author’s website: Kimberly Derting
release date: March 16, 2010
appeals to: Young Adult
** 2010 Debut Author **
length: 336 pages
overall rating: 5 Stars
*the inside flap*
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 frined 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 left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, Violet realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.
Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murderer – and Violet is unnerved by her hop that Jay’s intentions are much more than friendly. But as she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his per herself.
I absolutely loved this book. Fantastic writing flows into a highly suspense filled story with an undercurrent of the unexpected feelings of a friendship turning romantic. I literally couldn’t put it down.
The story starts with a prologue that describes Violet first experiencing her “gift” as a child. Then, we jump to present day, and a 16-year-old Violet who is living a “normal” life. She is starting her junior year of high school and over the summer, her best friend, Jay, has transformed into the hottest guy at school. She has always been friends with him, but now, she is starting to sense some crush feelings (along with every other girl in school). There is a lot of inner struggle with Violet because she doesn’t want things to change with her best friend. But she also doesn’t really like that the other girls are giving Jay so much attention either. Since the book is written from Violet’s perspective, the reader isn’t sure what Jay is feeling, just like Violet isn’t.
The mystery starts to unfold when girls start disappearing in and around Violet’s town. Then, Violet starts to find the girls, thanks to her body finding “talent.” She realizes that she can help, but it isn’t an easy decision. The biggest action of the story comes when Violet decides to get involved and start hunting for the killer. Jay is there the whole way, and becomes incredibly protective of Violet. If they weren’t best friends, his protectiveness might be a little overbearing, but since they’ve been friends since first grade, it makes a lot of sense.
Every few chapters, there is a chapter from the perspective of the killer. These chapters have one word titles, instead of numbers like Violet’s chapters. They give the reader a look into the mind of the killer, and help add to the suspense! The biggest action starts about two thirds of the way through the book, and doesn’t stop until the last page.
*short and snappy*
writing: fluid – the story flows and reading it is so vivid that it feels like you could watch it happen
plot: intense – there are a lot of suspenseful elements that keep you hooked, but the romance story is also pretty captivating
characters: beautifully constructed – I like that Violet isn’t really sure of herself but is very confident in her ability to use her “talent” to help
memorable line: my favorite line is spoilery, so here is one that isn’t
“He gave her a questioning look. ‘Seriouly, a ‘bad seed,’ Vi? When did you turn ninety and start saying things like ‘bad seed’?’” (p. 50)
judging by the cover: The cover is pretty, but I don’t really see the connection to the story.
miscellaneous: There is a book trailer here and information that says she’ll be putting out a new book (Desires of the Dead) on March 15, 2011.
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