The Body in the Woods
by April Henry
Overview (from Goodreads): In this new series told from multiple perspectives, teen members of a search and rescue team discover a dead body in the woods.
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 an 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 is full of riveting suspense, putting readers in the middle of harrowing rescues and crime scene investigations.
Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
My Thoughts: I’m a little bit embarrassed to admit this, but I think I initially requested The Body in the Woods on Netgalley when I saw the cover. It caught my eye and I don’t really remember reading the synopsis. I don’t typically pick books based solely on their covers, but this isn’t the first time and it’s doubtful that it’ll be the last.
The story was flat-out fascinating and apparently based on a real team. I didn’t know teenagers could be part of search and rescue, but now that I do I wish we’d had that in high school. I think a large part of the story became more interesting for me once I saw it was based on something real. In my brain, parts of the story started to play out like an episode of Alaska State Troopers. It did move much faster than I would’ve expected for this particular plot line (see how I skipped over spoilers). It moved too quickly to be considered realistic, in my opinion, but it didn’t take away from my fascination.
The characters were some of my favorites. Alexis was awesome and I couldn’t help cheering for her to open up to someone. Nick was okay, but had his head stuck in a fantasy world a little too often. It started to grate on my nerves that he couldn’t seem to do anything that could be even the tiniest bit tedious without going into a fantasy world with him as a hero. Ruby was my favorite. She was so awesome. She’s that person who’s extremely smart and has interests that aren’t “normal” but she’s unapologetic about being herself. Those are the people who everyone should want to be friends with.
The Body in the Woods is the first book in a series, but thankfully it doesn’t end on a cliffhanger. It still managed to leave me wanting more. I actually went on Netgalley to see if Blood Will Tell (book 2) is up there yet; it wasn’t. Another cool part that I forgot to mention; it’s told from multiple perspectives (Nick, Alexis, Ruby and the killer). I’m not always a fan of multi-perspective books, but when it’s done well you can’t help getting sucked in.
I really enjoyed reading The Body in the Woods and it was a quick read. I will definitely be on the lookout for Blood Will Tell when it comes out in June. The Body in the Woods isn’t a deep, stop and think book, but I would still recommend it.
3.5 out of 5 Bookmarks = I’m looking forward to the second book in this series.