Monday, April 11, 2011

Review of Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

Release Date: Feb. 15, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 368 pages
Author Website:
Genre: Paranormal, Mystery
Rating: 3 stars
Source: Library

Goodreads Summary: The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found. Violet can sense the echoes of those who've been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.

As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she'd turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike's tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.

Review: I loved so many things about The Body Finder: Kimberly Derting’s writing, the main character’s unique paranormal ability, the portions of the book told from the killer’s perspective. It was mysterious, exciting and suspenseful. I was very excited to read the sequel but unfortunately, I was disappointed in this second book.

While I understand that Violet can’t always track down serial killers like she did in book one, the mystery element in Desires of the Dead was nowhere as exciting as it was in its predecessor. DotD starts out nicely, gets caught up in page after page of teenage angst for the majority of the middle, and then gets back to the good stuff at the end.

I hate to say it but Violet’s character does not seem to have grown from one book to the next. If anything, the decisions she makes in this book are worse than before. She gets herself in really bad situations and refuses to tell her family or friends what’s going on with her as she digs herself deeper and deeper. Her parents are extremely permissive and more like roommates, stopping in occasionally to smile, pat her hand and tell her that they trust her decisions, which again, are very bad.

Is it just me or are sexual aggressive female characters a trend in YA books? I have noticed quite a few girls who are pushing their love interest to do more physically while the guys are ones holding back and asking them to wait. I guess this makes the guys seem more honorable but what does it do for the girl? Make her seem more empowered? Hmmm, that may be another blog post for another day.

Violent and her friend Chelsea may be two of the more sexually aggressive female characters I have seen in a while. Chelsea shamelessly and continually throws herself at Mike while Violent pouts and complains when Jay stops their make out sessions if they have gone too far. She finally does get him to sleep with her after making a snide remark that seems to guilt him into sex. I remember Jay being so much more alpha in The Body Finder

There are some new characters that seem really interesting but were under developed. I am guessing Ms. Derting is holding out on telling us more about them until book three and she has piqued my interest. I still love her writing and look forward to book three in this series as well as The Pledge, the new dystopian novel she has coming out in the fall. I am hoping for more body finding and less angst in book three.

Content: Sex, language (including the f-bomb) and some violence


KM said...

They have sex? That sucks. I kinda liked that they had an innocent(ish) relationship in THE BODY FINDER. It made the story more unique, I thought. I'm also not a fan of the super aggressive female, at least not all the time. I understand if there is a character here or there like that, but all of them? That's irritating. I don't know many girls like that - they're in the minority. Fiction should reflect that reality IMHO.

Sakura Sandra said...

Bummer. I really loved The Body Finder too, but I bet I will feel the same way you do about the lack of suspense. That was my favorite part of The Body Finder and it made it stand out more.

-Sandra from

Heatheraine Trim said...

Hmmm, this book is on my To Read list. Thanks for the insight.


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