Saturday, July 27, 2013

Review: Dead Silence (Derting)

AUTHOR: Kimberly Derting
SERIES: The Body Finder, book 4
PUBLISHER: HarperCollins
PUBLICATION DATE: April 16, 2013
ISBN: 9780062082220
PAGES: 389
SOURCE: SLJ review copy
GENRE: paranormal romance/ psychological thriller
SUMMARY: Seventeen-year old Violet has seen lots and lots of death in her life. She is a body finder, someone with the ability to sense the location of murder victims and their murderers. Whatever "echo" the body has, the murderer has as well. In this fourth book in The Body Finder series, Violet finds a murdered family whose daughter is still missing. With police activity stalled due to insufficient leads, Violet and her friends attempt to find the missing girl--and the killer--on their own.

REVIEW: Confession: When School Library Journal sent me this fourth book in the series, I was kind of bummed. I haven't read any of the previous three books, nor did I really have an interest in reading them. Add to that the fact that paranormal romance has fallen from one of my favorite genres to my very least favorite. And a FOURTH book? With only a few rare exceptions (Harry Potter, Gregor the Overlander), I almost never read this far into a series. It's really no surprise that I put off reading Dead Silence as long as possible. It was only my rapidly-approaching due date that finally caused me to just suck it up and start reading.

Oh, wow! Who would have thought I would LOVE this book? Having NOT READ ANY of the first three books, I fully expected to be confused about what was going on, but I really wasn't! Derting does a fantastic job weaving in previous events and characters seamlessly so those of us who haven't read the series will still get into the story. Thank you, Ms. Derting!!!

Dead Silence is easy to get into with an engaging, action-packed writing style. Though I'm only meeting the characters at the end of their story, I felt like I knew them pretty well. If I loved the fourth one this much, I'm certain I would love the first three as well.

I especially enjoyed the way the story is told from Violet's point of view, interspersed with her grandmother's journal entries. Derting does not just "tell" the reader about Violet's abilities; she lets us learn about them as Violet does. Best of all, some of the chapters are from the killer's perspective! LOVE that!!!!

THE BOTTOM LINE: It's always best to read a series in order, but even if you have never read this series, you will understand what is going on. Derting managed to quickly overcome all the obstacles I threw up before I even started reading Dead Silence, and that is QUITE an accomplishment. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: We do have The Body Finder, but I plan to read it to assess content-appropriateness. Dead Silence has some mature content (see notes below) that I would be uncomfortable having on my middle school library shelves.

READALIKES: Gone series (McMann); Paper Valentine (Yovanoff)

  • Overall: 4/5
  • Creativity: 4/5--bad boy stereotype is too common
  • Characters: 4/5--got annoyed with Violet's stupid/risky behavior
  • Engrossing: 5/5
  • Writing: 5/5
  • Appeal to teens: 5/5
  • Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5

  • Language: medium--a little of everything, but it doesn't occur very often; includes fu** and sh**
  • Sexuality: medium--horizontal kissing in a bed; possible intercourse, but it was so off-page, I wasn't even sure; male chest worship
  • Violence: high; murder scene is descriptive, bloody; the murderer uses a Satanic symbol; one character assaults another and causes coma
  • Drugs/Alcohol: high; murderer's parents and friends are heroin junkies; use of Rohypnol in a kidnapping; main characters stay clean

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