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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Body in the Woods by April Henry

Release Date - June 17, 2014

April Henry
Henry Holt and Co.

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

The Body in the Woods is the first in a young adult mystery series by April Henry. The series involves three teens, all from different walks of life, who volunteer for a local search and rescue team. When they get a call that an autistic man is missing in a forest, they join the search party. The teens never imagine that they'll find a body and stumble into a serial killer's sights.

Nick, Alexis, and Ruby definitely are as different as teens come. I like that they are paired, despite being so different from one another, and they form a bond because of their work. Ruby is fascinated with criminal investigations, yet her parents feel her interests are morbid and ban her from continuing her volunteer work, even though it is something that makes her feel happy. Nick appears strong on the outside, but inside he never feels he is good enough. Alexis I really felt for. Her mom suffers from mental illness and often skips her medications. As a result, Alexis often acts as the parent and is forced into tough situations.

With those three backgrounds, the readers form a bond with the three teens. There are times I felt the police were letting them get a little too involved in the police work, especially Ruby, but that also helped propel the story. I loved the details that went into the search and rescue work, it's based on the work of a real team of teen volunteers in Multnomah County. That also helped set the stage for what I think is going to be fascinating series.

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