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The world is not tame.
Ashley knows this truth deep in her bones, more at home with trees overhead than a roof. So when she goes hiking in the Smokies with her friends for a night of partying, the falling dark and creaking trees are second nature to her. But people are not tame either. And when Ashley catches her boyfriend with another girl, drunken rage sends her running into the night, stopped only by a nasty fall into a ravine. Morning brings the realization that she's alone - and far off trail. Lost in undisturbed forest and with nothing but the clothes on her back, Ashley must figure out how to survive despite the red streak of infection creeping up her leg.
Give me ALL the survival stories! I want to read about people being stuck in the wilderness!
I’ve realised that since reading Be Not Far From Me, I’ve been really into survival stories. I knew I liked them before I read the book, but now I’ve realised that these stories are something that I want to actively pursue. Thank you to Mindy McGinnis for reigniting this fire in me.
Now, onto the actual book. Be Not Far From Me was fantastic. It’s a short book, yes, and I normally struggle with short books because I can take a while to get used to the characters and the settings. However, because this book focuses almost solely on Ashley, I had more than enough time to get to know her in 240 pages.
Ashley is headstrong and confident, bordering on arrogant really, and she has been going through a lot. Yes, she does fall into the “I’m not like other girls” trope in the beginning of the book, by the end you understand why she feels that way and how she’s going to overcome it. I think a lot of people might be put off by the sexism in the beginning, but I do urge that you take the time to read on and learn why it is that Ashley feels the need to act that way.
Anyway, the actual survival parts of this book were disturbing and gruesome, and I loved it. There is one particular scene that is full on body horror, as Ashley has to hack off a limb. It was gross, and I don’t normally get disturbed by such things but this book almost made me faint.
I loved the survival parts, and I loved how fast paced the book was. By the end of Be Not Far From Me I was cheering Ashley on and was willing her to get out of the literal woods and survive.
Mindy McGinnis is a very talented author, and I can’t wait to read more of her books. I’ve already read a couple, including her survival/apocalyptic story Not A Drop to Drink (which is also fantastic), but I’m thinking I might give The Female of the Species a go next.