Monday, September 22, 2014

YA Review: The Body in the Woods *ARC*

The Body in the Woods (Point Last Seen, 1) by April Henry, June 17, 2014. 263 pages. Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR). Source: publisher.
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.
First Sentence:
For Alexis Frost, Nick Walker, and Ruby McClure, it all started with a phone call and two texts.

Oh, how I wanted to love this one... but goodness was it slow going and boring for the first 100+ pages. 

The Body in the Woods was a lot slower than I was expecting. I really though that it was going to be a quick, action packed read that was going to leave me on the edge on my seat... Not something that would have me considering leaving unfinished because I was bored by the long drawn out build up.  When I picked up April Henry's book, I was expecting a fast-paced thriller of a murder mystery; pretty much, I was hoping that it would be one of the books that you just cannot put down because you need to know how things will play out. Sadly, that did not happen.

So, why was I disappointed in The Body in the Woods, well there are two reasons that boldly standout. The first being that it was incredibly slow going. I really thought that it would be a quick paced read as it was would be following three junior members of Search and Rescue and because they were faced with a murder mystery. What I was not expecting was for it too take over half the book for things to really get going.
   My second complaint with this book would be the characters. Sadly, I found all three of them to be very one dimensional in their personalities and general 'ness'. For me, they came across as too set within a certain mold; one was super nerdy and just generally an odd-bird, another a loner with a family secret, and then one who was trying to be somebody. Now  if these personality elements had been a little broader and not just the sole makeup of the characters I would have found them to be interesting.

While there were things I disliked about this book, it was not an entirely bad book as it did have some interesting points. What I did end up enjoying about this one would have to be the last seventy-five pages when things really started to happen. Even though it took so long to get to that point of enjoyment, I liked the climatic end and the seeing the three characters newly minted friendship. It was nice to see them get that chance to find a solid friendship amid the trials that they faced while trying to solve the mystery behind the body in the woods.
In the end, the good of The Body in the Woods would have to be that the characters, all of whom are outcasts of some sort, are able to form a strong bond of friendship during a time of danger. I liked that they actually managed to become a solid group; it was what I hoped would happen.
       As for the writing, it wasn't too bad. Even though I would have been happier if the plot had been faster moving, I thought the author did a fairly good job of creating an interesting plot line. It just needed a little fire let beneath it to get it going.

In closing, The Body in the Woods was solved, by me, between chapters 3 and 6. I decided to be a little vague as to when I solved it so as not to give away whodunit.

Final Verdict: The Body in the Woods- Really, really slow start...

The Body in the Woods earns

This book was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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