Review: The Body in the Woods by April Henry

Review: The Body in the Woods by April Henry

Review: The Body in the Woods by April Henry
The Body in the Woods by April Henry

Series: Point Last Seen #1
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult
Publication Date: June 17th 2014
Pages: 263
Format: eBook
Buy the book: AmazonSmashwords



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.

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I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


This story is told from the points of view of three very different teenagers, Nick, Ruby, and Jessica.

The author did a great job of writing believable and likable teenagers. Most of the time teenagers in books are either too perfect or too flawed. but these kids were just right.

Nick was girl crazy and focused on appearing to be strong and brave. He wanted to live up to the memory of his heroic father so badly. In reality, he wasn’t a superhero, but he was a very good guy.

Jessica, had a terrible home life, and the sections of the book that involved her were almost heartbreaking. Her reality was a mailbox filled with bills and a mentally ill mother who refused to take her meds.

Ruby, was my favorite character. She is unbelievably smart and obsessed with all things murder. She was awkward, and had no idea how to deal with people, but she also had a strong desire to find someone who would accept her for who she was. Her parents don’t understand her and think that her obsession with death and murder is disturbing so they want to fix her. And her fellow students think she is strange so they avoid her.

All three of these teens have several things in common. They all feel isolated from the rest of the world and  they volunteer to be a part of a search and rescue team. It is while volunteering that they run across the dead body of a teenage girl, and this is when the mystery begins.


Although I figured out who the murderer was, the author did keep me guessing for a while, and I had a lot of fun putting together all the clues.

I could tell a lot of research went into search and rescue teams, serial killers, bird watching, murder investigations, and the homeless epidemic in our country. All of the details added to the story, and thankfully reading this was never boring.

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this book to a reader who is new to the Mystery genre or who is within the 13 to 16 age range that I am sure this book was intended for. In other words, if you are a teenager who wants to read a good Mystery, give this one a try.


Because of violence, I would recommend this book for ages 13 and up. There was no sexual content or mature language.

Three Roses

One StarOne StarOne Star

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Author Biography

About April Henry

I write mysteries and thrillers. I live in Portland, Oregon with my family.

If you've read one of my books, I would love to hear from you. Hearing from readers makes me eager to keep writing.

When I was 12, I sent a short story about a six-foot tall frog who loved peanut butter to Roald Dahl, the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He liked it so much he arranged to have it published in an international children's magazine.

My dream of writing went dormant until I was in my 30s, working at a corporate job, and started writing books on the side. Those first few years are now thankfully a blur. Now I'm very lucky to make a living doing what I love. I have written 13 novels for adults and teens, with more on the way. My books have gotten starred reviews, been picked for Booksense, translated into six languages, been named to state reading lists, and short-listed for the Oregon Book Award.

I also review YA literature and mysteries and thrillers for the Oregonian, and have written articles for both The Writer and Writers Digest.

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