The Body in the Woods by April Henry
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Release Date: June 2014*
*ARC provided by Netgalley and publisher. Thank you.
Synopsis: 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.
Series Number: 1 (First)
Review: This review is going to be short and sweet. I enjoyed the book. Though for me this book did not entrance me, like I just have to know it all right now. The plot and pacing are straight forward. There isn’t too many insane twists and turns. The book’s approach was most of the time linear. This is told in third person narrative with the narrative following three “main” characters.
Most times books with multiple narrators fail for me. I get sick of the angsty – woe me or the I love him/her so much I can’t live without him/her… and the alternating chapters are just filled with vomit inducing narrative of the one pining for the other. OR the changing points of view is just the replay button of old events from a different perspective… BORING and poor story telling. The Body in the Woods wasn’t any of these. Each change of narrative perspective was relevant enough (see next paragraph for deeper explanation). Each change also brought new details into light whether it be about the murder case or details about our characters. No broken records of love. No broken replay mode of events.
Though I felt this disconnect still with the characters. With the alternating points of views and the short length of this book, we get skimmed details about the characters. While there were life events and life details to describe and create the characters, they just seemed more like attempts and did not feel natural: from Ruby’s parents’ lack of understanding their child’s interest and values to Alexis’ struggles with her mom and Nick’s hero worship of his father. The emotions felt a little force, albeit they were serious – just didn’t gell for me.
The mystery (the murder) was linear. The teens are sent out to look for someone and they meet various people and it is obvious of these folks, one of them done “it.” The most interesting part for me, was the leading up to and finding the motive.
If you are a fan of the TV show Criminal Minds, you would enjoy this book. While I read this book, I had the same intrigued feeling when I watch the show. I enjoyed the book, but it’s not something that speaks my soul. It was a very casual read for me.
(Pictures are hyper-linked to the book’s Goodreads’ page)
Well you can read other April Henry books… they are all along the same vein/vine/tree/plantation/planet/pick your metaphor. If you would like other authors in about the same topic, see below:
Why the Recommendation: It’s murder mystery. A who-done-it novel. Like The Body in the Woods. Only with a twist (from the norm). The protagonist/narrator has paranormal abilities.
Why the recommendation: Another murder case. Only this time it’s someone the protagonist loves. This novel is more gritty and dark. May not be for lite readers, but if you are looking for a dark murder mystery – noir. This is for you.
Why the recommendation: Murder. The murder victim in this novel is also another teen girl. This time the protagonist seems like the culprit – who also happened to maybe steal the dead girl’s boyfriend. Drama and death. Mayhem. Read.