Spoiler Warning

Book reviews and discussions may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Official Discussion Post for The Body Finder

Post your comments here.

Levi Lovin's

Chapter One
Violet discovers she has a crush on her hot BFF.

Chapter Two
Violet babysits and Jay pops by to tickle her but it's okay cuz they are just friends.

Chapter Three
Violet goes for a jog. She is later joined by Jay. She trips and Jay puts on a band aid.

Chapter Four
They go to a party at a lake. She finds a dead body.

Chapter Five
Violet tells police what happens. Her dad and uncle show up at the lake for support.

Chapter Six
Violet was depressed until the body was buried.

Chapter Seven
Grady asked Violet to Homecoming. Jay got mad and got a ride home with Lissie.

Chapter Eight
Violet and Jay make up.

Chapter nine
Violet gets her Homecoming dress and finds out Hailee was kidnapped.

Chapter Ten
Violet and Jay go to the movies. Violet uses the bathroom during the movie.

Chapter Eleven
Violet and Jay go to the mall. Violet discovers the men's bathroom tastes like garlic.

Chapter Twelve
Violet and Jay are in a fight. Grady is bugging Violet.

Chapter Thirteen
Grady takes Violet to the cemetery.

Chapter Fourteen
Violet decides to go to a party.

Chapter Fifteen
Grady sticks his slug tongue in Violet's mouth. Jay punches him. Violet gets mad at Jay.

Chapter Sixteen
Jay kisses Violet.

Chapter Seventeen
Violet joins a search party. She finds the killer.

Chapter Eighteen
Jay dry humps Violet.

Chapter Nineteen
Violet points out dead animals on the killers property.

Chapter Twenty
Violet and Jay are an item. Jay goes home during the middle of a make out session.

Chapter Twenty One
Violet gets chased by the killer but her 16 year old boyfriend scares him away.

Chapter Twenty Two
Violet goes to a hospital for a sprained ankle. Her uncle orders 24/7 cop at her house.

Chapter Twenty Three
Violet goes to school and stuff. Jay tells her that they are going to Homecoming.

Chapter Twenty Four
Violet watches a movie while eating popcorn. Jay comes over.

Chapter Twenty Five
Violet and Jay go to the dance. Violet leaves Jay's sight so she can go to the bathroom.

Chapter Twenty Six
Violet stays behind in the bathroom so the killer can get her. He confesses everything to her.

Chapter Twenty Seven
Jay discovers Violet was left alone in the bathroom and alerts the cops.

Chapter Twenty Eight
Jay (16 yr old B.F.) stands up to the serial killer. Someone gets shot.

Chapter Twenty Nine
Jay is still alive. The End.



Sunday, May 30, 2010

My perfectly perfect review of "The Body Finder" by Kimberly Derting

I don't know why but I'm having a hard time writing a review on this book.  So I'm going to make it easy on myself and just tell you what I thought.


I thought it was okay/pretty good.   For what it was written for (a young adult novel about a girl with raging hormones and keen intuition) it wasn't that bad.  I only marked a few places where the writing offended me.  This sentence drove me crazy, "After scrutinizing herself in the mirror and noting the dark circles beneath her eyes, she once again thought about how badly she wanted to crawl back beneath the mound of already cooling blankets that covered her bed like an inviting nest" (pg 6).  Um, okay.  Also the dialogue from Greg Ambrose to Violet on page 67 didn't sound like dialogue at all--just information worked into dialogue.  "When you were little, we were worried when you first started finding dead animals....blah, blah, blah."  Changing point of view on page 302 was a little disjointing, "Claire wanted so badly to join in on the catty conversation, but she was terrible at finding other people's flaws...still she gave it her best shot."   Then there were those sentences that just didn't make sense.  These sentences usually occurred when Jay and Violet were making out.  It was so confusing I couldn't even picture what the heck those two love birds were doing exactly--which was totally okay with me, btw.  The adverbs also got to be a little much.  On pages 306-307 I read nine adverbs: momentarily, instinctively, casually, perfectly, immediately, thoughtfully, really, tightly, and violently."  I just wanted to say, "Ok, ok, I get it, I get it."

Also, I don't know if anyone else felt this way while reading the book, but sometimes I felt like the author was reliving her glory days.  I wondered if maybe some of the events and places she was describing came from her own life experiences and even her journal.  Call me crazy but I felt this way at least a few times.  The way she described her beater car and the Homecoming dance and some other things, I just can't think of them right now.  They felt like a journal entry to me.  (Anybody else think this while they were reading?) 

Not only were the descriptions overkill, the idealistic nature of Jay and Violet's developing relationship was darn near irritating.  It seemed that everything about Jay and he and Violet's relationship was "flawless" and "absolutely perfect."  Those are heavy words that you don't want to drop casually.  After a while the making out got to be a nuisance and I wanted to throw up toward the end of the book.  Ok, so he's the most perfect boyfriend in the whole world and you two couldn't be happier.  Okay, I get it.  I liked it better when you guys were sexually frustrated.  (Or maybe I'm just jealous since my husband and I are way past the fun, lusty days of teen infatuation).

That brings us to my biggest pet peeve.  JAY.  There is no such thing as the perfect guy.  No guy expect Edward maybe.  Or Peeta.  And that's just because they're both so freaking cool.  Peeta and Edward have both earned their stripes.  They are amazing and awesome because we know who they are and we respect them, not because they are flawless characters.  I liked Jay a lot, but he just didn't feel real to me.  At least not the way that he was written.  How could a guy of his age really understand and appreciate a girl like he does?  What has happened in his life to make him realize that Violet is the one for him?  Why is it that a young man at his age is so good to her?  I never got that.  

Overall I thought the pace was good.  Also, the suspense was pretty good.  I did laugh a few times when I knew the writer was trying to keep us in suspense when I knew all along that the officer she ran into in the woods was the other killer and that it was her uncle who shot the guy in the back and that Jay was alive.  

There were a few things that didn't make sense to me like why didn't Violet feel an echo from Mackenzie Sherwin when she was so close to her killer and so close to her body?  I also thought it was funny that nobody guessed that maybe the other killer had seen Violet at the house identifying dead things.  Other than those things I really liked the book and I enjoyed reading it.  Well, most of it.  I admit that I did skip over the pages written from the killer's point of view.  Too creepy for me.  Besides I read the book at night and I didn't want to give myself bad dreams.  In fact, I would have finished the book in one sitting but once I got to the part where she was being chased in the woods I put the book down so I could finish it in the morning.      Overall, great, fast read, really enjoyed it.  Thanks Markie.

So there you have it.  My absolutely perfectly perfect review of The Body Finder, by Kimberly McPerfect Derting.  

Postponed!!

Ok, so our discussion will be tomorrow night same time, same place.

I Find Dead People

....and animals, and, stuff.

I started reading this book on an airplane with my head still lost somewhere on a beach in the Caribbean. So, I was g.l.u.e.d. our entire flight and finished the book before we landed in Denver. Big switcheroo from everybodieshappyandonvacation to findingdeadbodiesandbeingchasedbyadoodincamoduds. Wow! I was a little excited to read something with some good 'snogging' and teenage love. I'm so getting too grown up tho, cause I kept thinking, "They're letting them be ALONE like that in her BEDROOM all the TIME like this???" "Don't they know what teenagers like to DO when they're alone all the time in their bedrooms?"

I loved the way the book switched between the girl and the bad guy. He was way creepy and all that, but the suspense of trying to guess who he was chasing down and hearing his thoughts made the book more compelling. I found myself anxious for his next chapter - like staring at a train wreck. I didn't put too much thought into the teamed up bad guys. Fargo was like a bad guy team. There have certainly been other examples of that. Creepy doods find eachother - and watch eachother's backs and stuff. I think. Well....anyway.

I thought the end, when she was on crutches at the prom, I mean homecoming dance was WAY predictable and then the lame deserted bathroom and blahblahblah. I was very relieved that Jay wasn't the one that got shot at the end. He wouldn't have been bitter dandelions anyway. He would have been more like oranges or candy canes or...nevermind. Don't ask.

Can't wait for the discussion. Whenever it is. And I'm excited for you all to meet my younger sis. I LOVE that she's out of school for the summer and can actually read for her own entertainment.

P.S. Markie - can't wait to hear how you came across this book.

Postpone??

So I am getting texts that many SRBCers are not available for a discussion tonight? Who would like to postpone it until tomorrow?

Newbie...

Ok, so I'm new at this. I generally don't review anything by means of analyzing. Movies and books are either entertaining or they're not. So, if I suck at this review thing, I apologize.
My seester-StandsMom-recommended this book to me and I was desperate to read something other than dental histology, so I read this book in less than two days about three weeks ago. I was entertained and rather enjoyed the book. What I thought was good about the book was: easy read, suspensful, loved the teenage romance, and loved the idea that Violet had this creepy "talent" to find dead things.
What I didn't like was: Violet annoyed me in some parts but then again she is a teenage girl, and I didn't like that there were two killers-totally lamerz!
I'm looking forward to the second book and hope it's as entertaining as the first.

Review

I finished this book in two days and have done lots of reading since so I forgot it a little bit too. I do remember I enjoyed reading it. It was a little dumb that there were two killers. I did like her ability but I thought they were going to go a different route with it. Although it wasn't the best book I've ever read I'm glad it was chosen this month and I besides the dumber parts of the book I kind of liked it. I probably won't be at the discussion tonight because I've had the flu really bad all weekend and I'm pretty tired already. Can't wait to hear about next months book!

The Body Grinder, I mean Finder

Jespy's review of The Body Finder

For me, the term “easy read” means more than just that a book has easy vocabulary, concept, or plot. An “easy read” is a page turner. A book is only easy to read if I don’t want to put it down every few pages. Conversely, a book (which may have simple vocab, concept, or plot) that I constantly want to put down, is a hard read.

I just wanted to clear that up before I describe this book as an “easy read.” I don’t want anyone to misunderstand and think I am simply describing the text.

So, it's an easy read. I finished it fast, and I enjoyed reading it. Much of it was indulgent nonsense, but the characters were well-developed, and the relationship between Violet and Jay was fleshed out—litrly. Plus it had that awesome levi-lovin scene that was described in intricate detail, leaving nothing up to the imagination. (Keep your children away from this book. And keep them away from my review too, for good measure.)

My favorite scene was when Jay and Violet’s dad had that mysterious murmured convo over the dinner table and then shook hands, right before Jay took Violet up to her room. This is my guess:

Jay—“Permission to grind with your daughter, sir.”

Dad—“Permission granted.”

Jay—“Great. We’ll be up in her room, on her bed. If you must check on us, knock first, K?”

Dad—“Sounds like a reasonable request. Have fun you two.”

::Shake::

These are some things I didn’t like:

All those details about the homecoming dance were indulgent nonsense and only reminded me that this book was written for teenage girls who go googoogaga for that stuff.

Violet’s decisions at the end (such as using the far away empty bathroom at the dance) were silly nonsensical rubbish and pulled me right out of the story so I could roll my eyes.

The twist was unbelievable. I also didn’t buy the killer’s decision to kill again when the cops already “had their guy.” He was in the clear. Just didn’t make sense for him to go after Violet, regardless of his suspicions.

Silly ending or not, I still had fun reading this book. Thanks for the pick, Markie!

*My appearance at the discussion tonight will be spotty. I apologize in advance!

Markie's Review

Once again I've made the mistake of not writing my review immediately after reading the book, which was over a month ago. I've been to Alaska and back since then fhs. I've had to quickly skim through it again just to remember who the main characters were. So, I guess my overall opinion of this book is... forgettable.

What I liked:
It was another easy, entertaining read that required very little brain power to enjoy. I thought the pace was nice, and the story flowed along easily without getting bogged down in a bunch of descriptive details. I like that nobody’s hair was the color of lemon, nobody’s eyes were gangly, and that Violet’s parents, aunt & uncle and their kids, and her boyfriend Jay weren’t blown to bits by a bomb.

What I didn't like:
I think she could have built the suspense more; put Violent in a little more danger for a longer period of time. I was never really too concerned for her safety. I wanted her in the shower with the killer creeping up the stairs; or maybe sitting in her uncle’s police cruiser when she realizes HE is the killer. And the whole second serial killer twist deserved a big “Oh, c’mon, gimme a break”. I knew when she caught the first killer so early in the book, and without much effort or danger that there had to be more to the story, and I hoped for something more ingenious and different than just the same plot line repeated twice.

It’s a lot of pressure choosing a book for this group. I hope you were at least entertained for a little while.

Best day ever, was the one I spent reading this book!

I have never literally LOL'ed so many times while reading a book before. And for this reason, I have to say I loved this book. But, I loved it in a Saved By The Bell, or To Justin From Kelly sort of way.
This book had potential to be a good book in a different sort of way, maybe if the author had an adult with her who could help her out a bit.
Highlights:
* Jay is really good at putting band-aids on booboos.
* Violet is so pretty and she doesn't even know it you gize.
* Jay and Violet's dad shook on something and we'll never know what it was. But, here's my guess... See, Jay was trying to keep watch over Violet and he also needed to study and work his job so he could save up for a fancy car, like a Volvo Acura. He was running out of energy so he started taking caffeine pills. Violet's dad found out and helped him quit. They made a pact and shook on it.
* After making his caffeine quitting pact with Violet's dad, he proceeded to then make out with Violet.
* Levi-Lovin

I had the best time reading this book, and for that, I owe you big time Markie!

Landee Dies And No One Can Find Her Body


In the acknowledgements… “To the entire team at HarperCollins…for helping me polish The Body Finder into something that sparkles.” 
Ok Kimi Derting, I think “sparkles” is a bit of an over-statement here.  I’d say it had some quasi-shimmery spots here & there but that’s about it.   You polish a turd and it’s still a turd…just sayin!  ::gangsta arms::
I’m not saying this was totally turdish though.
The Good
I like the concept for the book.  I like her “ability” and I thought it had great potential for a great book.  Nothing like matching up imprints to keep you on the edge of your seat.  I, for one, am a fan of imprints in teenage novels.  Ask anyone. 
I was genuinely creeped out whenever it was in the “serial kidnapper’s” voice.   He was icky and I didn’t like hearing how he thought about things.  His tricks to get girls to get in his car, his referring to it in hunting terms, his insatiable desires….all yucky and I didn’t like it.  This is in “the good” section because that is exactly what the author was trying to do. 
There were times when I was nervous and worried about people which means the author did her job in creating excitement. 
Jay.  He sounds hawt & he’s super nice.  Reminds me of Jacob.

The Bad
My A Numero Uno beef with this book is the beyond lame “twist” at the end where the dood had a friggin PARTNER in his kidnapping/murder escapades.  There are no tag team criminals in the arena of taking and murdering young girls.  None. These types of disgusting men work alone.   I know Kim tried to make it seem like the one just liked the hunt and game of it and the other liked the killing but I simply don’t buy it.   So what, like, the first guy is all hunting and getting a girl a day and the other guy just has to kill them all?  What if the killer guy doesn’t feel like killing that day?  Or that month?  What do you do then?  Not to even mention how these two guys hooked up and formed a partnership.  I can just imagine how that conversation went:
Kidnapper Guy: Hey, I like stealing girls but not a big fan of killing them.  The problem is once they see me they can identify me and, you know, I’m a cop & stuff so that would suck.  Anyway, would you mind killing some teenage girls for me?
Murderer Guy: This is destiny!  I love murder but hate having to chase these girls down!   These extra pounds I’ve packed on in the last few years have really slowed me down.  What a pain!  Let’s do dis.
::shake hands vigorously and clap each other on the back::
Aaaand scene.
Chyaright!  After that I just rolled my eyes at the whole thing, make out scenes and all. 
I also found Violet to be somewhat unlikable but her friends to be intolerable.  That’s not a huge deal but I figured I’d throw it in there.   
Overall I didn’t feel like I wasted a couple of days reading this, per say, but I definitely won’t be recommending this book to anyone.  Or telling anyone else I read it.   Mums the word.  


Finder of Bodies

POSITIVES

easy read
kept me interested
likable characters (if you go for the overly humble, incredibly clumsy girl ::clearing throat:: Bella)
interesting concept


NEGATIVES

a PARTNER for those murders?! SRSLY?
yeah, it jumped the shark for me at that point and I didn't like it after that


Markie, it was a great read for this month, a good change up of style and emotional investment. I'm sorry I won't be attending the discush tonight. But thanks for hosting and choosing this book.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Discussion Time for The Body Finder

Our book club discussion for The Body Finder will be this Sunday at 9 PM Pacific time. I am driving to Arizona on Sunday but I should be there in plenty of time to host the discussion on my laptop. I hope you can make it.

In the mean time... Have you seen this cheesy video trailer for the book?



There are no current plans to make a movie that I am aware of.

If you'd like to check out the authors web site, Click Here.

There is a brief bio and Q & A here. She is working on a sequel to The Body Finder called Desires of the Dead.

To visit her blog click here.

And finally, an interview with the author can be found here.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The book for May is...

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Cuz I'm a giver like that.



I really think you're gonna like this one, but I do have to give a little "Reader Discretion Advised" warning: it does contain some language. There's some "A" words, some "B" words, some "C","D", and "E" words, and maybe even an "F" word or two. It also has a healthy dose of gratuitous snogging, along with murder most foul.

Having said that, I wouldn't recommend it if it was excessively graphic. It is a Young Adult book, and I'd put it in the PG-13 category. Still, if you have younger readers that like to read what Mom's reading (sorry Meghan), you might want to read it yourself first, and then decide if it's appropriate for your kid. I do have an alternate recommendation for anyone that is worried about the above advisory.

Imprints by Rachel Ann Nunes

I just read about it in the "Books" section of our Sunday paper. The plot line sounded amazingly similar to The Body Finder, but it was written by an LDS author, and the reviewer called it "a clean, enjoyable read".

Happy Reading!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Stinky book

Yeah, this book stunk.  Literally.  I got my copy from the library and it smelled really bad. Like I had to wash my hands after every time I read it because I didn't want my hands to smell.  I don't think it had been flagged or anything like the one George took into the bathroom, just that musty, old book smell that's pretty unpleasant.  Anyway, once I got over the smell of the book I thought I'd be able to enjoy it until I got to page four.  That's when I knew it stunk more than just literally.  But I stuck with it and I have to admit there were some parts that were okay.  Overall the story didn't ring true to me and the writing was poor.  But I still appreciate the read.  It's always good to read something I wouldn't have normally read, so thank you, Flem, for the recommendation.  

Official Seer and the Sword Discussion

Thoughts? Feelings? Anyone?

S Word

Jespy's review of The Seer and the Sword

Adventure! Intrigue! Warring nations! Murdered kings and kidnapped princes! Seers! Swords! Grown men crying! Grown men requesting friendship in exchange for swords!

What’s not to love about this book?

And according to most reviews floating around the WWW, I’d say this is a much beloved book for many many people. Me, on the other hand, thought it was just aight.

There were several little annoyances in the book that I could forgive, if it weren’t so poorly written. For me, the writing made it fall flat. Large chucks of the story were simply “told” to us. I like to see my stories happen. Most of the characters felt two-dimensional to me, with the exception of Landon. In fact, whenever the POV switched to Landon, the story would come alive. When Landon freed the thieves and made them his band of merry men, when he stole the sword, when he blew up the ships… those were by far the most exciting parts of the book. Had the whole story been told from his POV, I think I would have loved it. Alas, t’was not.

Oh yeah. Sword.

(I ended my review with sword, just like the book did.)

Landee Looks in her Crystal

In honor of my favorite Top 10 list maker, yea, the very woman who chose this month’s book club book, I present to you my Top 10 Reasons Why I Thoroughly Enjoyed this book:

10. It was readily available at my local library. Several copies. No wait.

9. After some fairly hard-hitting historical fictions, it was lovely to sit and read a great adventure full of villains, heroes and a fiery redhead.

8. I loved the names in this story. Sometimes these types of book have the lamest names (Po comes to mind) but this one was perfect. Kareed, Torina, Vesputo, Andris, Glavenrell…they were all a little quirky but believable for the supposed time period.

7. I love a good thief. Especially one that uses his talents for good.

6. It was refreshing to have the “good” people be good and the “bad” people be bad. It continued to be exciting without any forced twists or outlandish backstabbing.

5. Though it was amazing how all of these characters’ paths crossed, Torina and Landen worked their way up to the High King, etc. it was all believable and made perfect sense.

4. I had two people to crush on: Bellanes and Dahmis. I guess I’m attracted to the strong, honorable and smart types.

3. When Landen swooped in at the end, knocked out Torina and hauled her off on her horse it reminded me of The Princess Bride. ← no greater compliment can I give.

2. It’s always nice to see the heroine save the day at the end as Torina did (with the skills Landen had taught her). It’s like it all came full circle.

1. No icky love scenes.

Toooootal jaykay on that last one. That was the worst part!! I needed some hands traveling up thighs and some heaving chests or something! But no….clean as a whistle, this book. ::sigh::

My only other complaint would be that I felt like the author didn’t trust her readers to connect the dots on their own. Something would happen and then a paragraph of italics would be inserted representing the character’s thoughts. These italics would re-explain all that had just happened and what we were supposed to learn from it. Landee wanted to be given more credit from the author. She can make connections just fine on her own thankyouverymuch!

But all in all a great, light read full of adventure and mystery. I can see a nerdy little 13 year old girl really diggin’ it. Especially if she’s a red-head.

I hope Oprah isn't dissapointed in us.

Thanks Flem for giving us a book that didn't demand anything more of its reader than to be entertained; and The Seer and the Sword was extremely entertaining. It was a great fairytale, with a hero, a princess, a villain, and a happy ending. It's not anything that's gonna change my life, or that I'm even gonna remember for any length of time, but it was fun while it lasted. My only disappointment was that the sword in "The Seer and the Sword" turned out to be pretty much a no-show. Still, it was a nice ending and again, just an all around entertaining read. Loved it.

Wierd Names Book

Ahhh, where to begin. My biggest complaint about the book was the writing was so teeny tiny. It's also my biggest complaint about reading scriptures though.
In the beginning of the book when the story was about a 9 year old girl and an 11 year old boy this is what I pictured:There is no way she would free him as a her personal slave.
There is no way she'd race to save him from falling off a cliff.
This is how they usually are:

So I had a hard time getting into the beginning with them being so young and "deep".
My favorite line of the whole book:
"Torina was alone with the empty shell of Ancilla's body. She buried her head in the worn-out bosom." What was Gramere doing to wear out her bosom? I think there was more going on in that castle than we were made privy to.
It really was a quick read. I liked the general story line, but there was just a little too many things going on, and all really quickly.


Tonight at 9:00 PT be here...or in your third world house with no Internet.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

April hath passed

And we need to set our time to discush.  I apologize for being out of town so many Sundays and it just so happens that I will be on the road again tomorrow night.  However, I am voting for two options:

1)  Tomorrow evening 9 pm PT
2)  Tomorrow evening 8 pm PT with someone else moderating (I won't be to my hotel by then)
3)  Next Sunday at 8 pm PT which will get us behind for next month.

Any votes?

Again, sorry for my slackerhood.