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2 for 1 Review: The Body Finder and Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

There are certain books that, when you start reading, you contemplate putting them down because it’s just not working for you. But something compels you to keep reading and, eventually, without even noticing, you realize hey, I kind of like this book. The Body Finder is that kind of book. I’m not sure if that is a bad thing or not, but I think part of the reason why I almost dropped the book is because I was expecting something a lot different from what it ended up being. I was expecting more supernatural/paranormal stuff, but besides the main character Violet’s ability to sense dead bodies, there wasn’t much, really. The story is also pretty slow-paced, especially at the beginning. A lot of the book is taken up with Violet pining after Jay, her best friend/maybe more. Violet and Jay were sweet together, and I’m definitely a fan of romances building from friendship, but I wanted more action, more of Violet’s ability actually being used. Fortunately, once the will-they-won’t-they thing was resolved, the story picks up a lot and starts getting more into the main plot: a serial killer is on the loose in Violet’s town and she becomes involved due to her supernatural ability to sense dead bodies. However, though The Body Finder is supposed to be a mystery, I didn’t really feel much urgency or danger. The driving force of the book really  is the relationship between Violet and Jay, more so than the mystery. So if you don’t like them, you probably won’t like the book very much. Fortunately for me, I did end up liking the two together, even though I wasn’t sure at the beginning of the book. All in all, The Body Finder is a fairly quick read with just a touch of the supernatural to keep things interesting. I liked it well enough, but there was just something keeping me from really loving it.

I had trouble just getting through Desires of the Dead. I stopped reading about a third of the way through and actually read two other books before getting back to it. Same as the last book, I contemplated stopping reading, but decided to keep going. And I was eager to get done with it so I could start something else. But by the end, I wasn’t completely disappointed. I did like certain parts of it, like some of the new characters that were introduced. One such character I really liked was Rafe, whom Violet met when the FBI became interested in her; he was fascinating and mysterious (and hot. This is important to mention). I just wish there was more of him. Like the first book, there are a couple of chapters told through the perspective of a different character, designated by italics. I found these a lot more interesting than in the last book. I mostly liked Violet and Jay, though they had their annoying moments. I found the parts where Violet noticed every female in sight of Jay practically salivating over him a little irritating. It’s like, we get it, he’s hot. You’re lucky to have him. Fortunately after the first half of the book, there weren’t any more of these scenes. As for Violet herself… sometimes I liked her, and sometimes I just couldn’t quite connect with her. I think that might be a big reason why I can’t say that I loved the book. She made some really frustratingly stupid decisions that a lot of the plot hinged on. If she had just confided in her parents, most of the stuff in the book wouldn’t have happened. I enjoyed the FBI stuff the most (okay, mostly I liked Rafe). I might be tempted to read the third book because it seems we’ll get more of that. All in all, I liked the book about the same as the first one. But like the first one, I didn’t love it.

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