Girl in the Woods is Aspen Matis' exhilarating true-life adventure of hiking from Mexico to Canada - a coming-of-age story, a survival story, and a triumphant story of overcoming emotional devastation. On her second night of college, Aspen was raped by a fellow student. Overprotected by her parents who discouraged her from telling of the attack, Aspen was confused and ashamed. Dealing with a problem that has sadly become all too common on college campuses around the country, she stumbled through her first semester - a challenging time made even harder by the coldness of her college's "conflict mediation" process. Her desperation growing, she made a bold decision: She would seek healing in the freedom of the wild, on the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail leading from Mexico to Canada.
In this inspiring memoir, Aspen chronicles her journey, a five-month trek that was ambitious, dangerous, and transformative. A 19-year-old girl alone and lost, she conquered desolate mountain passes and met rattlesnakes, bears, and fellow desert pilgrims. Exhausted after each 30-mile day, at times on the verge of starvation, Aspen was forced to confront her numbness, coming to terms with the sexual assault and her parents' disappointing reaction. On the trail and on her own, she found that survival is predicated on persistent self-reliance. She found her strength. After a thousand miles of solitude, she found a man who helped her learn to love and trust again - and heal.
Told with elegance and suspense, Girl in the Woods is a beautifully rendered story of eroding emotional and physical boundaries to reveal the truths that lie beyond the edges of the map.
©2015 Aspen Matis (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers
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"HATED IT!!! spoiler alert kinda."
This is a story about a spoiled brat walking through the woods all the while making more and more enemies on her trip. She lives in the shadow of her successful family members and endures a tragedy early on and then continues to mention it I swear NO less than a 100 times. Her mom is a codependent weirdo so no wonder this girl is a mess. I truly feel sorry for her and its sad that often when she is probably misunderstood but she continues to victimize herself. Waste of my money and time and I REALL REALLY tried to like this story and the girl but it's almost impossible. I stopped 6 chapters from the end because it just wasn't worth my annoyance with this girl and if that was the authors intent they nailed it! Also the narrators voice is exactly how I would expect this spoiled brats voice would be, annoying!!!
"Wanted to like this"
My subjects heading sort of says it all. Tedious to listen to. The narrator affected a little girl voice and spoke as if her audience are five year olds. The "mommy" and "daddy" thing was really hard to listen to. Maybe reading it it would have made more sense. I get that the author was trying to show how young she was when she did this. I'm very familiar with the trail, my 19-year-old son just completed it, and I genuinely felt that she exaggerated dangers. I really only got to about one third of the way through the book and so I'm only talking about the dangers mentioned there. kudos to her bravery and for fighting back as one of the 25% of college girls who are raped, and her story is a good one, but this needed more editing. Hard to watch her make so many bad decisions, and I don't know how it ends, but I hope she continues on her upwards healing path. Could not finish this book.
"Not a Likable Person"
I waa busy when I first started listening to this book. I heard about sex she had with a guy. As the other reviewer states, she kept talking about being raped. I literally had to rewind because I thought I missed the rape part of the book. Nope. I didnt. I'm not saying she wasnt raped, but the way she described it sounded like a couple who went to far and she wasnt mature enough to handle it. I was hoping for another PCT trail book like Wild. This isnt even close.
"Narrator made me hate her"
Something about the narrators vocal inflections, and tone of voice, and the way she said "did-int and "could-int" instead of didn't and couldn't, made her Sound like a spoiled rich girl all throughout the book. And she kept making so many bad decisions, I'm sorry, I just wanted to slap her( not really, I'm not a violent person, but Please, girl!!) I know we were all stupid when we were 19, and she had been especially sheltered, but after hours of this I could not sympathize. She was a very very lucky girl!
"to find inner strength"
it takes a long time for it to build up, but the story has a very satisfying ending.
"A life of a teenager!! The good the bad and the ??"
Very enjoyable! Really followed every step along the PCT. can't believe some people's parents are like her's.
"Self-Absorbed, yet Lacking Self-Awareness"
I really wanted to like this book. I really did. I read all the negative reviews and figured that maybe those reviewers were just too jaded or maybe being insensitive to a young woman's problem and her attempt to deal with it. I was going to read this book and like it in spite of the negative reviews. Well . . . I'm sorry to say that those negative comments were pretty accurate. This author is so over-the-top in self absorption and yet totally lacking any semblance of self-awareness that is in painful to read. She seems incapable of seeing how pampered and babied she is, incapable of learning from anything she's done and sees herself as everybody's potential victim. I wanted to root for some sort of real understanding on her part, but it is hard to feel any empathy, any sympathy for a spoiled rich girl who couldn't even dress herself until high school, who couldn't operate a washing machine in college and who had never had any kind of real job. Hard to feel pity for her travails on the trail when mommy and daddy provide a cell phone, sat phone, GPS, credit card and drop boxes from Whole Foods at every trail crossing. And her constant wallowing in her "shame" and her low self-esteem or her self-proclaimed ugliness just gets pathetic.
If she wants those of us in the real world to understand her "burden", the author needs to actually live in the real world for a while.
had trouble relating with her she seems clueless and spoiled story of a little girl getting her first taste of reality
"Lady hikers rock!"
I finished this no problem. An inspiring story of a young girl in self-discovery and finding inner strength. I connected with the author and sympathize with her struggles, although at times I have to admit that it is a bit repetitive. Still found it a good read and got lost in her thoughts and experience. Can't wait to find more stories about journeys from other PCT hikers. Girl power!!
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