by April Henry
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Format: Kindle, ARC
Published: June 17th, 2014 by Henry Holt & Co. (BYR)
Genre: Pre-teen/ YA, Mystery/ Thriller
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"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." -Goodreads
“For Alexis Frost, Nick Walker, and Ruby McClure, it all stared with a phone call and two texts. It ended with fear and courage, love and loathing, screaming and blood. Lots of blood.” (loc. 19)
The Body in the Woods is a great fast read mystery that kept it’s suspense and interest to the very end. Told from multiple perspectives, even from the killer, this mystery follows three Search And Rescue teens who find the body of a dead girl during a search. With Nick, Alexis and Ruby, we are then taken on a harrowing ride as they help try to find the pattern and the culprit of the crimes, not knowing that he’s taken a special interest in one of their own.
“It was all like a fairy tale. And bag things happened in fairy tale forests. Witches and wolves lay in wait.” (loc. 148)
The plot was fast paced and exciting, and although it became obvious who the killer was early on (to me at least,) I was still captivated in the chase. I liked the main characters and their little background histories, which helped make up their personas. Ruby came from a well-off conservative family who wanted her to be “normal,” Alexis comes from an secretly unstable home and must learn to be independent and self-sufficient because her mother is mentally ill, and Nick wants to be brave like his military father who died in action. Each kid has something to prove and they find their strength, joy and each other in SAR.
“Death could come in so many forms. You might get hit by a car or struck by lightning. You might die in your sleep or choke on a Tootsie Pop or develop a tumor that ate you up from the inside. And, most fascinating of all, you might be murdered.” (loc. 700)
I really believe this will be a successfully series, especially with the pre-teens and young adults. I’m already looking forward to read the book book as I find mysteries within the aspect of Search And Rescue original and captivating. From this book alone, I’ve learned much on survival and what exactly SAR have to go through. I look forward to seeing what Nick, Alexis and Ruby get up to in their community of braving crime.
Galley provided by NetGalley via Henry Holt & Co. (Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group)
*Quotes are from uncorrected advanced galleys and may change before going to press. Please refer to the final printed book for official quotes.