Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Girl In The Woods: A Memoir by Aspen Matis

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)

about book:

In 2008, Aspen Matis left behind her quaint Massachusetts town for a school two thousand miles away. Eager to escape her childhood as the sheltered baby girl of her family, Aspen wanted to reinvent herself at college. She hoped that far from home she’d meet friends who hadn’t known her high school meekness; she would explore thrilling newfound freedom, blossom, and become a confident adult. But on her second night on campus, all those hopes were obliterated when Aspen was raped by a fellow student.

The academic year commenced; Aspen felt alone now, devastated. She stumbled through her first college semester. Her otherwise loving and supportive parents discouraged her from speaking of the attack; her university’s “conflict mediation” process for handling sexual assaults was callous—then ineffectual. Aspen was confused, ashamed, and uncertain about how to deal with a problem that has—disturbingly—become common at institutions of higher learning throughout the country. Her desperation growing, she made a bold decision: she fled. She dropped out and sought healing in the freedom of the wild, on the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail leading from Mexico to Canada.

A nineteen-year-old girl alone and adrift, Aspen conquered desolate mountain passes and met rattlesnakes, bears, and fellow desert pilgrims. Among the snowcaps and the forests of America’s West, she found the confidence that had eluded her all her life. After a thousand miles of solitude, she met a man who helped her learn to love, trust, and heal. Then from the endless woods she blazed a new path to the future she wanted—and reclaimed it.

my thoughts:

I have to admit that the reason I agreed to read Girl in the Woods was due to Lena Dunham's blurb, "Beautiful and so wildly engaging" - sounds good, right?  Well, unfortunately, its not.  Or at least it wasn't for me.  I found Girl in the Woods to be lackluster in scope and mediocre in its story telling - the writing was just flat and didn't engage me in the least.  Dunham was wrong.  Plus, there is the fact that this book is about a woman hiking the PCT as a form of therapy - sound familiar?  Gee, I wonder who comes to mind...Cheryl Strayed, anyone?  I'm not sure how Matis will escape comparisons.  Either way, this book was not for me.  I couldn't even finish it.  Yep, I had to DNF it.  So, I will admit that my review is a bit incomplete. 

If you want to find out what other bloggers have to say, here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: Girl in the Woods
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!


Lark said...

And it could have been so good! It's too bad that it fell short; hiking memoirs are some of my favorite things. :)

Lindsey said...

That's frustrating. I do agree that it's going to be difficult to escape comparison to Strayed, but I am glad to see that stories like this are being told. We have to do something to change things on college campuses.

Nadia said...

Lark, I know! It sounded so good, but wound up disappointing. Oh well. On to the next read.

Lindsey, it really is. And I agree - stories like this should be told and shared. Hopefully, they will create more dialogue about rape on campus and the lack of support and justice being done to help the victims.