Book Review Monday: The Body Finder and Before I Go To Sleep

The Body Finder, by Kimberley Derting

Book description: 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 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 murdered – and Violet is unnerved by her hope 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.

My review: I have been in a good mood with YA books lately because I really enjoyed this one too. I really liked Violet, I think for the most part because she is almost perfectly normal (asides from that annoying sensing-the-dead business). I think I’m getting tired of these melodramatic teen novels where the heroine comes with an annoying amount of superlatives to their personality: They are the SWEETEST, the MOST INNOCENT, the BIGGEST TOMBOY EVER, the MOST DAMAGED teenager in the world. *eye roll* This Violet seems cool, she has a group of friends, is appropriately interested in boys and has fun in a normal teenagerly way. I was rooting for her.

The romance was a little mushy, but I guess I was in the mood for that as well, because I was eating it up. Ah, young love. This book kinda made me want to be a teen again. Okay, not really. Maybe I just want to be a teen in this book. Being chased by serial killers might actually be an improvement on my teen years, but it gave me just a hint of nostalgia. Is that weird of me?

The thriller aspect of the book was good too – although Violet would occasionally act a little too much like the MOST STUBBORN GIRL EVER and go hunting serial killers alone. I did not get behind that behaviour, but other than that this was very solid. Apparently it is a part of a series, but I wasn’t sure because the book had an appropriate ending, so an A+ for that as well.


Before I Go To Sleep, by S. J. Watson

Book description: Christine wakes up every morning in an unfamiliar bed with an unfamiliar man. She looks in the mirror and sees an unfamiliar, middle-aged face. And every morning, the man she has woken up with must explain that he is Ben, he is her husband, she is forty-seven years old, and a terrible accident two decades earlier decimated her ability to form new memories.

But it’s the phone call from a Dr. Nash, a neurologist who claims to be working with Christine without her husband’s knowledge, that directs her to her journal, hidden in the back of her closet. For the past few weeks, Christine has been recording her daily activities – tearful mornings with Ben, sessions with Dr. Nash, flashes of scenes from her former life – and rereading past entries, relearning the facts of her life as retold by the husband she is completely dependent upon. As the entries build up, Christine asks many questions. What was life like before the accident? Why did she and Ben never have a child? What has happened to Christine’s best friend? And what exactly is the horrific accident that caused such a profound loss of memory?

Every day, Christine must begin again the reconstruction of her past. And the closer she gets to the truth, the more unbelievable is seems.

My review: Wow, this book is twisted. And awesome. I could barely put it down, I was just yearning to discover what exactly is going on. This is a fantastic first novel by Watson, both a mystery and a thriller. And there were parts at the end where I was holding my breath, wondering how long it’s appropriate to leave the baby crying in his crib because I just had to know what happened.

This is similar to Gone Girl in a way with the diary and the twisting of the trust at every corner, but I think on some level much scarier. The idea that you are completely reliant on the people around you as you have no idea who you in fact are. Christine is forced to take everything that’s told her at face value, and you really feel her mounting despair as slowly she loses her faith and trust in everyone, while quietly feeling as if she’s going mad at the same time. This is a great read, it comes completely recommended by me.

Word of the day:

Lissome: lithesome or lithe, especially of body; supple; flexible


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