Saturday, June 14, 2014

Book Review: The Body in the Woods by April Henry

Body in the Woods (Point Last Seen #1)
By April Henry
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Published: June 17, 2014

Amazon Synopsis:

Alexis, Nick, and Ruby have very different backgrounds: Alexis has spent her life covering for her mom’s mental illness, Nick’s bravado hides his fear of not being good enough, and Ruby just wants to pursue her eccentric interests in a world that doesn’t understand her. When the three teens join Portland County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, 
they are teamed up to search for a autistic man lost in the woods. What they find instead is a dead body. In a friendship that will be forged in danger, fear and courage, the three team up to find the girl’s killer—before he can strike one of their own. 

This first book in April Henry’s Point Last Seen YA mystery series, The Body in the Woods is full of riveting suspense, putting readers right in the middle of harrowing rescues and crime scene investigations.

Book Links

My Thoughts:

When three Portland teenagers take part in a Search and Rescue operation in a local park to find a missing person, they find much more than they bargained for. Alexis, Ruby and Nick are Newbies to the Search and Rescue team so they are sent of to search in an area where the victim is least likely to be found. Told that it is just as important to be sure where the victim is not, they set off on their search. What they do find however, is something they weren't bargaining for. They find the body of a teenaged homeless girl who has been strangled to death.

Each of these three teenagers are unique (aka weird) in their own way. Nick's dad died in serving his country when Nick was very young and Nick often imagines himself as a soldier behind enemy lines. Alexis' mother is mentally ill and often off her medication. Alexis tries to hide this from everyone. Ruby is fascinated with birds, continuity errors, true crime and gum flavors.

Using their wits and working together, each of these three teenage misfits use their skills to help the Portland police solve the murder, albeit against the express wishes of the police chief. The teens' investigation does not go smoothly either. A lot of things are working against them individually, and Ruby can't figure out why Alexis doesn't seem to want to be her friend anymore.

I enjoyed the fact that the teens all learned something about themselves and that being unique is not a bad thing. I liked that they persisted with something that they knew was right instead of just giving up and not caring as many teens seem to do.

I'm not sure that the author's premise for who serial killers choose is exactly correct, but the premise works for the purposes of this story.

This was a clean story with little graphic violence or profanity, and no sex. This book would be appropriate for teens and older. I gave The Body in the Woods a rating of 4 stars out of 5.It was very enjoyable. Readers of mystery and suspense should find it quite to their liking.

Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

If you've read one of my books, I would love to hear from you. Hearing from readers makes me eager to keep writing.

When I was 12, I sent a short story about a six-foot tall frog who loved peanut butter to Roald Dahl, the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He liked it so much he arranged to have it published in an international children's magazine.

My dream of writing went dormant until I was in my 30s, working at a corporate job, and started writing books on the side. Those first few years are now thankfully a blur. Now I'm very lucky to make a living doing what I love. I have written 13 novels for adults and teens, with more on the way. My books have gotten starred reviews, been picked for Booksense, translated into six languages, been named to state reading lists, and short-listed for the Oregon Book Award. 

I also review YA literature and mysteries and thrillers for the Oregonian, and have written articles for both The Writer and Writers Digest.

Author Links
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