Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Be Not Far From Me by Mindy McGinnis - ADVISABLE

Be Not Far From Me by Mindy McGinnis, 240 pages. Harper Collins, 2019. $16.00

Language: R: 100+ swears, 15 Fs, Mature Content: R (drugs, drinking, sex)
Violence: PG-13 (Self harm, fighting, death)



Ashley is a 17yo senior on her way to college on a track scholarship and has her whole life derailed when she catches her boyfriend with another girl at a party in the woods. She then runs off with no coat, no shoes or socks, and gets seriously injured and lost falling down a ravine. Although Ashley is a skilled and trained in the outdoors, is she a match for the rugged isolation, storms, wildlife, and terrain of the infamous Smoky Mountains? Ashley breaks her foot the ankle and first night and is forced to chop it off with a piece of flint a few days later to stop the gangrene from spreading and killing her. Ashley scavenges for food and water, a crutch, and hobbles her way to finding the dead body of the man who taught her all she knows, Davey Beet. It is then, when she lays in the tent next him, that she knows she has to live.

McGinnis writes Ashley to be tough as nails and then backs up that toughness with stories of when she has fought through things before, so it is almost believable when she chops off half of her own foot or runs on that mutilated foot to escape a storm. McGinnis’ style is real and ruthless and I fell in love with Ashley and I wanted her to succeed, I needed her to find some sign of life and get rescued, but I wasn’t quite sure if that was going to happen and it was nerve wracking! There is a lot of drinking, sexual references, and swearing that goes on in this book, plus a lot of references to death and dying (not that I blame Ashley at all). But for that reason, I would say that only mature high schoolers should read it and probably with someone to help them process how to overcome hardships and that catching your boyfriend with another girl isn’t a good reason to go off and make crazy irrational choices.

Reviewer: Dina

No comments: