Getting Caught Up: Desires of the Dead + ARC Giveaway!

Hey Guys!
Aly and I are excited to bring a new feature to the blog: Getting Caught Up. It's where we'll be reviewing or giving away books that are a couple months old. With so many great books coming out each week, sometimes you fall behind and realize that that hot new release has been sitting on your shelf for five months before you finally find a minute to read it. The first book I'm getting caught up on is Desires of the Dead, the sequel to Kimberly Derting's smash debut, The Body Finder!

Author: Kimberly Derting
Published: HarperTeen (February 15, 2011)
Audience: Young Adult
Source: For Review (Dark Days Supernatural Tour), Also purchased a copy
Young Adult * Mystery Thriller * Romance Fantasy

Description from GoodReads:

Violet can sense the echoes of those who've been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.

As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she'd turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike's tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.

Desires of the Dead was a solid sequel to Kimberly Derting's best-selling debut The Body Finder. This second installment in the series begins a few months after the first novel ends, following the same protagonist, Violet Ambrose, whose ability to find dead bodies and their murderers through her special gift nearly cost her and her best friend-turned-boyfriend Jay's lives. In this novel, Violet and Jay have been dating steadily for a few months and adjusting to the new changes in their relationship now that it is no longer only platonic.

Violet and Jay's relationship is one of my favorite things about this series. Kimberly Derting writes young romance in such a believable way -- their conversations and arguments sound so real, like actual exchanges that I can imagine hearing between two teenagers in love. Furthermore, I really appreciated that the conflict in their relationship wasn't the standard love triangle, where a rival for Violet's affections emerges suddenly. It was just the usual sorts of issues that teens would encounter in any young relationship, making it easy for the reader to relate to.

Also, I love Jay Heaton as a character. Usually in literature, I'm drawn to the dangerous bad boy characters, but I love reading about Jay, who is just a normal, kind, sweet boyfriend. He doesn't have a tortured past, he doesn't flout authority like rebellious James Dean, and (as far as we know) he's not secretly a vampire. He treats Violet well (even when she's admittedly a little needy because of the side effects of her gift) and is always there for her. Jay's nice guy characteristics make him really stand out as a leading male among many popular young adult series.

The structure of the novel is similar to the first one, in that Violet finds the body of  a dead child and there is a search for his killer. Something different about this book, was that Violet became the victim of some harassment from a supposed stalker. So in this novel, Violet is the victim, and the inner monologue we get is from her stalker, who may or may not be connected to the other murders in the book. Another interesting thing about Desires of the Dead was the new information that we learnt. We were introduced to some new characters, including Sara and Rafe, who are part of an interesting organization, and who will feature again in the third book of the series, The Last Echo. I liked both of these characters, Rafe in particular, whose quiet behavior and mysterious connection to Sara suggests that there may be more to him than meets the eye. I look forward to seeing his role in the next installment in the series.

Once again, I enjoyed Kimberly Derting's writing and would recommend this to fans who loved  The Body Finder or Maggie Stiefvater's The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy (which begins with Shiver).

Kimberly Derting is the author of The Body Finder and Desires of the Dead (HarperCollins) and the upcoming release, The Pledge (Nov 2011, Simon & Schuster). She lives in the Pacific Northwest, the ideal place to write anything dark or creepy...a gloomy day can set the perfect mood. She lives with her husband and their three beautiful (and often mouthy) children who provide an endless source of inspiration. You can follow her on twitter: @kimberlyderting or on her blog:

Her official website is: 

Complete the form below for a chance to win an Advanced Reader Copy of Desires of the Dead. Please read contest rules carefully.


1. Please do not enter any personal information in the comments section (it will be deleted if you do), you must complete the Entry Form to officially enter the contest.
2. The contest runs from July 7 to 11:59 PM Pacific Time on July 14, 2011.
3. You must be 13 or older to participate in this contest.
4. If you are selected as a winner, I will notify you by e-mail. If you do not respond within 48 hours, I will select a new winner.
5. This contest is open in US and Canada only. (Sorry international followers!)