There’s a lot of love here at Novel Novice for The Body Finder Books. I’m a HUGE fan of Derting’s novel, The Body Finder. So much so, I named it as one of my favorite books of 2010. You can check out my praise for The Body Finder below, as well as my thoughts on its sequel, Desires of the Dead. If you haven’t check out this series yet, you’re missing a real YA gem.
The Body Finder:
Is there a better fictional best friend / boyfriend than Jay in the Body Finder? I’m not sure. Derting’s novel is one of those you just can’t put down. It’s a story that knows how to build tension in a way I feel many YA novels don’t have the patience for. Everything from the mystery to Violet and Jay’s relationship is so well paced, the reader simply can’t get enough. And guess what? There’s a sequel! I read the first 70 pages of the sequel on Derting’s blog this morning, and if it’s any indication about the rest of the book, I think this is one sequel we’ll see on next year’s list! I’d seen the whole “I can sense dead people” thing before, but Derting does what good paranormal authors do: makes the realism (i.e relationships, school, relate-able conflicts) the main focus of the novel, and that’s what makes it such a success.
Desires of the Dead:
I usually have a problem with the second novel in a series, but Desires of the Dead avoids most of the pitfalls of what I like to call the Sophomore Slump. Usually, the second novel tears the couple apart that took the entire first novel to get together, leaving the main character alone to face some huge conflict ( a conflict he or she wouldn’t have to face alone if he / she simply learned to communicate). As a result, the reader spends most of the novel drowning in the main character’s woe is me diatribes.
This is not the case with Desires of the Dead. Does the novel follow some of these patterns? Sure. But where others authors bog down the reader, Derting presents these scenarios to the reader in a way that hurts so good. What do I mean by that? Derting’s characters are so cleverly constructed and likable, that we actually feel for them. We understand why they make the decisions they make. As a result, these conflicts and separations don’t feel forced. It might seem odd, but Derting presents some of the most realistic characters and couples in YA literature despite being a paranormal novel. And, perhaps, that’s why I love this series so much.
Fans of the first book will no doubt love this second novel as well. Violet and Jay continue to be one of the best YA couples around. While the novel’s main conflict didn’t quite grab onto me as much as the previous novel’s creeptastic adventure, I am certainly looking forward to seeing where Violet’s abilities take her next.