Into the Jungle

Into the Jungle

Into the Jungle by Erica Ferencik

In this pulse-pounding thriller from the author of the “haunting, twisting thrill ride” (Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author) The River at Night, a young woman leaves behind everything she knows to take on the Bolivian jungle, but her excursion abroad quickly turns into a fight for her life.

Lily Bushwold thought she’d found the antidote to endless foster care and group homes: a teaching job in Cochabamba, Bolivia. As soon as she could steal enough cash for the plane, she was on it.

When the gig falls through and Lily stays in Bolivia, she finds bonding with other broke, rudderless girls at the local hostel isn’t the life she wants either. Tired of hustling and already world-weary, crazy love finds her in the form she least expected: Omar, a savvy, handsome local man who’d abandoned his life as a hunter in Ayachero—a remote jungle village—to try his hand at city life.

When Omar learns that a jaguar has killed his four-year-old nephew in Ayachero, he gives Lily a choice: Stay alone in the unforgiving city, or travel to the last in a string of ever-more-isolated river towns in the jungles of Bolivia. Thirty-foot anaconda? Puppy-sized spiders? Vengeful shamans with unspeakable powers? Love-struck Lily is oblivious. She follows Omar to this ruthless new world of lawless poachers, bullheaded missionaries, and desperate indigenous tribes driven to the brink of extinction. To survive, Lily must navigate the jungle–its wonders as well as its terrors—using only her wits and resilience.

Primal, gripping, and terrifying, Into the Jungle features Erica Ferencik’s signature “visceral, white-knuckle” (Entertainment Weekly) prose that will sink its fangs into you and not let go.–From Goodreads

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t rate very many fiction books with five stars, because most of the time I can’t see any reason to do so by the end of the book. In this case, I didn’t feel that way at all. After I was done reading this I was hoping someone would hand me some jungle leaves to hide my face in after I had finished the ugly-cry.

This is a beautiful book, intensely researched and full of imagery so amazing that as a reader, I felt like I had been swallowed by the jungle along with the main character. At no point during reading this, did I ever have the desire to lift a finger to do anything other than turn the next page. The descriptions alone make this book worth reading, but there is so much more to the story than that.

The sense that the author understands the communities she writes about, that she knows what it feels like to be frightened, to love, to lose those we love and to take a huge step into something unknown radiate through this story. So either’s she’s been through some stuff–or she is just that great of an author and can fool us all into believing she did. Either way, this is one you don’t want to miss.

If I were planning a retirement in the wilds of South America, the terantulas in this book cured me of the idea.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher, provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

5 thoughts on “Into the Jungle”

  1. I enjoyed this review, Ionia. The line “I was hoping someone would hand me some jungle leaves to hide my face in after I had finished the ugly-cry.” was the coffee spray invective. All spiders are good if they just stay in their own place. I’ll not go there either.

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    1. After reading this book I found myself grateful to live somewhere that howler monkeys don’t throw things at me when I go out the front door. It’s amazing how much we take for granted in the western world. I will replace your shirt. What size leaf do you wear?

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