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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Review: Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder #2) by Kimberly Derting

Release Date: March 15, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Paranormal, Romance
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 368

Blurb (from

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.

The Quickie Review

Desires of the Dead is another suspense filled and utterly absorbing novel by Kimberly Derting who is fast becoming one of my all time favourite YA authors for the way she seamlessly weaves mystery and edge of your seat suspense together with romance.

The Full Blown Review

After finishing The Body Finder I was desperate to discover whether or not there was going to be a continuation of Violet and Jay’s story because quite frankly I fell in love with both of them, so imagine my utter excitement when I found out that there was indeed going to be a sequel and International Book Tours had snagged themselves a copy for a tour which I quickly signed up for. So here I am now writing this review after literally just having finished reading the book.

I probably should mention that I had high hopes for Desires of the Dead, and from the moment I read the chilling prologue of things to come I knew it was going to be just as absorbing, I couldn’t read through the pages fast enough, I had to know what lead up to the events in the prologue and how it was going to end. I couldn’t even put the book down when I was supposed to be studying for my stats exam, that’s how engrossed I was in Violet’s story. Perhaps this book should come with a warning, something like “beware once you start reading Desires of the Dead you won’t be able to put it down, no matter what else you have to do”.

What I find so engrossing about both The Body Finder and Desires of the Dead is that the whole concept of Violet’s special ability, which is the primary focus of the book, is so unique, I haven’t read anything like it before. For those of you who haven’t read The Body Finder yet (why not?) Violet’s special ability is best summarised by Kimberly herself

“The dead called to Violet.
They used echoes that only violet could sense, pulling her onward, steering her to their locations. These echoes came in many forms. Smells, sounds, sometimes an inexplicable color. Anything.
Yet not all the dead had echoes, only those who had died violently, their lives cut short. And it wasn’t just the dead who stood out to violet but also those who had killed. They bore a mark as well: an imprint identical to the echo of their victim.”
- page 12.

It is this special ability that get’s the FBI interested in Violet when she is drawn to an echo that she can’t get out of her head, it calls to her. The only way for Violet to loose the incessant pull the echo has over her is for the body to be found and laid to rest. In a sudden impulse Violet decides to ring the authorities, tipping off the bodies’ location which inadvertently brings Violet to the attention of Sara Priest, a specialist who works with the FBI and Rafe a mysterious boy not much older than Violet who works with Sara, however we’re not sure what exactly his job with Sara involves. It is clear from the start though that these two are hiding something from Violet. Suddenly Violet now has to deal with Sara who has made it clear that she believes Violet has a special ability that she is hiding and Sara won’t let it go. This is of particular concern to Violet who has been very protective of her secret all her life, only her immediate family and Jay know of her special ability.

Violet soon finds herself questioning why she has kept her ability a secret all these years, should she open up to someone else and should that person be Sara or someone else? Who can she really trust? With Sara’s inquiries Violet also starts to question whether or not she could help others with her ability just like she did previously.

Whilst also trying to deal with the consequences of her actions which involves an ever present Sara Priest and Rafe, Violet also finds herself trying to figure out how to navigate through her new romantic relationship with Jay which doesn’t help when a new boy, Mike, and his sister Megan move into town taking up Jay’s time. It soon becomes apparent that Mike and Megan have secrets of their own, one of which could have dire consequences not just for Mike and Megan but for Violet as well.

Apart from dealing with FBI Sara and her relationship with Jay, poor Violet is also being harassed by someone who is ringing her up, sending her “gifts” (and I use that term lightly) and writing threatening letters.

Just as in The Body Finder we have some chapters that are from another individual’s point of view however instead of us diving into the head of a serial killer we are given an insight into an individual who has evil intentions that are directed towards Violet. Once again I found this to be an exceptionally chilling aspect of the novel reading about someone (who at first we don’t know) and getting into their head. This individual is so emotionally broken down due to their home life that they truly believe that Violet is blocking their path to happiness and must be dealt with and not in a pleasant manner.

The strength of Desires of the Dead is definitely Violet, Kimberly has written such a realistic protagonist even though she is dealing with an extraordinary ability, you just can’t help not loving her. I could understand and sympathize with Violet’s predicament of not wanting to tell her family and Jay about being harassed by someone and questioned by the FBI, she didn’t want them to worry about her, they’ve already done enough worrying. The way Kimberly described Violet’s swirling emotional state, in such a beautiful yet realistic portrayal, I was left with my heart breaking along with Violet’s when she was fighting with Jay.

Now I hear all you Jay lovers out there (for I am a self professed Jay lover too) what about Jay, fear not Jay is in the book and he is just as sweet and caring as ever, that boy would have to be the best boyfriend ever (note to Violet if you don’t want Jay I’ll take him off your hands). I was emotionally invested in both Jay and Violet in The Body Finder and this continued in Desires of the Dead, these two obviously belong together. There were some pretty heart wrenching scenes between both Violet and Jay, not everything in their relationship runs smoothly which is how a real relationship is, but then there were also some beautiful scenes between these two as well. All Jay wants to do is protect Violet and all Violet wants to do is to protect Jay, these two so clearly love each other it’s so sweet.

Just like in The Body Finder Kimberly managed to outsmart me once again, I was so sure I knew what was going on and then all of a sudden my view was turned completely upside down and then it was turned once again for good measure. It is this unpredictableness that kept me on the edge of my seat reading throughout the day and night.

I should mention that Desires of the Dead is not all serious, in fact one of my favourite aspects of the book was the banter that occurred between Chelsea and Violet, with Chelsea providing some great comic relief. One of my personal favourite quotes comes from Violet describing Chelsea

Chelsea was Chelsea. Trying to convince her that what she’d done was wrong would be like banging your head against a brick wall. It would be painful to you but accomplish nothing.”
- page 169.

The ending was amazing, everything tied together as all the pieces Kimberly set in motion fell into place. There is definitely room for a continuation in Violet’s story, which will hopefully include more Rafe who I’m interested in finding out more on. Of course it goes without saying more Jay is a must as well!

Desires of the Dead is an amazing sequel to The Body Finder which will leave you, once again, begging for more.


5 out of 5

There’s Another Book?!?

I’m really not sure, I’m going to have to do some sleuthing, so I’ll get back to you when I find out, all I can say is I hope so!


The Body Finder Novels (everything you could want to know about The Body Finder)

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Romy @
Greetings fellow blog readers, welcome to my blog and thank you for stopping by. Now you may be wondering who is Well is also known as Romy, a 23 year old graduate student from Australia who loves to read. I read (maybe devour would be a more appropriate word) largely young adult novels, with a particular love of fantasy and paranormal novels, however I am also a sucker for a good romance.
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