Into the Jungle

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 30 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

This was a decent read. It takes you along with Lily who is basically a foster kid from the US into the jungle of Bolivia. It is heart-wrenching as Lily's job doesn't happen so she is back to making ends meet to survive but also a gripping tale of her venture into the jungle. I enjoyed learning about a different culture and the story is good but you won't catch me taking on this kid of adventure.

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If you ever wanted to be talked out of living in the Amazon, this is the book for you!  The author really made it come alive with all the ways one could die there. To me, that was the more interesting part of the story.
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In a month of fantastic novels, with debuts and series endings I have been waiting months to read, it still surprises me that my favorite novel of the month, if not the entire year so far, is Erica Ferencik's Into the Jungle. After all, I am not an outdoorsy person. I have no desire to step foot into the Amazon jungle or any jungle, let alone live there. I am arachnophobic and can barely stomach Aragog in the Harry Potter series. Nothing about South America interests me. Yet, I adored this novel about a young woman who drops everything to be with her new love as they move to a small village deep in the Amazon. Spiders who can kill chickens, jaguars who vanish like ghosts, tarantulas that drop from the ceiling, ants that cause more pain than a bullet - these should not be things about which I want to read. I devoured it all and wanted more. I was upset when the story ended. I wanted to experience more of this foreign world which Ms. Ferencik so masterfully captures. I wanted to get to know more about Omar's life and his family. The ending just about broke my heart and left me gutted. I still have no desire to visit the Amazon, but thanks to Ms. Ferencik's writing, I feel like I experienced what Lily did, and that is enough for me.
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Lily lives a hard life but one of her choosing. Working just to get by in South America, she is surprised to meet a native boy, Omar, whom she quickly falls in love with. When Omar learns of his young nephews death, taken by a jaguar, Omar determines that he must return to his remote village to help his tribe. Lily’s decision to go with him cements their bond and she struggles adjust to this jungle home. Dangers in the jungle are everywhere: on plants, animals and in men. Lily’s strength and determination help her to survive and we weep with her when she loses Omar. 
Truly a tale that examines the power of love for others, but he power of community and environment.
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3.5 Stars.
If you're looking for an exotic adventure into a world rarely seen, then this is the book for you!  Told through the experiences of Lily Bushwold, Into the Jungle offers a glimpse into the mysterious life of indigenous tribes of Bolivia.  Erica Ferencik easily transports you to the Bolivian jungle through her vivid descriptions and beautiful details.  You can tell she definitely did a lot of research of the Amazon and it pays off immensely.  I felt like I was in the middle of the jungle and could feel and smell everything around me as described; however I did come to the conclusion that I am not cut out for jungle living!  
I felt I never truly connected with the story as I was waiting for some psychological twists or suspense, which never really occurred.  To me the most interesting part of the novel was Lily's growth.  She started out very naive with not much care in the world and developed into a woman who would do what it took to survive, especially in such a frightening and strange place.  Into the Jungle was a refreshing break into a world that I have never experienced.  Because of her gift of imagery and wonderful prose, I look forward to reading more novels from Erica Ferencik.  

Thank you Gallery/Scout Press and NetGalley for a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
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This is the story of a young woman who follows the first person she has ever truly cared about into the Amazon jungle and her fight to survive it.  There is a lot of action and suspense.  It's hard to say much without spoiling important details, but this was a book well worth reading.
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Gallery/Scout Press and NetGalley provided me with an electronic copy of Into the Jungle.  I was under no obligation to review this book and my opinion is freely given.

After spending most of her young life in foster care and group homes, Lily Bushwold is no stranger to harsh and deplorable conditions.  Jumping on the chance to teach English in Bolivia, Lily soon finds herself in unfamiliar surroundings without a job.  Hustling to make ends meet, a chance encounter with a local named Omar gives Lily a connection that she did not expect.  When a family emergency brings Omar deep into the jungle, will Lily follow her heart?

The author does a great job of describing the environment, the harsh surroundings in which Lily finds herself.  The desolation and the scary sounds of the living, breathing jungle gave me quite the shiver as I was reading.  The characterization was good, but I wish there was more depth to both Omar and Lily.  The story was a little too muddled, especially with the addition of too many side plots.  The conclusion was a complete let down, but I will not go into detail as to not spoil the ending for new readers.  Into the Jungle was a mixed bag for me, as the author did not go far enough with the characters and had a little too much plot to make the story flow well.
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An unexpected thrill ride.  A must read for any book club looking for originality and plenty of discuss-able material!  Will definitely be recommending.
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For more reviews and bookish posts please visit:

Into the Jungle by Erica Ferencik is a novel taking place in the jungles of Bolivia, where an American woman finds herself with her Bolivian husband who went back to his village. Ms. Ferencik is a best selling author.

For more reviews and bookish posts please visit:

Into the Jungle by Erica Ferencik is a novel taking place in the jungles of Bolivia, where an American woman finds herself with her Bolivian husband who went back to his village. Ms. Ferencik is a best selling author.

Lily Bushwold, a young lady who has lived in foster homes most of her life, finds herself in Bolivia working odd jobs and teaching English. Lily falls in love with a Bolivian named Omar, who left his life in the remote jungle.

Omar finds out that his nephew has been killed by a jaguar and goes back to his village, Ayachero, because he is, of course, the best jaguar hunter the village has. Lily joins Omar, but life in a remote village, in the middle of the jungle, is not the paradise it sounds like.

I have been to Bolivia and to the Amazonian jungle so naturally I was curious about this book. Into the Jungle by Erica Ferencik is an action driven book, but the author takes the time to describe Bolivia (especially Cochabamba) and the jungle.

The jungle is a living, breathing, ecosystem with a huge amount of animals, from big predators to annoying bugs, many of them can kill you. Living in the jungle is no easy task, actually it’s often brutal, and the author captured that very well. Lily, the protagonist, has a difficult time adjusting, especially being a vegetarian (which I thought was hilarious).

The story itself isn’t very realistic, the ending even less so, but it’s a fun ride nonetheless. The narrative is action driven, where something is always happening, but the characters still come through and are not wooden.

I think the author stretched the boundaries of a fictional story that is supposed to be set in a realistic environment, in today’s world. I thought the beginning, a young woman who can’t find her way in life, going to a completely different environment was a good idea, but it dropped off there.
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Lush and thrilling. I never really expect to learn much from a thriller, but I learned more than I ever knew I wanted to know about the Bolivian jungle. Into the Jungle is a perfect read for thriller lovers and those with wanderlust. It combines the lush, dangerous rain forest complete with spiders, big game, and tribal mysticism with a killer on a rampage.
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Thank you so much to Gallery Books and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my review.

This was a little harder for me to get into after devouring and loving The River at Night but once I made it father into the book I started enjoying it.

This story follows Lily as she transitions from a foster home to a job opportunity in Bolivia.  There she meets a native Amazonian who takes her on a journey through the unforgiving and dangerous Bolivian jungle.

I myself would never venture into a jungle in a foreign country and I feel that’s what freaked me out the most about this book.  All the creatures that lurk in the forest, human and animal, and diseases and the crazy weather sent shivers down my spine.  Some of the situations that occurred in the book did seem a little far-fetched to me but overall it was a great read with lots of twists thrown in.  The author wrote vivid, vibrant descriptions of the jungle which I really enjoyed as I felt like I was actually in the story with the characters.
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Unputdownable! You'll want to put a Do Not Disturb sign on the door before you start reading this Heart-stopping, Powerful, Terrifying, 5★ thriller! 
Love the cover, too!! 

"Something silky slid across my ankles, followed by a heavy, heated weight over my toes. Solid warmth oozed under my calves. Still half-asleep, I got to my elbows and looked down my body at the wide, trapezoidal head of an anaconda, neon green with flecks of yellow around her cleft mouth. As if suspended by some mad puppet maker, she hovered at eye level, swaying hypnotically. My eyes followed hers back and forth, my head doing this little dip along with her. I didn’t scream because even as I watched, I wasn’t sure what I was seeing.
I couldn’t tell if she was real. 
She encircled my ankles. Pellet eyes locked on mine, her head made its way up the length of my body as she languidly wreathed herself around my legs and oh dear God—why, I don’t know—but I didn’t feel like struggling. She had me. I could feel her eggs, solid lumps just under the satin of her white belly. The meat of her was soft and blood warm; I couldn’t take my eyes off the grace of her as she coiled her ever thicker body around my knees now, wrapped herself around my thighs, pelvis, groin. Head swinging, unsupported, she opened her mouth. Her vermilion tongue snapped out, forked end flickering. She blew her sultry breath on me and said aahhhhhhhhh."

Let me just start out but stating the obvious.... I am definitely not cut out for living in the jungle! No way. No how. 
I don't suppose it helps to have a phobia of monkeys, either! Nevertheless, I had a strong sense of the heebie jeebies throughout the majority of this novel! This is nothing like anything I've ever read. And I loved it! 

Into the Jungle by Erica Ferencik had me absolutely transfixed from the  very beginning all the way to the exciting conclusion! The scenery is depicted so vividly that I felt the jungle  bearing down on me in every direction! The dizzying sights, the overwhelming sounds, the oppressive heat and humidity glistening on my skin, thick and hot in my lungs. 
The heebie jeebies became much more relative the closer and closer I got to the conclusion, transforming rapidly into pure, unadulterated terror! I'm fairly certain that my heart stopped on more than one occasion, never mind remembering to breathe! 
Electric eels, giant tarantulas, enormous anacondas, foot-long bamboo rats, aggressive monkeys, poisonous everything...... Yikes! 
One of the best books I've read this year!! 

With thanks and appreciation to NetGalley, Gallery/Scout Press, and Erica Ferencik for this advanced digital copy for me to read and review.
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A tense thriller that kept me reading late into the night. There was a lot of expository info about jungle creatures and plants that, while interesting, sometimes overwhelmed the plot. Still a wonderful, quick read though!
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I loved The River at Night by Erica Ferencik, so I was excited to pick up her latest - Into the Jungle. I was not disappointed. Nineteen year old orphan Lily takes a teaching job in Bolivia, only the discover it’s a scam. She stays, however, and falls in love with Omar, a mechanic from a remote village. She follows him home. To survive in the jungle, courage and resilience are a must, but might not be enough in this vivid, terror-laced coming of age novel. Ferencik has written a novel that feels vivid, claustrophobic, and lush. The sights and sounds (and fear!) come to life in this page turner. If you like the sound of coming of age and survival in the Bolivian jungle, this one is for you. PS- I’d survive about five seconds after the first infestation of hand sized tarantulas fell on me. What about you?
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Erica Ferencik does it again! In a much more subtle and nuanced way she gives us just as much anticipation, excitement and uncertainty as in her debut. This novel is much more complex in its research, dynamics and characters. While it may seem slow in some spots, you later realize that, much like the Amazon, it is just a brief, and later appreciated, respite from the almost constant anxiety and slow burn of trepidation and exaltation that the rest of the novel delivers. The end felt a bit rushed and, in my opinion, could have easily benefited from another fifty pages but, even so, it was a wonderful foray into a reality that most of us will never live and even fewer would survive. A definite must read!
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I loved headstrong Lily Bushwald and I loved her romance with Omar from Ayachero even more. The story was incredibly immersive, and it was beautiful and heartbreaking all at once.
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Many thanks to NetGalley, Scout Press, and Erica Ferencik for the opportunity to read and review this thriller - wow!  Nothing I've read lately has made me feel quite so grateful for living in a civilized world!

Lily Bushwold spent most of her life in foster and group homes, never having anyone truly care for her.  She jumped at the opportunity to teach English in Bolivia and scraped together the money to get there, only to find the job fell through.  She gets a job working at a hostel where she also lives with two friends she met there.  It was there that she met and fell in love with Omar, who grew up in a remote jungle village but left for the city life.  When his brother comes to tell him that a jaguar killed his young nephew, Omar knows he must go back to avenge his death.  He tells Lily she can come but that life will be extremely hard.  Nothing prepared her for any part of the journey or the arrival in his home village.  Lily must learn to take care of herself and survive in unbearable conditions.

Reading this reminds you of all the things we take for granted in our first-world lives - like running, clean water, medicine, food and washing machines.  This is a thrill ride of a book that will have you on the edge of your seat - 4.5 stars!
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I nearly gave up on this book. I wasn't sure I wanted to read the story of a young American woman's time with her husband in the jungles of Bolivia. Because of The River at Night, I was expecting more of a thriller. 
But I stuck with it. 
Fighting to fit in, fighting the stigma of being 'white' in a jungle where the white men have ruined their home, Lily must find her inner strength and learn to use her brain. 
It was okay. The bit of mysticism was slightly far-fetched for me, and I didn't love Lily. She seemed lazy and unwilling, until suddenly she wasn't. I guess that's part of the story, of her finding her inner strength, but it didn't seem like she evolved into this person. It seemed unlikely. 
But the story gripped me and held me, and I did cheer for Lily. I just wanted her evolution to be evident throughout the book.
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I struggled with this book because it felt like  it was totally driven by jungle life and not as much about the characters and their relationship with one another. I had high hopes of this being such a fun action packed adventure, I actually couldn't finish it.
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This book was okay. It was very descriptive, which was great. I didn't love the characters. Lilly wasn't who she claimed to be. She was kind of annoying.
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