Sunday, February 6, 2011

Jamie's Review of Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

Title/Author: Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting (sequel to The Body Finder)
Publisher/Year: HarperTeen - February 15 2011
How I Got This Book: It was sent to me for review from the publisher.

Violet, outwardly your average high school girl, has a secret that only a few close to her know. She has the ability to hear the echos of the dead whose lives were wrongly cut short at the hands of others. Their killers, unbeknownst to them, carry their own unique imprint that matches that of their victims that are also sensed by Violet. These bodies seek her out so that they can be uncovered and be at peace. Her unique sense has remained relatively secret as she's used it to help the dead before but an echo of a four year old boy threatens to make her secret known to others outside of her family and her boyfriend Jay and somebody else's secret threatens Violet's life.

Desires of the Dead, the mysterious and thrilling sequel to The Body Finder, is the perfect book to read curled up next to your fire with the wind howling and the fog settling outside your window. I couldn't have asked Mother Nature for a better setting in which to read this book--although I really could have done without the freezing rain.

As someone who is just delving into the supernatural/paranormal world in my reading, this series is an excellent start for me. These books are more of a mystery/thriller book with an underlying dash of the supernatural. This series is especially good for those who are reluctant to read anything out of the realistic YA genre. This series has reminded me of why I loved reading both Nancy Drew and anything by RL Stine or Christopher Pike as a young teen. I liked the suspense and feeling like I just couldn't read fast enough to figure out the mystery and I liked being creeped out. Ok, I lie. I slept with the light on most nights.

The first book ends with all the loose ends tied up so there aren't any lingering questions nagging at you when you begin this book and it was kind of nice to start fresh and get to see how Violet and Jay were doing since all the events of the first book. I was anxious to see what sort of shenanigans Violet would find herself in during this book and Derting didn't disappoint. She, again, had some alternating chapters written from the perspective of the "bad guy" but I honestly didn't find it as effective and as chilling as I did in the first book and that was something I really found to add to the creepy factor of the first book. Overall, I thought the first book was a little bit creepier and a little bit more action packed as it practically gave me a blister from flipping the pages all day. There were some parts in the middle that I just kept dying for something to happen that would shock me but luckily I was so interested in the FBI plot-line that I kept moving along.

I don't know if it was just me, because I am notorious for figuring out the mysteries in movies or who the killer is in shows like CSI, but I figured out everything pretty quickly in this book. I'd love to know if it was just me or if it was a little predictable. I also was getting a little irked with Violet for finding herself in bad situations and not telling anybody where she was going. It was like watching a scary movie and you are just screaming, "DON'T GO UP THE STAIRS!" or "DON'T GO OUT THERE ALONE!" I don't think many girls her age would keep wandering off and putting herself in compromising positions although I wonder if it could be attributed to the pull of these bodies that makes her do these things.

I am beyond thrilled to see what Derting does with the rest of this series. The ending of this book leaves some really interesting possibilities for Violet that I think could make for a really great series. I think it will be interesting to see how Violet progresses with using her "talent' to help people. I hope to see more of Rafe as he was a really intriguing addition to this book and I want to know more about him. I thought Derting added some really interesting and compelling characters to this book and I thought she integrated them very well so I'm hoping that some of them reappear in subsequent books. I'll be really interested to see how Derting continues on and, as always, wanting to find out how Violet and Jay hold up.

My final thought: While I think I personally enjoyed The Body Finder a bit more than this one, I'd highly recommend this series if you are looking for a good YA mystery with some supernatural elements that will be thrilling, a little creepy at times and has a good romantic plot. If you enjoy shows like The Ghost Whisperer or Medium, this would be an excellent series to get into. The series is fresh and unique and Desires of the Dead is an intriguing sequel that explored Violet's gift and made her question how she should continue to use it in the future as well as added a new dimension to the old characters and fascinating new characters. Needless to say, I'd like to hijack Derting's brain so I can know RIGHT NOW what she is creating for Violet. I know it's going to amp up the mystery and the chill factor---and not to mention the romance factor as she already did in Desires of the Dead.


  1. Excellent review!! I agree that this book was rather predictable. And, listening to the jealous angry ramblings of a teenager 'creepy mind' is no where near as bad as listening to a sociopathic serial killer. I thought being in the mind of the bad guy was MUCH more effective in the first story. But, I did still like this one a lot, and will definitely continue to read the series!

  2. Ok-- I'm glad I wasn't the only one. It's so annoying for me because I always figure out the mystery to everything beforehand so sometimes it takes away the enjoyment for me than for other people. I always need something that really messes with my head so I can't figure it lol. *SPOILERS* But I can't wait to see the possibilities for Violet. I mean, especially since she could possibly be working with the FBI or whoever, and it seemed like was something going to happen with Rafe and Violet perhaps.

  3. The FBI thing really intrigued me, and I like Rafe, a lot, BUT I also love Jay and Violet together and REALLY hope that she doesn't turn this into another love triangle. I would be most pleased if we had boyfriend Jay, and good friend Rafe with NO sexual tension, 'I just don't know who to love anymore' crap... Sometimes it works, but in a situation like this, I think I'd just be pissed.

  4. Really great review! I haven't read this book yet, but it sounds like it is a little predictable, but also that the fun of it was still fun :)

  5. Great review, Jamie! I had the same issues with this book that you mentioned, especially with Violet constantly putting herself in crazy situations. I was yelling at her as well. :) I love this series though and I agree that the FBI piece definitely makes it that much more interesting.

  6. "practically gave me a blister" hahaha. I loved book 1; can't wait to read this!

  7. I posted my review too and had similar thoughts as you. Violet irked me with some of her dumb moves and I could pretty much predict the whole story BUT I still loved it. Rafe definitely has me intrigued.

    I loved RL Stine and Christopher Pike growing up too :)


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