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Friday, September 11, 2015

Girl In The Woods by Aspen Matis - Book Blog Tour Stop and Review

Girl in the Woods (428x648)

About Girl in the Woods

 Hardcover: 384 pages
 Publisher: William Morrow (September 8, 2015)

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.
In this important and inspiring memoir, Aspen chronicles an ambitious five-month trek that was as dangerous as it was transformative. Forced to survive on her own for the first time, squarely facing her trauma and childhood, she came to realize that the rape was not the only shameful burden she carried with her as she walked. She found herself on a new expedition: to confront—and overcome—the confines that had bound her since long before her second night at college.
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.
What emerges is an unflinching portrait of a girl in the aftermath of rape. Told with elegance and suspense,Girl in the Woods is a beautifully rendered story of emotional and physical boundaries eroding to reveal the truths that lie beyond the edges of the map.
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My Thoughts:

Nineteen years old, confused, traumatized, and searching to find the person she is meant to be - Aspen Matis decides to take off on a personal journey that involves walking from Mexico to Canada along the Pacific Crest Trail, a journey of nearly 3,000 miles on foot.  Along the way Matis learns many things, including how to trust again, how to become at ease with herself and how face the future with hope.

This is a powerful memoir that follows Matis from spoiled rich kid to her traumatic experience in college to matured young adult woman who could come to reckoning with her demons and truly begin to be happy with her life.  Matis' story is at time very graphic, and there are times that the reader might want to shake the girl she was. But there are also moments of celebration as the reader can see the progress Matis took along her journey.

Matis proves that she is a talented storyteller with "Girl In The Woods." Her writing is full of emotion and her descriptive account of her journey along the Pacific Crest Trail is fascinating.  There are some comparisons to Cheryl Strayd's book, "Wild," which is also a story of a woman's journey along the PCT, but Matis' tale is uniquely hers and hers alone. I think anyone who has taken this trip will have their own story to tell, and Matis does so with a great deal of grace and forgiveness.

This memoir is appropriate for young adult readers and those who are interested in strong female-led stories.

Aspen Matis author photo

About Aspen Matis

Aspen Matis is a writer living in Greenwich Village, where she's finishing her degree at The New School and working on a novel.

Connect with Aspen on Facebook and follow her on Instagram.

Check out what other bloggers are saying about "Girl In The Woods"

Tuesday, September 8th: Peppermint PhD
Wednesday, September 9th: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Thursday, September 10th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Friday, September 11th: Ms. Nose in a Book
Monday, September 14th: 5 Minutes for Books
Tuesday, September 15th: A Book and a Beer
Wednesday, September 16th: A Bookish Way of Life
Thursday, September 17th: Raven Haired Girl
Monday, September 21st: A Bookish Affair
Tuesday, September 22nd: Book Snob
Wednesday, September 23rd: A Bookworm’s World
Thursday, September 24th: Booksie’s Blog

My Thanks to TLC Book Tours for including me on this blog tour and to William Morrow Books for providing the review copy.  I was not compensated for my opinion.

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1 comment:

Heather J. said...

I was always taught to be very independent, so having a mom like this author did is completely foreign to me. What a crazy way to grow up!

Thanks for being a part of the tour.