Thursday, September 11, 2014
Book Review: The Body in the Woods by April Henry
Author: April Henry
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 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.
I liked this one! I found the concept of teenagers being part of a search and rescue team fascinating, and what is more, it is real. The book is dedicated to the "teens of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue", real kids who join forces with the police to help aid in finding the lost and missing.
This book really focused on the teenagers in the story, rather than the actual murder mystery, I think, and is told from their various points of view. Alexis, Nick, and Ruby are all volunteers for their local search and rescue, all with their own individual motivations. They also all have their own individual issues. First there is Alexis, whose mother struggles with mental illness issues. Then Nick, whose father died in the war, when Nick was four and never got to know him. Finally there is Ruby, who is bright and curious and also has Asperger's Syndrome.
Despite their lack of commonality, the search and rescue begins to bring the three closer together, finding acceptance within their trio. The murders themselves are sort of background to the evolving friendship of these three, and in fact, the reader knows who the killer is pretty easily and quickly, which took a little of the suspense out of it for sure, but made me read the story differently than I might have.
Overall, I think this was an interesting first book in a series. I am interested in where it will go from here!