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A Heart in a Body in the World
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A Heart in a Body in the World

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  264 Ratings  ·  114 Reviews
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
Hardcover, 358 pages
Published September 18th 2018 by Simon Pulse
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Emily Auerswald I'd say, high school and up. I am a grades 7-9 librarian and will not be adding this to our collection. I did, however, love the book - the end left…moreI'd say, high school and up. I am a grades 7-9 librarian and will not be adding this to our collection. I did, however, love the book - the end left me gutted - but there are a number of mature themes and emotions that a younger reader might not quite yet be ready for.(less)

Community Reviews

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Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book is beautiful and haunting and powerful and I’m just 😭😭😭 maybe I’ll come back to write a more coherent review when I stop crying but tonight is not that night. EVERYONE needs to read this book.
Julie Zantopoulos
"But she feels this in her heart and soul and with every searing and burning step: A crime must have a punishment and this is part of hers."

I am kicking myself for not taking a physical arc copy of this book at BookCon because I didn't think I could relate to the running theme that I knew would feature heavily in this book. However, I'm glad the copy went to somebody else and I was approved on NetGalley because, man, I was wrong to think I could pass this book up.

"She wants to propel herself in
Madalyn (Novel Ink)
This review originally appeared on Novel Ink.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

CONTENT WARNINGS: intimacy, stalking, grief, PTSD, depression, gun violence, murder, death of loved ones, self-harm (pushing oneself past physical boundaries)

As a voracious reader, I’ve read many stories over the course of my lifetime that have resonated with me deeply. But books like A Heart in a Body in the World, b
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don’t even have words for how vital and heartbreaking and inspiring this book is. This is probably one of the strongest, most well-crafted books I’ve read in such a long time. This was just incredible.
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the strongest YA contemporaries I've read in a LONG time.

Caletti's writing is lovely and accessible, but it never feels dumbed down. I think she's particularly strong at using language to convey how trauma affects Annabelle's (the MC) mental health/mental state.

This is a book examines how women and girls are so often are reduced to objects to be controlled by another. I was incredibly impressed with how Caletti dives into the nuances of this. When girls are ceaselessly conditioned
Claire (bookscoffeeandrepeat)
Annabelle was running away from her problems, literally running away from the issues that bothers her. So she sets foot to Washington D.C. despite the pain on her heels. It had been heavily emphasized that running was a great distraction for Annabelle. While reading this book, I wasn't sure what she had been talking about because Annabelle was thinking about many different things. The author didn't reveal what the premise referred to as the "tragedy" so the reader had to stick till the end for t ...more
Mar 07, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I might set it to 4 after I think about it for a while.

The story is actually really good (the idea behind it even better), I could relate with the main characters every now and then and I know how important it is to give voice to this subject.

But the way it was told... the pacing is really slow in the beginning (bordering on boredom) and the big reaveal comes only near the ending, so even though I heard the grieve in her voice I didn’t actually feel it, as I was - frustratingly - tryi
Vicky Who Reads
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
4 stars

For someone who doesn't like running, I ended up really enjoying this book about a girl running.

Lesson learned: you don't need to a fan of a book's topic to like said book. I don't like mass murder, but it doesn't mean I don't like reading about it.

Luckily, Annabelle's journey isn't as deadly as mass murder, and you don't need to like running to like this book. I was really invested in her story of running across the United States and, most of all, why she was running across the United St
Brenda Ayala
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: yallwest-2018
I think I appreciate this one more because our main character is an accidental heroine. In a lot of contemporary YA novels lately (especially dealing with this subject) has the main character consciously taking a stance.

It’s one hundred percent needed, of course—without people taking a stand things break down. But it was refreshing to have a story where a girl doesn’t have the mental fortitude to face what she’s survived just yet. Her avoidance felt natural.

That being said, it was a tad too fee
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Sometimes, you come across things; people, places, music, films, and they move you in ways you can't even begin to articulate. This is one of those things.

This is a book that will break your heart and stitch it back together.

It begins with a journey; one of 2794 miles and a million emotions. In a spell-binding, and subtely climatic manner, Deb Caletti gives a voice to a group that have been silenced for far too long, in the form of Annabelle Agnelli.

God, I wish I knew a girl like Annabelle
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I am still reeling at A Heart In A Body In The World by Deb Caletti and how much it made me think AND feel. If you want an excellent read, click here.
Mary (BookHounds)
I'm not crying, you ARE crying.

I know why but this story really struck a nerve with me.  It is the current state of affairs in this county and this is the right book at the right time and it needs to be read by everyone.  I think just being a woman in this world today is so full of horror and fear that it is hard to be strong sometimes.  This book helps put that feeling into words. I am still emotionally reeling from this story.

Annabelle is running across the country, from Seattle to Washington
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you need me, I’ll be over here in a puddle for the rest of eternity.
Aug 20, 2018 added it
Shelves: 2018-releases
This was a really special book that I'm glad a couple of people shoved in my face, espceially my coworker, who did so quite literally. (Well, she lent me her ARC, anyway.) This reminded me a little bit of Exit, Pursued By a Bear, in the sense that all the unilaterally supportive response she faces isn't unrealistic, per se, but rather just unlikely, in a way that makes you want to say "WHY should that be unlikely?? It's freaking HUMAN."

But I digress - I really, really liked this very necessary
Kristen Unger
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful timely novel about finding yourself and overcoming tragedy. Annabelle, our main character decides to run 2,700 miles from her home state of Washington to Washington D.C. The story follows Annabelle through her journey while giving us snippets of Annabelle's memories of the tragedy that she is running from; the tragedy is not revealed until you almost reach the end of the story. The characters feel so real and Annabelle is such an inspiration, this is an story that will stick with you ...more
Ashley Blake
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Absolutely stunning.
Achingly poignant and beautifully written, A Heart in a Body in the World is a book that everyone, man, woman and teen, must read. I truly do not have words adequate enough to describe both the importance and the beauty of this incredible story. It brought me to tears (multiple times), it had me on the edge of my seat, it had me raging at the world, and it had me smiling in hope and joy and hoping that maybe, just maybe, through stories such as these of strong, brave men and women, we can make a ...more
Jonna Peltokangas
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“I just keep running on those hot roads because I don’t know if my country will protect me and my rights as a female, as a person who wants to be safe from violence. it has not shown me that it will protect me, from males more powerful than me, from people who hate and intend to do harm. it has shown me that I am less than, that I am not worth being protected. it has shown recklessness with my well being.”

“and I run and run because I am filled with grief and sorrow too. my running is crying and
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it

Annabelle starts running, and she doesn't stop; she runs from Washington State to Washington DC. And while she is running to raise awareness for issues that have devastated her life, the real reason she's running is because she doesn't know what else to do. Even though Annabelle tries, she is unable to outrun her own life. The closer she gets to DC, and the closer she is to facing the realities in her life, the harder her road becomes. Caletti writes with a gorgeous blend of restraint and tensio
Emily (Obsessed Reader)
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Let me start off by saying that reading any Deb Caletti book is like coming home or a warm hug for me. She will always be one of my favorite authors. And this book is beyond anything I could even say about it, so I’m going to keep it short. It was breathtaking, in more ways than one. I loved it so much and I’m going to need you to read it ASAP.
kelly {BookCrushin}
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is so beautiful, so important, so timely. It is hard to read because you are suffering along with Annabelle. Her trauma, her way of escaping that turned into action and hope. It is all so important and everyone should read this book. Every teenager, every parent, every politician should read this book. It may be fiction but it is so damn heartbreakingly real.
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
I am going to be the unpopular opinion when it comes to this story.

I struggled to connect to any part of this story. I wanted to but it never happened. I believe the fractured and choppy way the story was delivered is what kept me at arm's length.

Aug 20, 2018 rated it liked it
So there is some massively triggering content in this book, I'm going to put it under this spoiler tag in case you're wondering what it was and whether or not you can handle reading it. It's gun violence, by the way.

(view spoiler)
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult-teen
Outstanding. Review to come.
Jun 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs-i-own
It was kind of hard to gauge what exactly this book was going to be about when I picked it up. But I knew it was about running and running for a particular cause, and I figured it would be motivational. And it definitely is! It's a book that makes you want to be proactive, push yourself harder, and fight for something you believe in. I think the book definitely excelled in that area, and it's truly relevant to politics and current issues in the United States right now.

Despite that, I didn't LOVE
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This was a one sitting, literally can't put this down read. Annabelle, who has been through a trauma that gets revealed in bits throughout the story, starts running from her home in Seattle towards Washington D.C. She is suffering from PTSD, but she has to do something to reclaim herself. This book is one of the most honest, real books I've ever read when it comes to the small ways girls and women are treated by males. We are taught to be sweet, be polite, to not say no, to take every one e ...more
Lindsi (Do You Dog-ear?)
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Turned up or turned down, the feeling is permanent. She survived something big, and when you survive something big, you are always, always aware that next time you might not."

I received a book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Before A Heart in a Body in the World, I'd only read one other book by Deb Caletti. Stay was an emotional story that I still think about to this day. Caletti has a way with words, in writing and in life, and I was fo
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: realistic, teen
Timely and heart-wrenching, this novel finds high school senior destroyed by tragedy and attempting a cross-country run (WA>DC) to deal with the events of the previous year. Loving, Italian-American family relationships, beautiful writing, and a slowly unveiled backstory makes this a page-turner that simultaneously encourages you to linger.
First sentence: Annabelle Agnelli is trying to hold it together in the parking lot of Dick's Drive-In. After what just happened, she's stunned. Frozen. And then--imagine it--Annabelle's wrecked self suddenly takes off like a lightning bolt.

Premise/plot: If ever a book needs a freezer, then A Heart in the Body in the World does. Annabelle's story--her nightmare of a story--unfolds slowly throughout the book as she runs across the country. Is she running from her past? running from her present? or
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Deb Caletti is an award winning author and National Book Award finalist. Her many books for young adults include “The Nature of Jade,” “Stay,” “Essential Maps for the Lost,” and "Honey, Baby Sweetheart," winner of the Washington State Book award, the PNBA Best Book Award, and a finalist for the PEN USA Award. Her first book for adults, “He’s Gone,” was released from Random House in 2012, followed ...more