Into the Jungle

Into the Jungle

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...

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Title:Into the Jungle
Author:Erica Ferencik
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Into the Jungle Reviews

  •  Li'l Owl ~ Incorrigible Reader

    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 make

    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.

  • Chelsea Humphrey

    This is one of those books that feels difficult to review, because it's heavy on plot progression and action, and those are all the things that I do not want to spoil for you. As in her previous book, Erica Ferencik has brought forth a suspenseful endeavor into nature, one I would never want to take myself, but I feel brave enough to tackle vicariously through the characters in he

    This is one of those books that feels difficult to review, because it's heavy on plot progression and action, and those are all the things that I do not want to spoil for you. As in her previous book, Erica Ferencik has brought forth a suspenseful endeavor into nature, one I would never want to take myself, but I feel brave enough to tackle vicariously through the characters in her story. :) The strongest aspect of her two novels to date, in my humble opinion, is how nature is a prominent character throughout the story; she is unyielding and indiscriminating when it comes to who and what she decides to obliterate, which adds an extra level of tension throughout the read.

    While this isn't a realistic story by any means, if you can put aside your need for something founded in the natural, I think you'll enjoy the ride that

    has to offer. There is a backstory featuring a woman who grew up in the foster care system, followed by an adventure through the Amazon rainforest including, but not limited to, dangerous over-sized wildlife, poachers, missionaries, shamans, etc. Oh, and did I mention one of the most suspenseful birth sequences I've read to date? Wowzers. If you're looking for a fast-paced, exotic adventure from the safety of your home, this is a great book to take your chances on. If you're new to the author, may I also recommend checking out Ferencik's debut novel,

    as well?

  • Linda

    "If you look up into the canopy and see nothing don't believe your eyes, because a thousand things are looking back at you."

    Lily Bushwold, all of nineteen and a product of continuous foster care homes, has felt eyes locked on her since she was a child. Scrutinized, criticized, and rebuked for years, Lily decides to flip the switch on a teaching job in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Fending forever for herself, foster care survival taught her to slip essentials into pockets and snatch anything useful for l

    "If you look up into the canopy and see nothing don't believe your eyes, because a thousand things are looking back at you."

    Lily Bushwold, all of nineteen and a product of continuous foster care homes, has felt eyes locked on her since she was a child. Scrutinized, criticized, and rebuked for years, Lily decides to flip the switch on a teaching job in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Fending forever for herself, foster care survival taught her to slip essentials into pockets and snatch anything useful for later. Those skills are gonna have a big payoff later.

    Lily becomes a magnet for young women like herself trying to make it on their own in Cochabamba. When prospects dry up, Lily and her friends take a job cleaning hotel rooms that never look quite clean. On a typical night at a local bar, Lily will meet someone who will forever change her life and her personal attitude long term. Omar is a motorcycle mechanic who spots Lily. He bargains with her to teach him English. Soon they only have eyes for one another.

    Omar receives news that his four year old nephew has been killed by a panther in his village of Ayachero. His family needs him. Unable to let go, Lily boards a rickety plane with Omar that almost doesn't make its landing. This is the first knock on the door of life-threatening events that are to follow.

    Lily seems to tumble into a bed of hot coals and unacceptance by the other women in the village. She's viewed as Princess America by the others who don't have the time nor the energy to help her acclimate to jungle life. The bottom falls out when Omar must accompany the other men in a hunt for the panther and our Lily must stay behind and somehow survive what's in the village and what's lurking in the jungle.

    Now here is where Erica Ferencik sits you down and forces you to stare into that jungle yourself. Giant eels in the water, piranha, poisonous plants, gnawing insects, and creeping spiders the size of tractors await you. And there are howler monkeys who use poop as weapons from high up in the trees. It's all true, folks. I spent a month in the rainforests of Costa Rica on a nature sabbatical with Hercules beetles the size of your fist. Plenty of creep to go around.

    Ferencik has done a lot of leg work in her research of the indigenous people and their lifestyles in this area. Her character of Lily will face the crossroads of a brutal present armed with ammo from a brutal past. Ferencik lines this story with a jaw-dropping transformation with such detail that you'll not soon forget Lily after the last page.

    Into the Jungle will stretch one's truth and one's capabilities here and there to emphasize the absolute power of the human spirit. And at the core of Into the Jungle is the shiny element that we are more akin to one another in the scheme of things in this convoluted world than we ever thought possible.

  • Carrie

    Ah the things you learn from reading… with Into the Jungle by Erica Ferencik I learned that a trip into the Bolivian jungle will never be put on my bucket list. I’m not one that has a fear of snakes or spiders but when things are bigger than you are and quite hungry I think I’ll go the other way.

    Lily Bushwold is an American teenager that has only known the life of bouncing from one foster home to the next. Lily wants nothing more than to escape that kind of life having grown up living out of her

    Ah the things you learn from reading… with Into the Jungle by Erica Ferencik I learned that a trip into the Bolivian jungle will never be put on my bucket list. I’m not one that has a fear of snakes or spiders but when things are bigger than you are and quite hungry I think I’ll go the other way.

    Lily Bushwold is an American teenager that has only known the life of bouncing from one foster home to the next. Lily wants nothing more than to escape that kind of life having grown up living out of her backpack so when she hears of a job in Cochabamba, Bolivia she scraps all the cash she can and buys a plane ticket.

    Unfortunately for Lily things aren’t much better in Bolivia when her job falls through. Finding a few other girls she goes back to her stealing ways living at the local hostel and wondering where her next meal will come from. The Lily meets Omar, this handsome local wins Lily’s heart and when he is packing up to head deep into the jungle to his remote village Lily decides to go with him.

    Into the Jungle is one of those books that is the perfect read for those curious about other countries and like to travel there through the stories they read. Erica Ferencik brought the Bolivian jungle to life to keep the pages turning wondering what hazard would come Lily’s way next and would she survive them all. For somebody like myself used to a McDonald’s or Starbucks at every turn it was fun to read about Lily’s adventure but I sure don’t think I’d ever try it!

    I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

    For more reviews please visit

  • Carol (Bookaria)

    A

    where the chills are provided by the

    South American rainforest, the jungle where lives can easily be lost to nature.

    Growing up in South America, we would often spend holidays or vacations on the cold and beautiful Andes mountains or the pristine beaches of the Caribbean, a few driving hours would get you out of the city and into these

    . However, the jungle was never an option, it was out of the question,

    . To this day, I have never visited it or g

    A

    where the chills are provided by the

    South American rainforest, the jungle where lives can easily be lost to nature.

    Growing up in South America, we would often spend holidays or vacations on the cold and beautiful Andes mountains or the pristine beaches of the Caribbean, a few driving hours would get you out of the city and into these

    . However, the jungle was never an option, it was out of the question,

    . To this day, I have never visited it or gone nearby, its reputation would prevent us from going.

    That is why when I learned about this book, I was eager to read it. It tells the fictional story of a young, American woman living in the Bolivian jungle. Its dangers, the people, the mysticism around it. It is what I expected, and more.

    Overall, I enjoyed it and highly recommend it.  

  • Carol

  • Dorie  - Traveling Sister :)

    ***NOW AVAILABLE***

    Well I am happy to report that this is one book that really delivered! It’s not a thriller in the sense of a psychopath on the loose but I certainly found it thrilling and exciting to follow this young woman into the Bolivian jungle. This was real, true adventure, with thrilling scenes between people and animals and this is the animals home and we are not welcome. All that the indigenous women do every day are the things they need to do to survive, helping prepare the animals

    ***NOW AVAILABLE***

    Well I am happy to report that this is one book that really delivered! It’s not a thriller in the sense of a psychopath on the loose but I certainly found it thrilling and exciting to follow this young woman into the Bolivian jungle. This was real, true adventure, with thrilling scenes between people and animals and this is the animals home and we are not welcome. All that the indigenous women do every day are the things they need to do to survive, helping prepare the animals after they are killed, washing clothes, tending to many children and waiting for their hunter husbands to return. I think I know a bit more about the jungle than I did before, enough to know that I won’t be visiting it any time soon!

    Reading the prologue I was already pulled into the book, unable to really fathom what the author had in store for me. The scene where Lily was being constricted by a python was in part “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 . . . . . .and said aahhhhhhhhhhh! And this was just in the prologue.

    I really liked this book because of the great characters. Lily Bushwold is a 19 year old young woman who had come to Cochabamba, Bolivia because of the promise of a job. When she gets here there is no job, she has little money and is pretty much stuck in Bolivia until she can make enough money to get out.

    She meets a young native Amazonian named Omar and they quickly fall in love. Within a few weeks they are both off for Ayachero the very small town where Omar is from. He was called home because his nephew was killed by a jaguar and they need Omar to help hunt the animal.

    After this there is pretty much something going on all of the time, and I mean this in a good way. I really liked that the character of Lily really learned and grew with the story as did Omar. Theirs is described as such a true, all consuming love, I really felt for Lily every time they had to be apart.

    She has to learn how to use a blow dart effectively and know where the kind of frog that has the poison for the dart lives and how to prepare and store the darts. There are so many things that can bite, scratch, claw you, poison you or flat out maul you to death, that there is always more that Lily has to learn. Don’t forgot about the infections and diseases that can also kill you in this heavily insect infested jungle (no thanks I can hardly handle mosquitos!)

    Other notable characters besides Lily and Omar include two missionaries known as “The Harriets” they do try to teach the Bible but they also love the people there and have come to know them, doctor them and in many ways they help each other, I loved these two!

    We also have a telepathic shaman that Lily may or may not be able to communicate with and a river boat captain named “For God’s Sake” and I’ll leave you to find out the origin of that name.

    What kept this book from being a solid 5* for me was that I just couldn’t believe it was all plausible, but that’s o.k., this is fiction. I really liked this book, it was well written with characters that I could get into and care about and the research must have been extensive for this book. The author does state that the book is partially based on a friend’s actual experience.

    I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss.

  • Tammy

    Verdant, vibrant, pulsing with life and an infinite number of ways to die; this is the Amazon jungle. Merely brushing against a plant may kill you so one must always be hyper-vigilant when within the depths of the jungle. It is easy to become bewitched by the sounds and colors and to lose one’s readiness for the imminent danger concealed within the beauty. The indigenous Tantiga tribe has a word for this: umahtar. A late teenaged foster kid from Boston, through a series of immature decisions, wi

    Verdant, vibrant, pulsing with life and an infinite number of ways to die; this is the Amazon jungle. Merely brushing against a plant may kill you so one must always be hyper-vigilant when within the depths of the jungle. It is easy to become bewitched by the sounds and colors and to lose one’s readiness for the imminent danger concealed within the beauty. The indigenous Tantiga tribe has a word for this: umahtar. A late teenaged foster kid from Boston, through a series of immature decisions, winds up living in the Bolivian jungle. This work of fiction tells the story of her life in the tropical rainforest complete with a prowling jaguar, a shaman, slithering anacondas, howler monkeys, poison dart frogs, four foot capybaras, tapirs, caimans…the list goes on and on. Poachers steal game that provides food for the people and manmade roads leading to valuable mahogany groves threaten the delicate ecological balance. Despite some events that are implausible, this is an exciting trip to an isolated, brutal, and mysterious place on earth.

  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at:

    Lily isn’t like most 19-year old travelers. She had no silver spoon in her mouth or bottomless trust fund available for her to backpack around Europe. However, she still had a wanderer’s heart so when an opportunity to teach in Bolivia appeared she was all over it. When the job fell through, she holed up in the cheapest youth hostel

    Find all of my reviews at:

    Lily isn’t like most 19-year old travelers. She had no silver spoon in her mouth or bottomless trust fund available for her to backpack around Europe. However, she still had a wanderer’s heart so when an opportunity to teach in Bolivia appeared she was all over it. When the job fell through, she holed up in the cheapest youth hostel she could find and ended up falling for a local named Omar who will show her the Amazon most people only read about.

    Expecting something picturesque like this . . . .

    Lily quickly discovers life in Ayachero is more like this . . . .

    Is surprised to find this . . . .

    And even more surprised by others like this . . . .

    Who have been trying to find a mahogany grove for ages which will lead to deforestation and obliteration of the Tatinga tribe.

    I loved

    by this author and loved this one just as much. I don’t care if it was farfetched or unrealistic or whatever else naysayers want to point out. All I know is that Ferencik’s storytelling is hypnotizing, I enjoyed the undertones regarding conservation and the fragility of the Amazonian ecosystem without being beaten over the head by an eco-warrior (looking at YOU, Barbara Kingsolver), and I am now pretty much ready to poison myself with insect repellant every time I go in my backyard after reading about what bug bites could potentially do to my body. That equals a high rating and a two-for-two author who I will definitely continue to read.

  • Holly  B

    Decided to DNF at 38% .....

    I just can't get into these characters at all. I thought the setting would be interesting, but it isn't.

    Really enjoyed this authors novel, The River at Night.

    I just can't force myself to read on.....

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