Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Review: THE BODY IN THE WOODS by April Henry. Don’t miss this one!
I just finished reading an ARC of the young adult thriller THE BODY IN THE WOODS by April Henry--and it was amazing.
It’s about three teenagers from very different backgrounds who have recently volunteered for the Portland County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue. When they’re called to help search for a missing autistic man, they discover the body of a teenage girl instead. From there the story takes off at an exciting pace and never lets up until it reaches a climax that takes them from an eclectic group of teenage outsiders to friends with an understanding of each other’s quirks and needs.
One of the most wonderful things about THE BODY IN THE WOODS is that it isn’t created out of thin air. It’s based on a real-life search and rescue team that includes teenagers. The realistic SAR details in the book show the time the author put into research. At the same time, the details never get in the way of the action. Actually, that realism is what drew me in and made me so enthralled by this story. But it wasn’t just the SAR details. All aspects of this novel are expertly researched and crafted—from details about bird watching to others involving mental illness, homelessness and electronic gadgets.
This wonderful realism also made each of the novels four points of view unique and equally interesting. Nick is a swaggering teen with a fear of being not good enough, and a very real reason behind his struggles. Alexis is fighting against poverty and to hide her mother’s mental illness. Ruby’s brilliant, but her day-to-day ability to function ‘normally’ and to fly under her parents’ radar is a never-ending battle. The antagonist is also marvelous in a demented way, especially when his focus turn toward the three teens. Even the antagonist’s victims are fully realized people with backstories and their own difficulties.
I enjoyed THE BODY IN THE WOODS very much and highly recommend it. However, I do think it will probably be most appreciated by teens rather than adults—which is as it should be. It’s especially good for younger teens that like hiking, the woods and action packed novels. I strongly recommend it to teachers and librarians. Buy this one for sure.
To give you a hint how much I liked it—when I hit page 50, I stopped reading and took the time to order a different book by the same author.
BODY IN THE WOODS is the first book in the POINT LAST SEEN series and will be released on June 14th.
To read more about THE BODY IN THE WOODS and other novels by author April Henry, check out her website here.