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Be Not Far from Me  By  cover art

Be Not Far from Me

By: Mindy McGinnis
Narrated by: Brittany Pressley
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Publisher's Summary

Hatchet meets Wild in this harrowing YA survival story about a teenage girl’s attempt to endure the impossible, from the Edgar Award-winning author of The Female of the Species, Mindy McGinnis.

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 with the red streak of infection creeping up her leg. 

©2020 Mindy McGinnis (P)2020 Katherine Tegen Books

What listeners say about Be Not Far from Me

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Engaging, but glaring misinformation

I didn't think I would like this book, figuring it would just be another YA love triangle plot that is incredibly over played. And the beginning was just that. I almost stopped listening, but the narrator was so good that I held on juuuust long enough to get to the engaging bits. I was empathetic towards the wayward heroine. I admired her tenacity. But there were some pretty big flaws that I just couldn't get past. For a girl that's supposed to be well versed in all things nature, she (and obviously, the author) knew very little about wildlife. I won't give any of the plot away, but on one occasion, she mentions a mother opossum with her babies hiding out in the nearby brush. Opossums are marsupials. This means the babies spend a good amount of time in mom's pouch, and when they're too big for the pouch but too small to go on there own, they cling to her back. At no point would they be hiding in wait for mom to see if it was safe. And while they WILL eat carrion, they're extremely opportunistic and will catch, kill and eat all manner of small animals - birds, frogs, snakes, etc. They also forage on fruits, veggies and bugs. They are an incredible animal, and I despise how poorly the writer cast them. They help battle the spread of Lyme's disease by consuming an estimated 5,000 ticks every season! They're also immune to most venomous snakes, which is handy because they love to chow down on copperheads and rattlesnakes (and any other snake they can catch and kill). They also keep vermin at a minimum by eating roaches, rats and mice. They are not at all vicious, and have two defense mechanisms - 1st is to play dead. This is an involuntary response caused by stress that will leave the possum in a comatose state for up to four hours. Think of a feinting goat for a similar fear response. 2nd, they will hiss and drool and try to look scary. They will not attack unprovoked. And they do not carry rabies. Their body temperature is too low for the virus to live within them long enough to make them sick.
The other glaring mistake the author penned was that raccoons out in daylight can only ever mean they are sick. Nope! Mother raccoons often forage for food at all times of the day and night in order to get enough nutrients to provide milk for their young.
I will say that even with these huge errors, the narrator had such a pleasant voice that I still managed to enjoy the story.

7 people found this helpful

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INTO THE WILD goes YA Thriller

I’m going to be honest. I am OBSESSED with Into The Wild, the story of Chris McCandless, and survival stories in general — but that story centers around a boy who made a dumb choice and eventually killed himself to prove a point.

So imagine if you replaced him with a fictional character who knew a lot about survival, a lot about the forest, and ended up in peril after one not very bright idea. Ashley Hawkins is a badass girl dealt a bad hand in life, but she wants to live. She pushes through horrible experience after horrible experience, all to get back to a not-so-great life and with her one shot at a future totally ruined. BNFFM is intense, stressful, raw, and heartbreaking (as is to be expected from McGinnis) and some scenes should not be read/listened to while eating because oof even I got a little squeamish. She respects the woods and nature in the most honest way, all throughout her journey, and she deserves the nickname Asskicker Ashley.

5 people found this helpful

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Shocking Tale Of Survival

I bought this book on a whim not really expecting to like it, but I was pleasantly surprised. I finished the whole thing in a day because I desperately needed to know what was going to happen next and if our main character would survive (or at the very least, catch a break). The writing will have you glued to the plot from the first chapter and unlike other survival stories this one seems more realistic and like it could honestly happen to anyone which adds to the suspense!

4 people found this helpful

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Tedious

This book felt like it could have been a whole lot shorter. I ended up speeding it to 2.25 about halfway through part 2 bc I just wanted to get to the end.
I wouldn't recommend this book.

3 people found this helpful

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great book

At the beginning of the book, there is a but of childish drama, but again, what do you expect when it is about high schoolers who go camping? But after a few chapters in, it really gets good. keeps you hooked, wanting to know what comes next. very worth the read. Will most definitely find myself listening again.

3 people found this helpful

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Engaging survival story and more

Engaging survival story with a kick-ass protagonist. Definitely worth the read! You may also like A Madness So Discreet by the same author if you liked this, and Female of the Species.

2 people found this helpful

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Fast-Paced Survival Story

I'm always a fan of a good survival story, and this was no exception. At just over 5 hours, this was a quick and easy read, action-packed at every turn. I finished it one evening, on the edge of my seat the whole time. If you're looking for a classic, lost-in-the-woods, survival story, this one definitely fits the bill. My only real complaint was that I didn't love the main character. She was a bit too "not like other girls" for my taste. The story moved quick enough that I didn't really care, though, and I do feel that she did some growing during her time in the woods.

Narration was solid, and I would recommend this for anyone looking for a survivalist, action-packed, YA novel.

1 person found this helpful

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(Enter eye roll here)

I really wanted to like this book like so many others did but I couldn’t take it seriously at all. Maybe if this were a 30ish year old or older with years of wilderness / survival experience I may be able to accept most of the book but to be 17 with knowledge of what your Dad has taught you over the past few years.. not hardly. And that is just the start of it. There is so much of this book that is so ridiculously miraculous that it makes it just that.. ridiculous. I made it through the 5+ excruciating hours but that’s thanks to the wonderful talents of Brittany Pressley.

1 person found this helpful

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Fun story, a bit far fetched

Well written and performed. Plot stretches at points and makes it difficult to stay with what's happening.

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Awful and Insulting

The book is full of terrible information, if you read it, get lost in the woods, and follow its advice? You will die.

The author is so poorly informed, she should be forced to get lost in the woods and try to live by her own rules. But that would be cruel I guess, since she would, like I said, die.

The poor kid has to hunt to eat, her well off friends could never understand, and then acts like she knows everything about the woods. She doesn’t know anything, and she’s meant to come off as a savant amongst her well off friends.

Opossums don’t fight like that.
Raccoons come out during the day without being sick.
If you are lost in the woods, stay where you are, DO NOT run around like an idiot like this character.

Also the friend in the beginning? “Teeheehee I know nothing about the woods, so I’ll just pick up any mushroom and eat it! Lololol” Obnoxious and only there so the main character can say “TUT TUT I KNOW THE WOODS DO NOT EAT MUSHROOMS YOU DONT KNOW” and stand there for praise and admiration as the amazing wood goddess.

Lort. Gag me with a spoon.