Into The Jungle by Erica Ferencik
Published April 30th, 2019 by Gallery
Genres Thriller, Adventure, Survival
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.
I loved the author’s last book, The River at Night, so when I opened some book mail to ind an ARC of Into the Jungle, I was beyond excited. Into the Jungle was one of my most anticipated releases this year and it did not disappoint. I was actually in a bit of a pregnancy reading slump when I picked this one up and I couldn’t put it down.
The opening of the book shows you a bit of what is in store for Lily after she decides that she is going to travel to Omar’s hometown, Ayachero, in the middle of the Bolivian jungle. We get to know Lily and her background a bit before she meets Omar, while she is working at a hostel in Bolivia. We see her fall in love with Omar and after a few months, makes the decision to go with him as he returns home.
My initial impression of Lily was that I really liked her and thought she had an interesting backstory, although I did find her to be a bit naive heading into the middle of the jungle with no previous experience. I also really like Omar and his dedication to where he came from and his family.
Into the Jungle moves along at a great pace and I couldn’t put the book down, needing to know what happens next. We follow Omar and Lily as they head back to Omar’s home town, deep in the Bolivian jungle. There are so many interesting characters and situations throughout this story, it truly was fascinating. The author did an excellent job with her descriptions of their journey and their life once they arrive in Ayachero. Ferencik actually traveled through the Amazon doing research before writing this book, which I think is one of the reasons it feels so authentic.
I don’t want to give away any part of the plot, beyond what the synopsis explains. The story is amazing and filled with a variety of different characters from different backgrounds. My favorite parts of the book are during the time in which Omar and Lily are living in Ayachero, which are filled with adventure and a million things I never expected. The last 1/4 of this book is my absolute favorite and we really get to see how Lily has grown during her time in the jungle. I could keep raving about this book, but I will stop, just make sure you add this to your TBR for April. Ferencik has very quickly become one of my auto-buy authors; her books seem to be in a genre all their own.
Thank you to the publisher, Gallery, for sending me an ARC of this book.