambrose, a typical teenage girl except for the fact that she can sense the echoes murdered victims leave after they die and the imprints they leave behind on whoever murdered them. An interesting idea is Violet's "gift," but I don't think it is executed well in the book. Apparently, Violet gets a really uncomfortable sensation whenever she's around a person or an animal who has killed another (whether on accident or on purpose) but I was thinking the entire time what about insects? Another is the acquirement of the gift being explained as having been passed down from Violet's grandmother to Violet and nothing else. I would've liked a little bit more there like maybe how Violet's grandmother deal with her gift and did she leave a diary of some sort that could help hone said gift? It's probably just me but I thought author was too quick to dismiss those details. The first half of the book was a little slow and those were the thoughts running through my mind while I was reading it.
The Body Finder did get more a lot more exciting from the middle on. Violet has a best friend, Jay, who's also her love interest. They grew up together but Violet suddenly finds herself liking him more than as a friend--being the romantic that I am, I really like the whole best friends becoming something more so the romance between Violet and Jay was a highlight of the book. Jay is also a "nice guy" hero who is deliciously protective and caring and romantic so that's a big plus. Another plus is the mystery aspect of the book as there is a serial killer running amok in Violet's town and preying on young girls. In between a few chapters, the author takes us to the mind of the killer as he hunts and lures his victims to their doom. The killer is disturbing and creepy and I was appropriately unsettled when reading about him. I thought the author wrote the serial killer and the mystery surrounding him well.
On the whole, I thought The Body Finder was a pretty good read. I really appreciate that this book has no love triangles and it has a nice, clean ending with no hint of a sequel--something that is hard to find in the YA genre nowadays. Despite my earlier misgivings, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I look forward to reading more from the author. 4 out 5 stars