Author: Kimberly Derting
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy
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 that the dead leave behind in the world... and the imprints that attach to their killers.Review by Nara
Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find the dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.
Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer- and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping 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.
I have to admit, what drew me to this book was probably the cover and title. The premise of the novel, at first glance, seems somewhat original, but removing Violet's ability to sense dead bodies shows a pretty average plotline filled with cliches. I did find that Derting used cheap tricks to build tension (point of view from the serial killer, dramatic irony etc.), and indeed, like the sheep I am, I followed them all. In short: the novel was a quick, easy read.
One thing I found incredibly annoying was that Violet, despite not being on the police force and despite having no knowledge of self-defense, decides to go after the serial killer alone. If that wasn't stupid enough, after being attacked by said serial killer, she still decides to act alone. Why???
The romance was also rather unimaginative. It was the typical scenario of childhood best friend becomes hot, protagonist notices hotness, protagonist notices every other girl in the book noticing hotness, best friend goes out with other girl, protagonist fights with best friend, protagonist and best friend make up, protagonist gets the guy. I do find it irritating when the love interest is apparently so hot that all girls in the book throw themselves at him. Jay was pretty bland in the first half of the book but thankfully, he became slightly more interesting as the book progressed.
Although the story was mostly predictable (I found that I had foreseen the "unexpected twists" long before they occurred), Derting's writing style was smooth and interesting enough that I wasn't inclined to throw the book off the nearest bridge (also, it was a library book, so that might have been awkward to try and explain). I'll conclude with a quotation:
Multihued light radiated up from beneath the water, centered among the reeds, and then diffusing outward as it reached the surface. Violet had never seen anything like it, and she knew that the spectrum of light was defying its very nature by behaving in that way.
It could only be one thing.
There was something dead down there.
1. Clarity by Kim Harrington
2. Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock
3. Venom by Fiona Paul
It was okay