Mercy. I love this story.
---- CHERYL STRAYED, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wild
Compelling and intense... should be essential reading in dorm rooms across the country.
Beautiful and so wildly engaging.
----- LENA DUNHAM
The story is raw and immediate... it isn't just a reckoning with trauma but also a reckoning with the self and an embrace of self-reliance. It's easy to imagine Matis becoming a hero to young women trying to find a means of navigating adulthood.
————— THE GUARDIAN
Matis makes her journey wholly her own...renders the hippie subculture of her fellow hikers in vivid prose. ... An achingly honest read that's both timely — and timeless.
Beautifully written, gripping, and brave.
"If you devoured Cheryl Strayed's Wild, this is for you. A memoir about a Matis' trek along the Pacific Crest Trail following a sexual assault and a traumatic judicial process, it's a story of losing and then finding yourself again, and pushing through the barriers that life — and our responses to it — put up."
— ELLE AUSTRALIA
A bold story of a woman finding her strength and self-reliance that's told with honesty and intensity.
———— BUST Magazine
A lovely tribute to the healing power of wilderness.
— NICHOLAS KRISTOF, winner of the Pulitzer Prize
Told with exceptional beauty and extraordinary confidence. Matis is a once-in-a-generation talent.
----- BRYAN HURT, author of Everyone Wants to be the Ambassador to France
Brave and poetic. Aspen Matis is one of the few genetic writers.
A strange, fascinating hybrid of classic Jack London and Lena Dunham's Not That Kind of Girl — a poetic glimpse into nature's savage beauty... refreshing boldness. … there's an aestheticism to Matis' personal anecdotes that communicates her joy. (It's like a Millennial take on the Romantic poets who so expertly extolled the sublime wonders of the world around us -- an apt comparison since Aspen also writes poetry and did the first draft of her Modern Love essay in verse.)... Illuminating.
BRAVE. This was beautiful. Five stars! I eagerly await more from this author whether it is nonfiction or fiction!
————— MS. NOSE IN A BOOK
A mesmerizing journey from tragedy to triumph. Aspen shows us how any girl — even the once lost and disempowered — can transform herself and become the director of her own life.
— CAITY LOTZ, actress, award-winning AMC show Madmen
Matis writes vividly of the culture of the PCT —-- the special treats the locals put out for hikers to find, called 'trail magic,' or the 'trail angels' who host hikers in small towns along the way —-- and she is bold in her willingness to expose her psychic wounds.
----- KIRKUS REVIEWS
This is a very brave book — because there is an open wound in Girl in the Woods, and it never really closes. It becomes a new organ — of doubt, questioning — that remakes both the body and the mind of both the author and the book.
— GREIL MARCUS, Rolling Stone rock critic and author of Mystery Train
You’ll be moved to tears by Girl in the Woods —–— time and again. You'll be moved by Matis's bravery —-- and transformation. You'll be moved by the sparkling prose, swift and gripping sentences that sneak up on you: hitting suddenly with moments of great clarity. Through a lens at once cut-glass clear, and so utterly compassionate, Aspen Matis reveals wisdoms that are gems --- bright and inspiring. This book will astonish you.
----- SHELLY ORIA, author of New York 1, Tel Aviv 0
A brave book by a a brave wild child writer. Matis's journey is more than a riveting trip up the Pacific Crest Trail, it's a story of a young woman who won't let anything —-- be it rattlesnakes or ignorance about the trauma of rape—stop her from rediscovering her own power.
----- LEIGH NEWMAN, author of Still Points North
Girl in the Woods is a breathtaking, gorgeous and profoundly wise book. I cried my way through it. Every young woman, old woman, man and boy should read it.
— BONNIE NADZAM, author of Lamb, Winner of The Center for Fiction's first novel prize
…Rebirth is palpable.
----- LIBRARY JOURNAL
Soulful, heartfelt, and transcendent. Girl in the Woods teaches us that writing is a way to heal, empower ourselves, and turn our worst experiences into beautiful art.
— KENAN TREBINCEVIC, author of The Bosnia List
An important book of hope and healing.
----- ABBY SHER, author of Amen, Amen, Amen
Matis writes with a rawness that refuses to hold back...filled with small moments of awe. ... I was struck by how far she had come; not only had she made it to Canada, but she seemed years more mature than the young woman at the start of the journey. Girl in the Woods is a touching memoir that... unleashes clarity.
With the pacing of a page-turning novel, Matis has written an emotionally honest, poignant and poetic debut memoir.
----- ALICE FEIRING, Author of The Battle for Wine and Love
You know a book is good when a class of publishing grad students can’t put it down. The week we received advanced copies of Girl In the Woods, class was quieter...We were, of course, reading our new favorite book.
Inspiring and courageous... extreme grace and poise... My body ached reading Aspen’s story... I admire her tremendously.
————— RAVEN HAIRED GIRL
Compelling… Matis boldly shares her deepest secrets and shame... her biggest challenges, and how she overcomes her own body as she hikes… Matis is able to leave the reader with a message that will resound with every young reader: you can survive anything.
A celebrated new book...compelling from beginning to end. Matis’s five-month trek is told in delightful detail. ... the overarching theme: liberation.
————— STYLISH 365
Matis does not write this as a trauma story but as an incredible success story that empowers people to find their own way of bursting through the wall that is their insecurities and breathe fresh air on the other side...Matis’ memoir sheds some light. Matis has...incredible ability.
An extraordinarily well-written, searching book by a young woman, for young women.
———— MISSOULIAN NEWSPAPER
…Rousing and meaningful revelations are hard won…remarkable…a personal journey that raggedly but persistently arcs with grace, drama and great skills of composition. The character growth is masterly in real life in and in the literature the author creates.
“Girl In The Woods is eminently compelling, and taken as a whole is a valuable portrait of an actual human’s experience that hides in a rape statistic.”
——— AV CLUB
"While I try not to gush, it's hard when it was her novel that changed my life. But I didn't know that when I picked it off the shelf at Shopper's Drug Mart. Girl in the Woods: A Memoir, it read on the cover. I felt a kinship with the title because I, too, was a girl in the woods...I finished the book in a night."— JULIA COOK, CBC NEWS
"A great memoir... important. Those who love the outdoors will enjoy experiencing the PCT through Aspen's eyes, but even if you think you've had your fill of hiking memoirs, read this one for the honesty with which the author tells her story of transformation.”
--—— POWELL'S BOOKS