Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Body in the Woods, by April Henry

I am a huge April Henry fan, and love the way her books captivate even my most reluctant of students. The Body in the Woods was a little different to me than her other novels, but I still loved it. The most striking difference between this novel and her others, to me, was that it was a little bit "harder" if you will: it looked at more in-depth at some ugly, real-life issues, like the "homeless scene", drugs, etc. It seemed to present a really accurate depiction of these things, but did come off as a little more YA than her previous novels.

Anyway, The Body in the Woods is about three teenagers, Ruby, Alexis, and Nick, who are a part of Portland's Search and Rescue (SAR) team. They're called out of class one day to participate in a routine investigation for a handicapped adult male who's gone missing in a park. However, their experience turns out to be anything but routine when they stumble upon a dead body.

Their involvement in the case should be minimal, but the three (especially Ruby) are convinced that there's something the police are missing. They're not convinced when the police make an arrest in the case, and vow to continue looking and find the truth. But, will they get so close to the case and the murderer that they endanger themselves?

What I love about April Henry's writing is that it keeps you guessing and is fast-paced; that's what my students love about it as well, and this novel continued that trend.

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