Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Body in the Woods by April Henry

Ruby, Alexis, and Nick are all high school students and new members of Portland's SAR... that's Search and Rescue.  Ruby is awkward, not sure of social cues, not sure how to make friends.  She joined SAR because she loves watching true-crime and studying detective work.  Alexis is desparately trying to make everything on the surface appear okay.  She doesn't want people to get close to her for fear they will learn how bad things are at home.  Her mom is mentally ill and off her meds... and Alexis never knows what will go on at her house on any given day.  Nick doesn't remember much of his dad.  He died in Iraq when he was quite young.  Now all Nick wants to do is prove to himself and his dad that he's brave and can do great things.

When they get called out on a search, they aren't supposed to be put on a team together without a veteran leader, but thanks to a mix up, that's exactly what happens.  They get sent to a location where it is very unlikely they will find the missing man.  And they don't find the man, but they DO find the body of a girl... a dead girl.  Soon Ruby realized that more bodies are piling up and becomes convinced they are all connected.  She convinces Alexis and Nick that they need to investigate this themselves so that the police will be forced to listen.

Kind of underwhelmed.  I decided to read this book because I had read The Night She Disappeared and really loved it.  This book ended up being very similar to that one.  The plot was totally different of course, but it definitely used the same formula.  I was expecting this book to be a little different, so that was disappointing, but overall I did like the book.

I liked that the 3 teens in the book had different story lines and went their own ways much of the time.  It was cool to read about the mystery along with the personal lives of the 3 main characters.  They all had completely different issues going on, but no issue seemed any less important than the others.  My favorite character was Ruby because I know people IRL that have trouble with social situations and it can be tough.  Why are some people unable to pick up on social cues and why are people so impatient with people that are like this??  I mean clearly there is no real answer to those questions, but reading about Ruby it made me think.  (Sidenote:  I was not super impressed with a girl with red hair being named Ruby... how original).

I don't have a ton to say about this book because it was a fairly short, straight forward book.  It definitely brought me back to my Fear Street/Christopher Pike days because it's a fairly generic murder/mystery which I will probably be forgetting about after a few days.  Not to say those books don't serve purposes!  They are very entertaining while you're reading them, but they just don't tend to IMPACT you.  And if you don't write down who the killer ends up being, you'll probably forget.

OVERALL:  I didn't like it as much as the other April Henry book I read, but I still found it to be a quick entertaining read.  I recommend it to anyone who wants to read a mystery that doesn't make you think too much.

This Book Contains:

  • Portland, Oregon
  • Homeless life
  • Bird watching
  • Death
  • The thoughts of a serial killer
  • Lots of info on crime investigation and search and rescue procedure
  • Mental illness

My Rating: 2/4

How I got this book: Thanks to Netgalley and MacMillan Children's Publishing Group for allowing me to read and honestly review this
Date Published: 6/17/2014

1 comment:

  1. I'm still on the fence about this one, it sounds interesting but I've not heard a lot of great things about it. Most of what I've heard is just that it's kind of an ehhh type of book. Maybe I'll get it from the library instead of buying if I do decide to give it a try.