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, The Body in the Woods is full of riveting suspense, putting readers right in the middle of harrowing rescues and crime scene investigations.
I found the premise of this book incredibly interesting. I love the idea of a young adult mystery series centered on Search and Rescue volunteers. Honestly, I didn’t know much about this organization when I started reading, and now I kind of want to volunteer. (Except for the small problem of I hate the outdoors... Maybe they have an S&R division that focuses on shopping malls.) The book is the first in a planned series, and I can see so many plot ideas that could come out of this idea. Not to mention, the story is set in Portland, Oregon, which is one of my favorite cites.
The story revolves view points between four characters: the three S&R volunteers and the killer. As a general rule, I don’t like it when the killer gets a view point because it usually gives too much away, as it did here. The killer only had a couple of POV scenes, and I really think the story would have been stronger if they were left out. The details and info those scenes provided could have been worked in another way.
Which brings us to the three teenage sleuths: Alexis, Nick and Ruby. Each of the characters was well-developed and flawed (which I like). In real life, Nick and Ruby would have driven me nuts. The character I identified with the most was the frustrated Detective who obviously regretting giving his cell number to these kids. But if you put aside my curmudgeon ways, these characters were well-drawn and believable. I’m interested in where they will go in the rest of the series.
Overall, I give The Body in the Woods...
Plot - 4 bookmarks
Character Development - 4 1/2 bookmarks
Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) - A younger, blond Laura Prepon (Alexis), Jaden Smith (Nick - mostly because they both annoy me), Molly Quinn (Ruby)