I received this Book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti
Also by this author: Stay
Published by Simon and Schuster on September 18, 2018
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Social Themes, Physical & Emotional Abuse, Violence, Travel & Transportation, Car & Road Trips
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“This is one for the ages.” —Gayle Forman, author of the #1 bestseller If I Stay
Each step on Annabelle’s 2,700 mile cross-country run brings her closer to facing a trauma from her past in National Book Award finalist Deb Caletti’s novel about the heart, all the ways it breaks, and its journey to healing. Because sometimes against our will, against all odds, we go forward.
When everything has been taken from you, what else is there to do but run?
So that’s what Annabelle does—she runs from Seattle to Washington, DC, through mountain passes and suburban landscapes, from long lonely roads to college towns. She’s not ready to think about the why yet, just the how—muscles burning, heart pumping, feet pounding the earth. But no matter how hard she tries, she can’t outrun the tragedy from the past year, or the person—The Taker—that haunts her.
Followed by Grandpa Ed in his RV and backed by her brother and two friends (her self-appointed publicity team), Annabelle becomes a reluctant activist as people connect her journey to the trauma from her past. Her cross-country run gains media attention and she is cheered on as she crosses state borders, and is even thrown a block party and given gifts. The support would be nice, if Annabelle could escape the guilt and the shame from what happened back home. They say it isn’t her fault, but she can’t feel the truth of that.
Through welcome and unwelcome distractions, she just keeps running, to the destination that awaits her. There, she’ll finally face what lies behind her—the miles and love and loss…and what is to come.
A Heart In A Body In The World is the third book I’ve read by Deb Caletti. It is also the third book of hers that I have given five stars to. I think this means I need to just read ALL of her books ever. For once I am kind of glad that the Netgalley version of this book was one that would not download in Kindle format. I was forced to read it sooner rather than later (thank you expiring ePub formats, thanks a whole lot). In all honesty though, I am still reeling at this book and how much it made me think AND feel.
A Heart In A Body In The World is about a girl named Annabelle Agnelli. One day, Annabelle is at this burger joint, some guy has just made a rude comment to her. She decides to run from Seattle, where she is, to Washington DC. It is for a cause though. At the end, there’s Seth Greggory – who is a politician – if I am recalling correctly. She’s got something to say. What ends up happening is Annabelle’s grandfather follows along with her journey in his RV while she runs cross country and begins to heal from this tragedy that happened. This book is such a startling look at acute trauma and well, healing. I LOVED it.
Annabelle is probably one of my favorite sorts of main characters. She’s just so ordinary at first – yet she does something extraordinary. She’s empowered, ya know? Anyways. We get to know Annabelle as she is prior to the incident. We meet a girl who is on the track team – she runs cross country. She also works in a bakery after school. Her best friend is a girl named Kat. She had this boyfriend named Will. Annabelle is well liked and is in advanced classes. She has this amazing family. Granted, her parents are divorced and her dad ended up moving to Boston to become a Catholic priest. Still, she is just so interesting to read about because of her ordinary sort of life. Anyways, Annabelle and Will break up. There is a new guy in her classes, who is only referred to as the Taker.
At first, Annabelle is nice to him because she has been raised in a culture where she has been taught to do that. However, she keeps trying so hard to give him vibes that they are just friends and she is not interested in anything more. But well, he just will not listen. Annabelle is increasingly uncomfortable with him. Still, he sits at her lunch table and next to her in class. He keeps trying to take more and more from her. Annabelle, taught by our culture that this is acceptable goes along with it – sort of. She trusts that things will turn out okay. How very, very wrong she is. And well, I can’t say more because I don’t want to spoil A Heart In A Body In The World. Just believe me that you will be thinking about and discussing this book should you choose to read it.
Overall, I think that this book could potentially be triggering as there are guns involved. There is death involved. Also, there’s an unhealthy relationship. If those things do not trigger you though, what you’ll get is an extremely well written book. The message definitely resonates in a time of #MeToo. I just cannot recommend or praise this book enough. And well, I wish all my Deb Caletti books were not in storage because I ABSOLUTELY want to dive right into what are likely to be more five star reads right now.
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