Format: E-Book | 263 pages
Release Date: June 17, 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt and CO. (BYR)
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery
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.
THE BODY IN THE WOODS is the first installment in April Henry's Point Last Seen series. This story features three Sixteen-years olds in Alexis Frost, Nick Walker, and Ruby McClure who couldn't be any different even if they tried. Different social backgrounds, different reasons for being a part of the Portland's Search and Rescue team, different struggles with life itself, and yes, there is diversity among the characters in case anyone is wondering, as well as a possible love interest for one of the characters.
The story starts out innocent enough when a autistic man goes missing, and there is a frantic search for his whereabouts by the Search and Rescue teams. As it so happens, fate intervenes and Alexis, Nick, and Ruby discover a girls body in the woods which pretty much stokes Ruby's curiosity to the point where they are trying to discover who the killer was and why this killer is choosing the girls he does. This discovery sets off a series of events that will lead the duo into doing silly things, thanks to Ruby's determination that not everything is square when it comes to who killed the mystery girl.
I feel that I must break down the individual characters since it is important to understand where each of them comes from. Alexis is probably the character that I could connect to the most because of her individual struggles with trying to deal with a mother who is bi-polar, and sometimes refuses to take her meds, and wonders off indiscriminately. She struggles to survive while living off a disability check and food stamps. She doesn't really have any friends, per se, and yet finds herself eager to become a part of the S&R because it will give her a future she can look forward to.
Nick struggles with coping with his father's act of heroism that led to his death in Iraq when Nick was four. Nick's reasoning for being a member of the S&R team is probably more altruistic in nature than his teammates. He believes his father would have wanted him to be so much more, and thus he does silly things in hopes that his father would be proud to see him step away from his limitations. Nick is also the character that I struggled with because he just made so many stupid blunders, and annoyed me at most times, including running off on his own without any support.
Ruby is the token rich girl of the group. She gets anything she wants, and yet she wants to become a member of the S&R team. She is the CSI girl everyone wants to choke because her theories are sometimes so eyerolling ridiculous, that they actually put people in harms way. I will give Ruby a lot of credit however. Even though she apparently has supportive parents, which Nick and Alexis don't really have, she is determined to break through to both Nick and Alexis and make them part of her inner circle. She's smarter than a whip as well, and that goes a long way in making the lead detective on the case squirm.
Since this is the first novel in the series, I am giving THE BODY IN THE WOODS a little break. I have read several of Henry's novels, and have found out that she is an unusual writer who tries to lay things out for readers so that they aren't shocked when the revelation comes forward. This story is also told in the Third POV between the three lead characters, as well as the killer himself, which gives readers an look into the sick and twisted mind of a serial killer. I had no problem reading this novel since it was fast paced, and the villain was introduced early enough in the story that you know who he is, and why he is doing what he is doing.
I will look into reading the next installment called Blood Will Tell if for nothing else than to see if the characters grow any from this story. I also look forward to Alexis maybe getting a break in her life so she can perhaps have more than a friendship with a secondary character who is introduced early in the story, and then appears several times afterwards.
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