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The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

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 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 she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself.

Wow! For a first time author, wow!
The author was able to weave mystery, fantasy and romance into one story.
Violet has a gift of sensing the imprint of a killer on the dead, whether it's animals or people. She started noticing the gift with her cat; she could hear/smell/see the imprint of his kills on him. soon, her gift expands to people.
As she and her parents come to terms with this gift, we are introduced to her best friend, Jay, who Violet suddenly has a crush on. But Jay seems oblivious. Especially when he starts hanging out with the most popular senior girl.
Then girls start showing up dead and the author has written chapters for the killer. It's creepy to see inside the mind of the hunter as he goes after his prey.
Violet realizes she has the ability to find the killer and she enlists Jay to help her.
The romance is sweet and tender and tugs at my teen heart strings. There is some heavy making out...
The mystery has a good twist. The author does a good job foreshadowing and I picked up on many clues but missed the twist.
And the fantasy...very unique to have the ability to hear/smell/feel/see the imprints coming from the dead person and matching ones on the killer. This is something not found in any books I've read. I went back and read certain passages because I liked the way she wrote them.
I think this is a trilogy, so I'd be interested in knowing what the story lines will be.
Honestly, I'm not sure I'll read the rest. I liked the writing and story but the swearing seriously took me out of the story quite a bit...

Rating: PG 14
V: Yes. Chapters seen through the killers mind; dead bodies.
L: Yes.
S: Make out scenes.

Page 69 test:
"To her it felt like she might never break free. But somehow, even if she didn't entirely buy into it, it made her feel better just to hear him saying the words.
She would be okay.
"We should get home," she reminded him, suddenly wanting to shift the focus away from her. "Mom's probably getting pissed that we're taking so long."
"Yep, I'm sure I'm gong to get an earful about it." He patted her leg and then started the car.
Violet couldn't shake the melancholy feelings that clung to her, infiltrating every pore of her body. She leaned back and closed her eyes, wondering if the nightmares from her childhood were about to return, to haunt her sleep once more."


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