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Your Blue Is Not My Blue: A Missing Person Memoir

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From Aspen Matis, author of the acclaimed true story Girl in the Woods, comes a bold and atmospheric memoir of a woman who—in searching for her vanished husband—discovers deeper purpose. Aspen’s and Justin’s paths serendipitously aligned on the Pacific Crest Trail when both were walking from Mexico to Canada, separately and alone—both using thru-hiking in hopes of escap From Aspen Matis, author of the acclaimed true story Girl in the Woods, comes a bold and atmospheric memoir of a woman who—in searching for her vanished husband—discovers deeper purpose. Aspen’s and Justin’s paths serendipitously aligned on the Pacific Crest Trail when both were walking from Mexico to Canada, separately and alone—both using thru-hiking in hopes of escaping their pasts. Both sought to redefine themselves beneath the stars. By the time they made it to the snowy Cascade Range of British Columbia—the trail’s end—Aspen and Justin were in love.Embarking on a new pilgrimage the next summer, they returned to those same mossy mountains where they’d met, and they married. They built a world together, three years of a happy marriage. Until a cold November morning, when, after kissing Aspen goodbye, Justin left to attend the funeral of a close friend.He never came back. As days became weeks, her husband’s inexplicable absence left Aspen unmoored. Shock, grief, fear, and anger battled for control—but nothing prepared her for the disarming truth. A revelation that would lead Aspen to reassess not only her own life but that of the disappeared as well.The result is a brave and inspiring memoir of secrets kept and unearthed, of a vanishing that became a gift: a woman’s empowering reclamation of unmitigated purpose in the surreal wake of mystifying loss.


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From Aspen Matis, author of the acclaimed true story Girl in the Woods, comes a bold and atmospheric memoir of a woman who—in searching for her vanished husband—discovers deeper purpose. Aspen’s and Justin’s paths serendipitously aligned on the Pacific Crest Trail when both were walking from Mexico to Canada, separately and alone—both using thru-hiking in hopes of escap From Aspen Matis, author of the acclaimed true story Girl in the Woods, comes a bold and atmospheric memoir of a woman who—in searching for her vanished husband—discovers deeper purpose. Aspen’s and Justin’s paths serendipitously aligned on the Pacific Crest Trail when both were walking from Mexico to Canada, separately and alone—both using thru-hiking in hopes of escaping their pasts. Both sought to redefine themselves beneath the stars. By the time they made it to the snowy Cascade Range of British Columbia—the trail’s end—Aspen and Justin were in love.Embarking on a new pilgrimage the next summer, they returned to those same mossy mountains where they’d met, and they married. They built a world together, three years of a happy marriage. Until a cold November morning, when, after kissing Aspen goodbye, Justin left to attend the funeral of a close friend.He never came back. As days became weeks, her husband’s inexplicable absence left Aspen unmoored. Shock, grief, fear, and anger battled for control—but nothing prepared her for the disarming truth. A revelation that would lead Aspen to reassess not only her own life but that of the disappeared as well.The result is a brave and inspiring memoir of secrets kept and unearthed, of a vanishing that became a gift: a woman’s empowering reclamation of unmitigated purpose in the surreal wake of mystifying loss.

30 review for Your Blue Is Not My Blue: A Missing Person Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Leigh Swain Tilman

    Self-indulgent, self-absorbed, overwritten. So many words for such a dull, self-obsessed life. I don’t know that I’ve ever disliked anyone more after having read their story. Unless you are interested in just how fascinating and artistic the author finds herself, you should look elsewhere for your next read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Aspen meets Justin while on her famous trek from Mexico to Canada, detailed in her first memoir Girl in the Woods. Falling in love at 19, she is excited to share her life with this handsome, mysterious man 10 years her senior, who literally saved her life in the woods. Quickly accepted by his family, the newlyweds explore the hills he grew up in and beatnik scene of Northern California. A bit naive, Aspen doesn’t think to ask questions regarding their finances or future plans. She is enjoying he Aspen meets Justin while on her famous trek from Mexico to Canada, detailed in her first memoir Girl in the Woods. Falling in love at 19, she is excited to share her life with this handsome, mysterious man 10 years her senior, who literally saved her life in the woods. Quickly accepted by his family, the newlyweds explore the hills he grew up in and beatnik scene of Northern California. A bit naive, Aspen doesn’t think to ask questions regarding their finances or future plans. She is enjoying her newfound adult freedom, letting the days easily arrange themselves with Justin leading the way. The couple soon finds themselves in NYC so Aspen can return to college and focus on her writing career. Slowly their wandering thru-hiker existence is filled with school and writing responsibilities along with exorbitant rent to pay. As Aspen’s world expands, Justin’s free spirit begins to fade. A few years later, on a dark November morning Justin leaves to attend a friends funeral - and disappears. Aspen is left alone to pick up the shattered pieces of her young life. This honest, expressive memoir is heartbreaking and beautiful. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Aspen’s descriptive scenery and adventurous spirit as she deciphers the true definition of love.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Edward H Barfield

    Fiction or no-fiction? Could be either. Well done. Have your tissue available for a few places in the book. As well as this is written makes one want to go and read other books by this author.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tejas Janet

    A beautifully moving story of personal transformation and growth. Sometimes the language, more so in the early chapters, was on the flowery side. But the writing grows more powerful and transcendent with each chapter.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This isn’t the worst book I’ve ever read, but it’s one of my most hated. I can’t remember ever reading a book with a more selfish, immature character, and it’s even more depressing to know she’s a real person. It’s like she watched the show Girls and created a character even those girls would hate. Every line of writing includes several unnecessary adjectives that make following her point really difficult. The gist of the story is this: Aspen is trying to find her way in life after a massive sol This isn’t the worst book I’ve ever read, but it’s one of my most hated. I can’t remember ever reading a book with a more selfish, immature character, and it’s even more depressing to know she’s a real person. It’s like she watched the show Girls and created a character even those girls would hate. Every line of writing includes several unnecessary adjectives that make following her point really difficult. The gist of the story is this: Aspen is trying to find her way in life after a massive solo hike where she met the love of her life. Her partner refuses to work, encourages her estrangement from her family, plans her life for her (moving her to Ny, completing her college applications) and telling her he doesn’t plan to ever get a job again. They both look down on anyone living a traditional life, both treat their families terribly (for no identifiable reason), and have no self awareness of their enormous privilege. Aspen is regularly rewarded- a book deal, a possible movie deal, an email from Lena Durham- but spends much of the book wasting her gifts - by stealing, drinking, blowing off her deadlines, etc. I can’t think of any character I’ve rooted for less than Aspen. I kept wanting her to fail, mostly because she so clearly didn’t appreciate any of her good fortunes.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    This author seems incapable of writing about any event in her life without adding a bunch of unneeded fluff description. For example she writes about her parents taking her to an apple store to buy her a new phone. "So with two hours to kill before the concert, they took me to an Apple store in a bucolic New Hampshire village powdered with a shimmering coat of early snow." Telling us that the town was bucolic and covered with a shimmering coat of early snow, does not make your errand to the freak This author seems incapable of writing about any event in her life without adding a bunch of unneeded fluff description. For example she writes about her parents taking her to an apple store to buy her a new phone. "So with two hours to kill before the concert, they took me to an Apple store in a bucolic New Hampshire village powdered with a shimmering coat of early snow." Telling us that the town was bucolic and covered with a shimmering coat of early snow, does not make your errand to the freaking Apple store interesting or relevant to anything happening in this story. So little is actually revealed about any other character's motivations, interests or personality. Descriptions about how the snow in NYC smelled of cinnamon made me laugh at loud. NYC smells like piss most of the time. Cause there are so many people living in the street and they piss there. Cause there are people in this world with real problems.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Jordan

    I tore through this book! Simultaneously mysterious and atmospheric, Matis brought me into her world through every page. Her raw candor was refreshing and bold introspection was both confronting and healing for me. I highly recommend this book for anyone who's dealt with adversity or has a passion buried deep inside, waiting to be unlocked. I tore through this book! Simultaneously mysterious and atmospheric, Matis brought me into her world through every page. Her raw candor was refreshing and bold introspection was both confronting and healing for me. I highly recommend this book for anyone who's dealt with adversity or has a passion buried deep inside, waiting to be unlocked.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Well written, but boring I applaud the author for revealing her pain . That said, the book could have been 100 pages shorter. Girl suffers trauma, enters horribly codependent relationship to cope with trauma, loses her ability to function when said codependent relationship ends, spends very little time searching for husband, writes a book, spends lots of time unable to purchase groceries or put in her contacts or really do anything without someone telling her what to do, then recovers. All within Well written, but boring I applaud the author for revealing her pain . That said, the book could have been 100 pages shorter. Girl suffers trauma, enters horribly codependent relationship to cope with trauma, loses her ability to function when said codependent relationship ends, spends very little time searching for husband, writes a book, spends lots of time unable to purchase groceries or put in her contacts or really do anything without someone telling her what to do, then recovers. All within a span of just a few years. The synopsis hinted at some deep secret as to why her husband disappeared, and this is what drew me to choose the book. Instead, after flipping through the pages looking for a shocking reveal, I found nothing other than immature persons incapable of relationships. Again, a well written book, but page after page of nothing had me flipping pages wishing it was over.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dean Ryan

    The best book I’ve read all year.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nancy J. Lach

    This was an interesting read. While I’m not a fan of flowery, adjective laden writing, this was an exception. I did sometimes bypass short beautiful passages though. I should have jotted down some of the beautiful language to savour later. Mesmerizing at times!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Laurel Michelle

    This was a great follow-up to her first book. The story was captivating and it was very eloquently written.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joyce Jarzyk

    UGH I wish I could find one good thing to say about this book. Truthfully,I am shocked that it's gotten so many 5 star reviews. It's just words, words, and more words, just for the sake of words being on a page. I stopped reading at chapter 6, because I couldn't stomach one more thing being described by a color! The author's professor once told her that one of her essays was "pretty air," and that's just what this book is. Don't waste your time! UGH I wish I could find one good thing to say about this book. Truthfully,I am shocked that it's gotten so many 5 star reviews. It's just words, words, and more words, just for the sake of words being on a page. I stopped reading at chapter 6, because I couldn't stomach one more thing being described by a color! The author's professor once told her that one of her essays was "pretty air," and that's just what this book is. Don't waste your time!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Pecci

    I finished this book a few nights ago, but I’m having a hard time putting into words my feelings about it. It was so beautifully written, but the story was one that was hard to hear. Aspen Mattis shares a very personal story. She tells about how she met her husband along the Pacific Coast Trail, while hiking to get away from the world, after she’d been raped. She meets him after she has hiked 1000 miles. They hike together the rest of the trail, and fall in love. They are happy for three year I finished this book a few nights ago, but I’m having a hard time putting into words my feelings about it. It was so beautifully written, but the story was one that was hard to hear. Aspen Mattis shares a very personal story. She tells about how she met her husband along the Pacific Coast Trail, while hiking to get away from the world, after she’d been raped. She meets him after she has hiked 1000 miles. They hike together the rest of the trail, and fall in love. They are happy for three years, and then he disappears. What I loved about the book, was her style of writing, and the imagery she could show using colors. She uses every shade of blue that I’ve ever heard of, along with so many other colors. At first I was thinking, why. Is she talking about blue all the time. Then I began to see a pattern, and how those colors could make you feel. By the end I was looking for the colors and wondering where they would take me.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Davis

    If you like books about spoiled, privileged young women who think the world revolves around them and who expect to be supported financially and emotionally by their parents, in-laws, and spouse without giving anything in return just because they are so, so very special, then this is the book for you. If you prefer memoirs where the author has actually reflected on her past, gained insight and grown as a human then I would suggest you skip this one. I’m actually angry that this was published and If you like books about spoiled, privileged young women who think the world revolves around them and who expect to be supported financially and emotionally by their parents, in-laws, and spouse without giving anything in return just because they are so, so very special, then this is the book for you. If you prefer memoirs where the author has actually reflected on her past, gained insight and grown as a human then I would suggest you skip this one. I’m actually angry that this was published and disappointed in myself that I finished it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Katherina

    Got me out of a Reading Slump I read and loved this author’s first book, “Girl in the Woods,” and was left wanting to hear more when the story ended—what happened with her relationship? What happened in her life after that hike? Since January, I had been in a slump, reading book after book and not really enjoying any of them. I was very excited when I found out Aspen Matis’ book was coming out early and I finally got out of the slump! I really loved this book and found it very relatable. It cov Got me out of a Reading Slump I read and loved this author’s first book, “Girl in the Woods,” and was left wanting to hear more when the story ended—what happened with her relationship? What happened in her life after that hike? Since January, I had been in a slump, reading book after book and not really enjoying any of them. I was very excited when I found out Aspen Matis’ book was coming out early and I finally got out of the slump! I really loved this book and found it very relatable. It covers the ending of a relationship when, while in the moment, you felt like everything was great and the relationship was steady. I think many people can relate to feeling blind-sighted to a relationship ending and wondering where things went wrong. This was also a book of self-discovery—figuring out what is important to you and who you are as a person. I think we all deal with that, particularly in our 20s and early 30s. I really enjoy reading memoirs because they represent real life and the reality that we are all flawed and most of the time there isn’t a dramatic reason to why a relationship ends and life doesn’t end in this happily ever after way that I feel like a lot of fiction books tend to end. I think as we read more and more fiction books and watch more and more movies, sometimes we are left expecting more drama, but usually real life is more subtle than that. I also really enjoyed the uniqueness of hearing about the writing process an author goes through as well as the process and struggles to get there, as the author is writing her “Girl in the Woods” book during this period in her life. I really enjoy the writing style of the author, using enough details to set up a scene and really understanding her thoughts and feelings, but not adding too much detail where it could become boring. The title of the book, “Your Blue is Not my Blue,” was very clever and comes out of a conversation she has with her husband. Overall, I was disappointed when this book came to an end and hope she has more interesting things happening in her life to write another one!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Harley Richeaux

    A must read for memoir-lovers. I went into this novel having not read her first, nor did I have any prior knowledge of Aspen’s story. I blew through this book in less than a days time, caught up in her storytelling. The combination of vulnerability, mystery and self-reflection was a rare literary find that I did not expect. I was surprised to see so many reviews knocking both her descriptive writing style and her self-centeredness (perhaps memoir is not quite the genre for you if you are aiming A must read for memoir-lovers. I went into this novel having not read her first, nor did I have any prior knowledge of Aspen’s story. I blew through this book in less than a days time, caught up in her storytelling. The combination of vulnerability, mystery and self-reflection was a rare literary find that I did not expect. I was surprised to see so many reviews knocking both her descriptive writing style and her self-centeredness (perhaps memoir is not quite the genre for you if you are aiming for a less self-centric author🤣). That’s not to say I didn’t at times find Aspen’s depiction of herself to be immature, self-obsessed, co-dependent, or any number of character flaws hurting and healing privileged twenty-something year old girls often indulge in. But it was the rawness in which she exposed those parts of herself, the acknowledgement of her privilege (which yes, we could have used more of), and the repentant reflection she voiced towards her former self that made those pieces of herself so palatable. I found it interesting that Aspen mentioned Lena Dunham and Girls so frequently, as her life (that of a privileged, reckless, self-obsessed young writer living in New York City both struggling and seemingly being handed opportunities others would die for-I mean, who can afford to drop in and out of various out-of state colleges at what felt like the drop of a hat!?) mirrors Lena’s own “Girls” character, Hannah, in many ways. The difference, however, is that the stark accountability and repentance Aspen reaches for her own self-indulgence is a character development I always felt Hannah lacking (and what ultimately rendered “Girls” intolerable). I admired the bravery it took to not only write about her sexual assault, but speak about the process that lead her to write about it. What could have been sold as her own pure courage was instead honestly laid out as a bumpy, painful road with help at every corner. To paint herself a human (rather than a self-sufficient overcomer) in finding the agency to speak about her sexual assault felt every bit as brave as speaking about it in the first place. At times it felt a bit like a look behind the literally curtain, and yet wholly it’s own separate character-driven story. I’m rating this book five stars not because I thought it was perfect, but more so because I thought it was something different. Something fresh. Thank you, Aspen.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Moving Account of Becoming... Aspen Matis shares her painful, personal journey of becoming a writer. After a devastating sexual assault at 19, she leaves college to hike in the wilderness. Along the trail, she meets other hikers who help her, including the kind, gentle, charismatic man who becomes her friend, mentor, hiking companion, lover, and eventually her husband. Together, they drift from one idyllic adventure to another, as they explore the beauty and majesty of the wilderness, until he fi Moving Account of Becoming... Aspen Matis shares her painful, personal journey of becoming a writer. After a devastating sexual assault at 19, she leaves college to hike in the wilderness. Along the trail, she meets other hikers who help her, including the kind, gentle, charismatic man who becomes her friend, mentor, hiking companion, lover, and eventually her husband. Together, they drift from one idyllic adventure to another, as they explore the beauty and majesty of the wilderness, until he finally leads her to NYC to help her realize her dreams of becoming a professional writer. This book documents the painful process of writing and publishing her first book, its impact on her personal life, the bittersweet unraveling of her marriage, and how she survived the ordeal.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Bullock

    I wanted to like this book. I thought there was going to be some big reveal about the author’s husband - maybe he was a serial killer or a spy or something. But no. He was just the next person in her life (after her parents) to tell her exactly what to do and when to do it. Unfortunately I didn’t find her all that likable. That fact probably contributed to just how much her writing style got on.my.last.nerve. Here’s an example from chapter one: “One day in mid-September in the remote Indian Heave I wanted to like this book. I thought there was going to be some big reveal about the author’s husband - maybe he was a serial killer or a spy or something. But no. He was just the next person in her life (after her parents) to tell her exactly what to do and when to do it. Unfortunately I didn’t find her all that likable. That fact probably contributed to just how much her writing style got on.my.last.nerve. Here’s an example from chapter one: “One day in mid-September in the remote Indian Heaven Wilderness, walking together in quiet wonder, we traversed a lake-jeweled land carpeted with low bushes of ripe berries; in a murky fern-green valley, we arrived at the weather-worn trunk and dead branches of a fallen tree, deep roots eroded—their strong hold gone, cut out of black earth by the steady grating of the river. Balancing like an acrobat, wanting desperately to drop to my knees and crawl, I faked confidence as I tightroped over freezing pulsing waters, their current violent and storm-cloud steel.” There’s descriptive writing and there’s adding too tooooooo much. The whole book is like this. It’s just too much. Tooooo much. Too too tooooooo much. (Annoying, right?) In the end this book is not what it was described to be. I think the author is impressed by it, but I was not.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jan Wilson

    Excellent read I was blown away with her gift as a wordsmith.. She can describe a tiny leaf or a rock or ocean to make it come alive to my imagination! I could "see " what she described ! The character development was so well done, that of Justin kept me on edge because I knew there was something amiss! Aspen was naive and her several language outbreaks did not add to story... I was on edge when she gave her real name to the dating service. I kept waiting for him to find here!!! Have I revealed to Excellent read I was blown away with her gift as a wordsmith.. She can describe a tiny leaf or a rock or ocean to make it come alive to my imagination! I could "see " what she described ! The character development was so well done, that of Justin kept me on edge because I knew there was something amiss! Aspen was naive and her several language outbreaks did not add to story... I was on edge when she gave her real name to the dating service. I kept waiting for him to find here!!! Have I revealed too much?

  20. 4 out of 5

    Producervan in Cornville, AZ from New Orleans & L.A.

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Your Blue Is Not My Blue, A Missing Person Memoir by Aspen Matis. Kindle Edition, 305 pages. Published 01 June 2020 by Little A. ASIN: B07X92GGBC. 5 Stars. A beautifully written autobiography about a young wife (writer of the true story Girl in the Woods) with a traumatic past, her writing mentor and her disappearing husband, the man whom she had met during a trek from Mexico to Canada on the PCT. Through her remarkable journey, she tries to make ends meet, triumphantly navigating the sensitive t Your Blue Is Not My Blue, A Missing Person Memoir by Aspen Matis. Kindle Edition, 305 pages. Published 01 June 2020 by Little A. ASIN: B07X92GGBC. 5 Stars. A beautifully written autobiography about a young wife (writer of the true story Girl in the Woods) with a traumatic past, her writing mentor and her disappearing husband, the man whom she had met during a trek from Mexico to Canada on the PCT. Through her remarkable journey, she tries to make ends meet, triumphantly navigating the sensitive terrain of shock and grief while writing and publishing her first book. Highly recommend.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. It feels wrong to crap on someone’s memoir...but this book and her telling just didn’t do it for me. The premise was excellent. But it’s filled with flowery, over the top descriptions of everything. And so much of me just kept thinking, have you NO ONE in your life to talk to who is a real human? Your husband you’ve known for a few months before marriage never tells you what he does for money or what he formerly did for a living, and you accept it? You never consider your family (including the s It feels wrong to crap on someone’s memoir...but this book and her telling just didn’t do it for me. The premise was excellent. But it’s filled with flowery, over the top descriptions of everything. And so much of me just kept thinking, have you NO ONE in your life to talk to who is a real human? Your husband you’ve known for a few months before marriage never tells you what he does for money or what he formerly did for a living, and you accept it? You never consider your family (including the siblings you thank at the end but never once mention in your story) to ask for help, or advice? You trace it back to a ski coach in high school when you feel ripped off and decide to run away? Jesus, did you ever have any disappointments as a kid? Lose a game or have anything that wasn’t fair? I only hope she left out major parts of her life to make this book more concise, because she seemed like a naïve teenager, even through her divorce.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Marie Amerson

    Really? I asked myself that question too often during this book. Also, as much as I love descriptive writing, there was often too much flowery description.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sanjana Rajagopal

    Your Blue is Not My Blue is a stunning attempt to make meaning out of Aspen Matis's constellation of experiences: both bad and good. Matis writes with bravery and picture-perfect precision about each little detail that brought her to where she is now. Her talent as a writer especially shines through in her unique imagery--you can tell that she approaches the world in a very different way than most people. Her style is strangely charming, though it takes some time to get used to. The memoir really Your Blue is Not My Blue is a stunning attempt to make meaning out of Aspen Matis's constellation of experiences: both bad and good. Matis writes with bravery and picture-perfect precision about each little detail that brought her to where she is now. Her talent as a writer especially shines through in her unique imagery--you can tell that she approaches the world in a very different way than most people. Her style is strangely charming, though it takes some time to get used to. The memoir really picks up when Aspen and Justin move to New York City. There, we see Aspen working hard on her writing, forming a life-changing relationship with her mentor that serves as the heart of the book, and coming into her own as a courageous woman with real grit and determination. I found myself crying more than once as I experienced the ups and downs of Aspen's life in the Village: getting a book deal but losing her husband, gaining one set of parents and losing another. At times, I almost felt like she wasn't allowing herself to make a big enough deal out of her predicament--her husband put enormous pressure on her to sustain them through her writing. His refusal to work and his odd ways should have tipped Aspen off to just how troubled their relationship would soon become. The tragedy of it all is that Aspen and Justin's lack of communication eventually ballooned to a point where their love story couldn't be saved. Aspen manages to find freedom and hope out of the wreckage, gluing herself back together with the help of Nic and Corrinna Ballerina--and finally, her parents, who, it turns out, have had her best interests at heart all this time. I highly recommend giving this amazing story a chance--you might find a little shade of your own blue in Aspen's blue.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    Ugh, why did I drag myself through this? Too much navel-gazing purple prose by a woman who has suffered some trauma but also has two sets of very well-off parents she can just go live with at any time, for free room and board. And at the end where she makes excuses for her deadbeat man-child of a husband, just YUCK.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Holly Kaplan

    A very drawn out memoir of two immature individuals who meet, fall in love, get bored and then one of them leaves. You have to care about someone to enjoy a book. I just kept feeling bad for everyone involved with this couple.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    Self-indulgent, depressing, and very uneven writing.

  27. 4 out of 5

    T

    This book was my Amazon’s First Reads choice for May. I downloaded it May 1 and finished it the same day. I had read Girl in the Woods so I recognized the author’s name. I was intrigued by the synopsis as I recall thinking the end of GitW seemed a little vague. I was somewhat incredulous of the lifestyle of Aspen and Justin described in this book. She was young and seemed rather immature; he was about ten years older but had an unconventional outlook on life. Turns out they both had major events This book was my Amazon’s First Reads choice for May. I downloaded it May 1 and finished it the same day. I had read Girl in the Woods so I recognized the author’s name. I was intrigued by the synopsis as I recall thinking the end of GitW seemed a little vague. I was somewhat incredulous of the lifestyle of Aspen and Justin described in this book. She was young and seemed rather immature; he was about ten years older but had an unconventional outlook on life. Turns out they both had major events earlier in their lives that resulted in behaviors and outlooks that were not mainstream (my words for lack of a better description). One day, Justin disappears. I enjoyed reading about Aspen’s efforts to find him and understand what happened. I also appreciated that she shared what she learned about herself and her relationships with her and Justin’s families. Lastly, I found it amazing that while all of this was going on, she was trying to meet the obligations of her book contract to finish writing Girl in the Woods. p.s. Long ago, I had the same conversation with friends re "Your blue is not my blue".

  28. 5 out of 5

    Leslie D.

    This is an interesting memoir by the writer, Aspen Matis. She had set out for some serious solo hiking after a traumatic event occurred during her 2nd night at College. On the trail, she unexpectedly met a guy (Justin) with whom she fell in love. Shortly thereafter, the two married. After a foray in CA, the couple moved to NYC. Ten years her senior, Justin began giving Aspen a new set of “rules” and instructions: Having her cut up the credit card her parents had given her, while also having her This is an interesting memoir by the writer, Aspen Matis. She had set out for some serious solo hiking after a traumatic event occurred during her 2nd night at College. On the trail, she unexpectedly met a guy (Justin) with whom she fell in love. Shortly thereafter, the two married. After a foray in CA, the couple moved to NYC. Ten years her senior, Justin began giving Aspen a new set of “rules” and instructions: Having her cut up the credit card her parents had given her, while also having her cut out communication with her family. There were to be no taking any cabs, ever (to save money), and from then on he was going to be foraging for their food (stealing/taking leftovers/dumpster diving, etc.). Aspen begins attending school again and writing, while Justin was seemingly content to be a “stay at home” husband. He viewed Aspen as an “investment”, and she leaned on him for guidance & to put her contact lenses in for her each morning. A lot of (unhealthy) codependency was going on in their relationship. Until one morning in which Justin leaves to attend a friend’s funeral in New England...and unexpectedly doesn’t return. I don’t want to say much more about the rest of the book and how the mystery unravels, but what follows is a well-written mix of confusion, heartbreak, strength, realization, resilience, and rising above.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Deb

    Beautiful Wasn't sure if this book would be for me, but I was quickly engrossed by her words written so poetically. There were rimes in the story I was yelling at her for not doing this or for doing that. But then she surprised me with the perfect life lesson to sum it all up. Well done. One of my favorites this year. Beautiful Wasn't sure if this book would be for me, but I was quickly engrossed by her words written so poetically. There were rimes in the story I was yelling at her for not doing this or for doing that. But then she surprised me with the perfect life lesson to sum it all up. Well done. One of my favorites this year.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I had a bit of a love/hate thing going on with the author's previous memoir, but it still riveted me. and then I got to the end and discovered this beautiful love affair ended abruptly with her husband's disappearance into thin air, and I really wanted more of THAT story. So when I learned Matis was writing that very story, I couldn't wait to read it. and I devoured this one in one day. Her writing, and she, have matured, and it's largely quite beautiful and compelling. I love her descriptive pr I had a bit of a love/hate thing going on with the author's previous memoir, but it still riveted me. and then I got to the end and discovered this beautiful love affair ended abruptly with her husband's disappearance into thin air, and I really wanted more of THAT story. So when I learned Matis was writing that very story, I couldn't wait to read it. and I devoured this one in one day. Her writing, and she, have matured, and it's largely quite beautiful and compelling. I love her descriptive prose, and her use of color imagery is kind of magickal. Everything in her world, even at its bleakest, was turquoise and twilight purple and sea blue and rose-grey. I see the world in all its shades of blue (and green and gold and copper) too, color is immersive and vital to my world view, so I responded keenly to that. I also truly appreciated how much she grew over the course of the story, and how raw and honest she is, fully admitting her faults and flaws and naivete. It's hard to let your metaphorical veins bleed all over the page; she does it fearlessly. And she does her very best to tell this story, and she does it beautifully, but of course, at the heart, the central mystery remains. She tells us all she can about Justin's ghosting, she delves into the reasons and the backgrounds and her own personal responsibilities and his past as much as she's able. And the mystery isn't that he left, or even why, because, tho sad, it happens every single day. The true mystery for me is HOW someone can leave the way he did. What gives someone the utter, outrageous temerity to just disappear? To cause those who love you the most all that pain and fear and apparently not care? To finally pop up in a casual email with no explanation but a kind of self righteous indignation that the one left behind might be angry? And I'd love to know when he decided to turn into a ghost...was it planned out before, or did he attend their friend's funeral and then just think: nope, can't do it, not going back? And nope, not gonna call, not gonna explain, not gonna care about the devastation I leave behind. Who DOES that? I need a book from Justin Matis, but it's unlikely that will ever happen. I wonder at Aspen's strength to go on and finish this book in the midst of all of this. Despite some forays into drinking too much and sleeping around to numb the pain, she still managed to get a book written. It's kind of astonishing, really. Anyway. I devoured this book, and I wound up liking the author far more this time around than the last book. And though some terrible things happened to her, she has, in many ways, had a very charmed life. Becoming a writer in NYC was a dream of mine since I was 8; didn't happen. So living vicariously thru her, in her little turquoise apartment on MacDougal Street was kind of lovely. I look very forward to whatever Matis does next.

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