Girl in the Woods

Girl in the Woods

A Memoir

Book - 2015
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"On my second night of college, I was raped. Shattered and alone, I fled to the Mexican border and headed north through 2,650 miles of desert and mountains to Canada, walking the height of America in search of home. This is the story of how my recklessness became my salvation"--Dust jacket.
Publisher: New York, NY : William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2015]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062291066
Characteristics: x, 372 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : color illustrations, map ; 24 cm
Call Number: B MATIS, A


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Nov 21, 2016

Usually when I read a book, I can imagine myself as one of the characters. That wasn't the case with this book but I found that to be totally okay. By the end of it I felt lucky to have read about this young lady's experience of growth and development on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level. The kinds of emotional turmoil that she works through is something that I was able to relate to even if her upbringing and outlook on life was not one I shared. I'd recommend this book in a heartbeat to anyone who is facing an obstacle they don't think they can overcome; she does a brilliant job of writing about both her successes and failures on the trail and is wonderfully sensitive to the feelings of other family members, even while she does not share their perspective.

May 02, 2016

This is a hard book to rate. Am I rating the quality of writing, quality of story, or how much I enjoyed the book?

The writing itself was good. Good descriptions and flow.

To me the author was not very likeable or relatable. She comes across as spoiled, self-important, looking to be the centre of attention.

I really enjoyed reading this book though. I couldn't read it fast enough, and I found myself thinking about Aspen and the other characters after I was done. If she came out with a sequel, I would probably read it asap as a guilty pleasure.

Mar 20, 2016

I found her so unlikable, so self-absorbed and a little difficult to understand in terms of motive, etc., from the very beginning, that I just didn't want to read any further, so didn't finish the book.

Dec 28, 2015

After reading this book I am still looking for a good book from someone about their experience on the PCT. I have read Wild and that was o.k., but just like Girl In The Woods, It is full of self pity, and whining. The author of both books are not happy with how things are going so instead of facing things, they use the hike as an escape. In the case of GITW the author had the whole thing paid for by her parents, at least in Wild, the author did it, for the most part, herself. The author's jealousy of her brother and her need for approval from her father is sad. I am glad that she found happiness with her husband in the end.

KHaney Oct 14, 2015

Don't waste your time with this one, read Wild by Cheryl Strayed or A Walk in the Woods instead. Aspen (or Debby as her name is in the book) is unbelievably immature, and generally unlikeable. You won't want to miss the riveting scene at the end where she finally (gasp) puts a contact in her eye and sees herself for the first time!

Sep 09, 2015

Matis’ memoir follows the common format of beginning at a tense moment in medias res, and then flashing back to her childhood and the events that put her on the path to the PCT.

Read my full review here:

Jul 12, 2015

GIRL IN THE WOODS draws many comparisons to Cheryl Strayed's WILD due to both women using the Pacific Crest Trail as an escape. Here the comparisons end, though; Matis' journey on the trail begins -- and continues -- with a healthy dose of self-pity, self-loathing, and many (and significant) bad choices until a medical setback interrupts her hike.

It is only here that Matis starts to shine; her journey, and therefore the relating of it, becomes so much richer, and she blooms in front of our eyes. This last section may make up for the rest of the book, and may be especially brilliant in the way it highlights how Matis simply could not look deeply at her own issues and choices issues when she began her journey. Still, though, it was not enough to sway this reader's "WTF" experience at the start.

Matis is one to watch, and I look forward to what she shares with us next.


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Sep 09, 2015

Other: Drug and alcohol use

Sep 09, 2015

Violence: Rape

Sep 09, 2015

Sexual Content: Contains consensual sex as well as descriptions of sexual violence.


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Sep 09, 2015

I doubted I could survive in the woods without these very basic things to help me. It seemed like a tremendous leap of faith to forsake the tools I’d always been told I needed. And yet leaving college to walk was such a massive leap of faith already, and nothing I’d ever trusted or believed in seemed true any longer.


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