Sunday, June 1, 2014

Review: The Body in the Woods by April Henry

The Body in the Woods (Point Last Seen, #1)Title: The Body in the Woods 
Author: April Henry 
Publisher:Henry Holt and Co.
Publishing Date:   June 17th 2014
Pages: 263
Genre:  YA Mystery Suspense
Series: Point Last Seen #1
Source: ARC 


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.

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.

This was a very anticipated read for me and I was ecstatic to get an ARC copy of the book. I dove right in and I was quite entertained by the book. It wasn't quite what I expected but I still enjoyed it. The mystery was good. The writing was easy and quick. The characters weren't quite developed as I like, but I still liked them. All in all it was a good solid read for me. 
Three teenagers have joined the Search and Rescue (SAR) and were called out on there first real search, not a training exercise. In the process of looking for a missing man, they found a dead girl. They were questioned, they were told not to speak of the crime to anyone, they were intrigued, they wanted to solve the crime. So this is the story about three teenagers who try to solve a crime, put themselves in danger, and of course figure everything out before the authorities do. 

I thought this book would be more of a thriller. It had some creepy moments, but it was more on the mystery side of things. I don't mind a good mystery, I just was expecting something a bit more. For a mystery, the story was good. It was of course built around teenagers solving a crime and so there were some things that were unrealistic but that never bothers me. I enjoyed the mystery, I enjoyed the Scooby Gang, and I was pleased by the end of the book. 

I can say that I was intrigued enough to keep on reading. I did have a hard time putting the book down. It wasn't super fast paced and didn't have me on the edge of my seat but I was drawn into the story and didn't have any problems with the pacing of the story. The author did a wonderful job of keeping me guessing and that of course played into not being able to stop the reading. It was well done in my book. 

The writing style felt a bit younger than I expected too. It was a very clean book, I felt it was written more for the younger high school crowd. This took me by surprise a bit since the context of the book is murder and serial killers. Again, I didn't mind, just not what I expected. 

The characters were not as developed as I like my characters to be but they weren't flat.  Each one had a very particular tone and feel to them and it was easy to tell them apart. The only thing the three had in common was the SAR but they worked very well together. The characters consisted of the brainiac, the pretty girl, and the wanna be hero. Each was an outcast or had it hard in one way or the other. I connected most to Alexis. I felt bad for her and the life she was living. She truly was a sweet girl that had some tough times to work though. Ruby was a bit harder to connect to because she was a bit awkward and stand offish. She was very intelligent though and I did enjoy watching her work through the murders.Nick was also a bit more difficult for me. He came of as a bit of a whiner but in the end he started to redeem himself. I think the next book in the series will bring me closer to these three and I will be able to connect more once they interact more with one another. 

I think what I enjoyed the absolute most was the chapters from the killers mind. They were creepy and it was nice to live in his mind just for a bit. I like good guys and I love my heroes, but sometimes I need to see how the mind of a killer works. 

I really enjoyed the read. I will read more and I am sure the next book will be on the top of my list to get when it comes out. It was an easy read, not to deep but bit more than a relaxing fun read. 

It was good. I would definitely recommend to those who love a light mystery. 

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.

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