Friday, October 29, 2010

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.


            How many of you remember the Smart Chicks Tour? Well, I have never heard of Kimberly until Alyson introduced me to her at one of the stops. She’s a darling and I was interested to see how the story I was hearing about could possibly sound on paper. By the way, parts of this are spoiler-ly so beware!
            The Body Finder is a wonderful story of a girl who is trying to figure out how to live her life with an ability like no other. Such a morbid ability and yet so much potential to use it for the greater good. Violet is a sixteen year old girl who many can relate to. Granted, we cant sense dead bodies but we have all gone through that stage of discovering ourselves. I loved reading about her struggles, and Kimberly’s voice is easy to understand and connect to. Now, Jay is a sweetie! A guy next door every girl dreams about. I love that even though we find out at the end that he’s been crazy about Violet all this time, he’s not pushy about it. He’s protective, kind and fun. Kimberly portrays their relationship in the innocence that it is at the age of sixteen.  
            The story was beautiful. I loved the creepy element because often that particular trait is overlooked in YA fiction. Sure, witches, vampires and werewolves are present. But something about this particular creepiness makes it seem all too real. You can almost see yourself meeting Violet at a mall and having a conversation about echoes with her. 
            I cant wait till “The Desires of the Dead” comes out and if anyone wants to send an ARC my way, I might love them forever!
            I recommend this book to anyone who can relate to romance, making life altering decisions, and figuring out what your purpose in life is. Kimberly has done a marvelous job with her debut and I cant wait to see more from her!

Happy reading,


PS Let me know what you think!

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Best of Friends by Susan Mallery

In high school, studious Jayne Scott and wild child Rebecca Worden became unlikely best friends—atie that endured even after Rebecca fled her family to live overseas. After Jayne’s mother passed away, she became part unpaid assistant, part surrogate daughter to the wealthy Wordens. But now, ten years later, Rebecca is coming home to L.A. to cause havoc for Elizabeth, the mother who all but rejected her. And Jayne finds herself pulled deeper into the Wordens’ complicated family dynamics—especially when Rebecca’s brother, David, returns as well.David is the man Jayne always wanted and knew she could never have. But when he gravitates toward her in spite of Elizabeth’s protests, her vow to escape the family’s shadow is put to the ultimate test. And as lies are shattered and true feelings exposed, Jayne must decide where loyalty ends, and love begins. . . .


            The Best of Friends is a beautiful story that keeps you spellbound from page one. While I’ve read numerous books by Susan, took me by surprise. The story begins with Jayne, the down to earth simple girl, whose beauty is on the inside as much as the outside picking up her best friend Rebecca from the airport. Rebecca, breathtakingly beautiful and rich, comes from a family who took Jayne in after her mother passed away. The two developed a friendship that carries the name of best friends.
            On the other hand, there is Rebecca’s brother, David, whom Jayne secretly pined for since she was a teenager. A serious of events brings the two in proximity to each other, and sparks fly. Then, the Worden family drama unravels, with ever member trying to tell Jayne how to live her life and she must come to terms with herself, finally figuring out her own life once and for all. 
            This beautiful story kept me awake late into the night. The characters are real; you can almost fancy yourself meeting these people out in the world. Jayne is a character everyone can relate to; that girl who’s looking for her own life in the big bad world. David is breathtaking! I fell in love with him almost the moment he stepped into the picture. Maybe most of us will never meet our own ‘young prince’ but David is a man every young girl (and not so young woman) can dream about. Come on, when a man says “I’m falling for you. You’re my girl,” what woman in her right mind wouldn’t swoon? The relationship developed between those two is another one you can label best friends, but on a different level.
            The problems these individuals must deal with are those people can relate to. Friendships, family issues, true love are all circumstances we encounter in our lives. Susan writes this story in a way that is heartwarming, yet at the same time she works these problems out as they should be worked out.
            Susan is a brilliant author who uses every day situations, puts a little humor in, and shows us a dream world that can be our own if we just look to these characters and learn something from them. Not one of her characters is perfect, but neither are we. Susan’s incredible writing puts us right where these characters are. If you’ve never read a book by Susan Mallery, I cant think of a better one to start with. This story will have you laughing, crying, and learning with a few twists in between. The Best of Friends is a breathtaking tale that is an enormous pleasure to read. 

Happy reading!

PS. Let me know what you think of this book! :)