Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Review: The Body In The Woods by April Henry

Posted by • 21 Comments

I received this book for free from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Body In The Woods by April HenryThe Body In The Woods by April Henry
Series: Point Last Seen #1
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on June 17th 2014
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, YA
Source: Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
Buy on Amazon

In this new series told from multiple perspectives, teen members of a search and rescue team discover a dead body in the woods.

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 is full of riveting suspense, putting readers in the middle of harrowing rescues and crime scene investigations.

The Body In The Woods is a fast paced thriller that is able to pass off as enjoyable if you suspend logic and just go along for the ride. But, when you sit down and really think about the details there is so much that is unbelievable that I can’t really recommend it to fellow readers.

In this novel we get the three main perspectives of Ruby, Alexis and Nick but we also get a few random chapters that are told from the ominous perspective of the killer himself. As far as the 3 kids go, I can’t say that I connected with any of them in any way. This is in part due to the fact that the story is told in the third person (which always leaves me feeling like an outsider looking in) and also because I felt like the details we get of their private life were just ploys to try make us care about them but ones the never managed to do so. Alexis’ mother is suffering from what seems to be bi-polar disorder and even goes missing for a stretch of days but I felt like these details were just there to be there and didn’t add to the story in any way. Nick was always mentioning how his father had died in Iraq and that was the reason he joined Search and Rescue, he wanted to do something that would have made his dad proud. I mean these private life details were obviously there to flesh out our main characters and get us to understand their motivation but it just felt like stuff that we were told here & there and nothing more than that. I would even go so far as to say that it felt as if the personal bits were thrown in afterward when the author went back through and felt that she needed to make the characters people that readers could connect with. Ruby was the only one that I felt like I somewhat understood. She was socially awkward and really struggled with fitting in. I do think that if the whole story had been more about her that I would have become much more invested. Seeing the bits from the killer’s eyes was interesting and felt very reminiscent of Barry Lyga’s I Hunt Killers (though this novel was not even in the same ballpark as Lyga’s thriller.)

What really irritated me in the novel is the complete lack of logic that went into trying to make it work. The detective working the case of the missing girls was such an idiot, which always irritates me in these novels. 3 teens who haven’t even finished school but had one amongst them who did a lot of googling and watching true crime were much more competent than the police department in this area. The red herring that gets arrested in the first place made no sense at all. They find out that this guy was growing weed in the middle of the park where the body was found and fabricate a story where the dead girl had stumbled upon the grow op and was then murdered for it. There was no evidence at all connecting him to the murder, just the fact that the 3 kids had seen him leaving the park on the afternoon that the body was found. I don’t believe for one hot minute that this man would have been arrested and put away for the murder when there was zero evidence/DNA linking him to the crime.

Bad red herring out the of way, spotting the killer was something that I was able to do the moment that they met him. Piecing together the fragments of this mystery was not challenging at all and reading through the story just felt like I was waiting for every character to finally catch up with me. While I did breeze through this one, I can’t say that it was a remarkable experience at all and this won’t be a book that I recommend any time soon, or ever.


1 Cold Espresso

Review: Something Real by Heather Demetrios

Review: Something Real by Heather Demetrios

Posted by on 03/28/2014 • 27 Comments

Not only is this a wonderful story, but it touches you from many angles: family, romance, friendship, homosexuality, privacy – just to name a few. It’s thought provoking and inspiring, with characters who are just plain genuine.

Chloe (aka Bonnie™) is a celebrity who was literally born into a reality show. This show, reminiscent of Jon & Kate Plus 8, was a real eye opener on how reality TV isn’t reality at all. Not only that, but they’re almost criminal in how they affect children who don’t even have a choice in the matter. Can you imagine your whole life chronicled for the world to see? Your childhood tantrums found with a simple Google search? It’s incredibly frustrating to see these kids’ lives manipulated – more like hounded –…

Review: Nil by Lynne Matson

Review: Nil by Lynne Matson

Posted by on 02/27/2014 • 30 Comments

Survivor meets Lost (pre epic fail) in this exciting survivalist story set on a bizarre island filled with monstrous beasts and only one way out, and if you miss your chance to leave, you die. Imagine walking to the store when this heat wave comes, and suddenly you find yourself naked and having to rough it out in this unnatural wild with countless death traps and no supplies or food other than what you can find on the island. Luckily, Charley found others in the same predicament. I found it rather ingenious, the way these kids built a kind of society where everyone does what they can, pulling their own weight to survive this alternate dimension of sorts they were all unfortunate to land into. As a result, the book…

Review: Engines of the Broken World by Jason Vanhee

Review: Engines of the Broken World by Jason Vanhee

Posted by on 10/28/2013 • 19 Comments

Oh my word this was weird. Like, disturbingly weird. Talking minister cat/squirrel/dog, deadly fog, walking corpses and all! Fortunately it was the kind of weird that was so weird it was creepy. Unfortunately, the weird turned into the religious which is almost always a complete turn-off for me.

In simple terms, this story is about the end of the world. We don’t understand exactly what’s going on at first. Everything is kept very cryptic with a constant ominous vibe. Little by little we learn about the earth’s condition, about what happened to bring it to this point including bizarre happenings that makes us wonder just how crazy it all is. The creepy definitely was my favorite part of this novel. When their dead mother’s corpse started walking about, it…

Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Posted by on 06/11/2013 • 31 Comments

Siege and Storm continues the enchanting story of Alina, Mal, and the Darkling, in their world full of danger and secrets. Starting with a bang, we’re reacquainted with Alina and Mal trapped in a less than stellar situation on the Darkling’s ship. This is sure to immediately captivate any fan of the series, pulling us again in this magic-filled story of the Sun Summoner. It didn’t take long until the characters carved their way into my heart again. I wasn’t as impressed with this sequel as I was with Shadow and Bone, but the characters are still as charming as ever, and the world building is simply fantastic.

In an action packed beginning, we meet a new mysterious character that becomes quite a big part of this sequel. However, I…