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Growgirl: Once Upon a Time She Made The Blair Witch Project. Then She Went to Pot. Literally.

3.43  ·  Rating Details  ·  230 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews

The star of the international cult sensation "The Blair Witch Project" shares the high points of living on a marijuana farm post- Hollywood.

At age thirty-four, Heather Donahue's life went to pot. Literally. After starring in "The Blair Witch Project"-the tiny indie film- turned-blockbuster that Roger Ebert named one of the ten Most Influential Movies of the Century-she

Kindle Edition
Published (first published January 5th 2012)
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Jan 16, 2012 christa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The last time you saw Heather Donahue she had a camera pointed up her nostrils, flared and leaking, and she was delivering her “Goodbye cruel world!” speech in one of the final scenes of “The Blair Witch Project.”

In the decade plus since that movie she has had a few roles here and there -- nothing she wants to brag about -- but most notably spent time in northern California growing weed. Her memoir “Growgirl: How My Life After ‘The Blair Witch Project’ Went to Pot” is a years-worth of planting,
Jan 14, 2012 Lauren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is not you're typical celebrity memoir. This is the anti-celebrity memoir. Her story could have gone so many different ways after the Hollywood fires died out but she took her fate in her own hands and made a choice to leave it all behind and start anew. I loved that she had the bravery to do that and not pursue something half-heartedly but to dive in and fully educate herself in a brand new (in not illegal) way. Just by reading you can tell that she is smart and resourceful with a keen sen ...more
Mar 17, 2012 Ariel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable, easy-to-read trifle -- but not quite as awesome as I was hoping. I wanted to like Heather more than I did, and she used herself as the butt of the jokes so many times that after a while I couldn't tell if she was just being self-deprecating or whether she really was as incompatent and aimless as she kept joking she was.

That said, I really enjoyed the descriptions of these pockets of west coast weirdo that I know so well. The northern californian glamourhippies, the burning man crew
Jun 04, 2012 Bethany rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: un-pretend, memoirs
This one nearly succumbed to my 40 page rule (author has 40 pages to get and keep my attention before I call it off) owing to the author's tendency to write like she was a high school sophomore in a poetry/creative writing class. There was just enough good in with the cringe-worthy to keep me going though.
In the end, it was an enjoyable and quick read. There was no radical self-transformation, nor is the book a how-to on pot-growing (though she did teach some lingo and for aspiring gardeners it
Feb 17, 2015 TC rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book really starts out nauseating, as if it's going to be another bubble-living Hollywood hipster on a journey of self-discovery that only someone who's never been hungry could seek to go on. But if you get past those first few pages, what's here is really both a funny, self-effacing memoir of a one-hit-wonder actor's life after fame, and an interesting insight into the legally gray world of growing medical marijuana, as she ditches her down-and-out-in-LA life for the backwoods of NorCal an ...more
Jul 28, 2012 Doug rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I heard of this book, it sounded like the real-life counterpart of Weeds: Donahue, an actress in career free-fall after a successful movie failed to result in a viable career, decides that raising pot sounds like a viable make-ends-meet option, and makes other highly questionable choices; some whacky and some racy stuff ensues.

In broad strokes that's more-or-less accurate but almost completely misses the point, and misses the three things that I thought were really good about this memoir.

I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!! Seriously, I have it in print and I am about to buy it on kindle so I can search for my favorite parts whenever I want to.

When I started it I didn't know what to expect. And in the interest of full disclosure, I never saw Blair Witch but I did smoke a lot of pot. I felt like this book put into perspective a ton of my life events, and combined with Heather's honesty and introspection, I read this book twice in a row, and still-- 4 months later, can recall with stunning cl
David Ward
Growgirl: How My Life After the Blair Witch Project Went to Pot by Heather Donahue (Gotham Books 2012) (Biography) is a most engaging memoir. The author, who enjoyed fleeting fame in a single Hollywood blockbuster in the 1990's, has washed up upon the shores of a marijuana-growing hotbed of California freedom known only as "Nuggettown." The story opens as a fast-dying romance and a loose plan to grow medical marijuana combine to lead the author into an interesting community of new-era hipsters a ...more
Apr 10, 2012 Rachael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This girl really grew on me. The first two chapters are almost unreadable: she likes stream of consciousness with lots of commas, the story and her intentions for the story go every which way, and it's hard to believe it is not going to be an embarrassment to your bookshelf.

But then she rallys and the story becomes really funny. The scene: a northern california gorgeous hippy commune with a steamy underbelly of narcissism and gross hot tub water. Heather has a strange knack for telling many emb
A pleasant memoir of an actress/hippy chick who runs away from an unpromising Hollywood career to grow medical marijuana. Considering she nothing about the plant, her pot knowledge is quite impressive. Relationship foibles and funny stories about her fellow farmers keep the story moving. Good Read!
Jan 10, 2013 Suzy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I waited for this book to come out after reading about it in a great Q&A on The Awl. I'd loved The Blair Witch Project when it came out, and was excited to read about Heather's adventures. Really enjoyed reading this book. Heather is a good writer, and while it's true that I wouldn't have known who she was had I not known her from Blair Witch, after reading this book, I think her words stand on their own. I would read another book written by her. Here, her words are raw, real, and quite poet ...more
Christopher Fox
Apr 30, 2014 Christopher Fox rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Honest, funny, insightful, autobiographical, interesting, full of life and loving and humanity. Very occasionally slow and repetitive but then life's like that. Short, pithy chapters.
Anne Avery
Jun 07, 2014 Anne Avery rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Had trouble liking her but had to give her credit for owning her life choices. Honesty is the place we all have the opportunity to learn, and she went there.
Mar 19, 2014 Adam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a great time getting to know about Heather after "The Blair Witch Project" and her searching for a new life.
Jun 12, 2012 Deschka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quirky, different and interesting. I picked this book up in the new book section of a local library, desperate for something to read. I never thought I would like this book, because normally I prefer something I can relate to in some way...needless to say this book is about as far away from my life as I can get. But perhaps that is why I enjoyed it so much. Some parts were a bit long winded for me. I just did not care to know such detail about the actual growing of the pot plant, but the lifesty ...more
Jul 10, 2012 Kara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heather Donahue left Los Angeles and an acting career to grow marijuana in Mendocino in northern California for a year. This book is the story of that year of her life. It is an interesting look into the northern California grows. Most of the book is good, I disliked her cavalier treatment of her responsibilities to her animals, she lost a turtle and a flock of chickens to carelessness. I also didn't care for her bit about the hospice care, it can't make up for her essential selfishness. But asi ...more
Diane C.
A fairly accessible window into pot growing culture in northern California, told in rather stream of conciousness style.

1. Heather Donohue makes me feel pretty well adjusted.

2;. Heather's detailed and much appreciated description of what growing pot is truly like has made me realize my dream of growing pot in retirement (tiny amounts for my own use) may not be as easy as I thought.

3. Boy-men are everywhere.

4. Still and all, a rather bravely honest book of an out of the ordinary life.

I really lo
Poppy Fields
Jan 10, 2016 Poppy Fields rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lol funny & heartwarming.
Terry Perrel
Oct 17, 2012 Terry Perrel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a loosely-written memoir that read like a novel. The author is the star of The Blair Witch Project, who, when her acting career did not blossom after her initial success, decided to change her life. And, boy, did she.The writing is strong, the characters are likeable, but the draw is her description of what's it's like to be a single woman/grower in a pot-growing community of men with families. This might not be a story for everyone, but I found the subject of illegally growing medical m ...more
Jan 04, 2016 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
(3.5 stars)
Feb 02, 2015 Joel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Did not finish.
Barbara Newhall
Feb 09, 2013 Barbara Newhall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had a blast reading -- and writing about -- Heather Donahue's Growgirl book. Marijuana is not my cup of tea, good old Lipton is. But Heather's book gave me a fascinating inside look at the pot-growing subculture thriving in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

You can read more about how I, a straight person -- OK, OK, a seriously uptight person -- got hooked on a pothead at

Barbara Falconer Newhall
Liza H
Feb 24, 2012 Liza H rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: done, kindle
This was an amusing and quick read. Only slightly annoyed by the whole "woe, I'm an actor in a famous movie and everyone recognizes me" stuff. (By now, shouldn't actors know that fame/success means recognition?) I liked her storytelling style, even while I was rolling my eyes at all the hippie shit. Meanwhile I was interested in her attempts (and failures) to raise chickens, grow gardens, live in the country. I'm certain I could do better than she did, but I doubt I could be half as poetic about ...more
Betsy Fasbinder
Apr 07, 2012 Betsy Fasbinder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wild, fun, baudy, and heart-felt. This is a brutally honest, funny, and touching memoir of a woman who follows her passions, not always ending up in a great place, but always on a great journey. The author shows herself as fearless at times, but wholly vulnerable as well. She has a special insight into the real-life characters she encounters and looks unflinchingly at the ups and downs of an alternative lifestyle. Delight on every page.
Jim Wayland
I wanted to get into this, I really did. I'd read a couple of interviews with Heather Donahue and she sounded so down-to-earth and funny. Unfortunately, I lost interest in the book after the first chapter or so (which almost served as an introduction). Maybe it's just because growing, smoking, or getting arrested for possession of marijuana no longer has the appeal for me that it once did. But hey, you might like it, so give it a toke!
Jaime Boler
Heather Donahue soared to fame as the girl in The Blair Witch Project, but much of that fame was unwanted. In her memoir Grow Girl, Donahue spends a year growing medical marijuana in Northern California and ends up finding herself in the process. Donahue's voice is fresh and distinctive and full of clever wit; yet, I found it difficult to discern between what was real and what was acting.
This book was well-written. It was enjoyable. There were sappy parts but overall it was interesting and original. Now I know why THC users call themselves 420-friendly.
I haven't seen The Blair Witch Project but it seems like the Feb Elle books are all from chicks who've been on TV/in movies. I might have to do some TV/flick watching over the holidays to get up to speed.
Sep 30, 2012 Stacy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
i Liked this book - was an interesting read. I liked learning about the whole grow process - who knew there was so much to growing a basic weed? It was interesting hearing about the mostly-male farmers...i don't know how successful ANY woman would be in the field of growing pot. Heather has an interesting voice - real, somewhat surreal and frank.
Mar 12, 2012 Ken! rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
sigh. how many epigrams does a book need? i say one. i also don't think a this book needs a table of contents or chapter headings...or subchapter headings or pages repeatedly given over to a repeating woodblock print. this whole thing just seemed sort of amateurish and padded which is a shame because it's an interesting subject.
Aug 01, 2012 Rain rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think it's well written, and all that, but about half-way through, I realized I really don't give a crap about marijuana, or how it's grown, or the kind of gross hippie communities that do it. And ultimately, I think she feels the same way....
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Heather Donahue is an American writer and actress who first came to public attention after appearing as the lead character in Haxan Films' 1999 horror film The Blair Witch Project. Following the success of the film, she went on to appear in an array of independent films, as well as guest appearances on several television shows, most notably for her starring role in the science fiction miniseries T ...more
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