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

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  3,713 ratings  ·  967 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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Kelly I’d give this to 8th grade and up for sure. Maybe even a mature 7th grader. I loved it and can’t wait to share it with my students.…moreI’d give this to 8th grade and up for sure. Maybe even a mature 7th grader. I loved it and can’t wait to share it with my students. (less)
RefrigeratorRunning I began with reading a borrowed e-book version of this and then switched to the audio book so I could go on runs and keep listening. The narration is…moreI began with reading a borrowed e-book version of this and then switched to the audio book so I could go on runs and keep listening. The narration is fantastic and gives the writing a different voice, especially since it is literally in your ears. Many of the most powerful lines still struck me as I listened to the audio book.

I don't intend on reading this book again so I don't know if you are willing to own a book that won't have "replay" value. That said, I did highlight and comment on several sections in my kindle version, and do enjoy books with great and thought-provoking quotes.

Final answer: either/or. Audio book narration is great and I highly recommend. Physical book is worth owning if you think you'd like to refer back to it again, or to re-read, or to lend to others.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,713 ratings  ·  967 reviews

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Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Melanie by: Madalyn (Novel Ink)

“She survived something big, and when you survive something big, you are always, always aware that next time you might not.”

I can truly say, with every single ounce of my heart, that this is one of the best books I’ve ever read in my entire life. It’s so quiet, but so loud. It’s so heartbreaking, but so healing. It’s so impactful, it’s so powerful, and it’s completely and utterly unforgettable. I truly recommend this story with my entire soul. A Heart in a Body in the World is now one of my
Chaima ✨ شيماء
*steps out of my house and immediately hears booing*

This was just….ok? I always grapple with how to rate books which I think bring up very relevant and timely topics--however much they fail to explore them in a satisfying way--but which don't exactly land on the reader with a sound of impact. A Heart in a Body in the World is such a novel. The plot plods on endlessly and the boredom of it all almost bled my brain front to back. It also felt like the third-person narrative holds the reader at
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. ...more
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
She can't truly outrun her future, but you can't tell her body that.

This is one of the most powerful and important books I’ve read all year. It’s truly one of those books that I think is a must-read for all readers.

A Heart in a Body in the World is a story about tragedy, but also, surviving and fighting to overcome tragedy. It’s Annabelle’s story. Annabelle is a high school senior who has suffered something horrific. Her life was changed so drastically and she knows no matter what,
Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Uplifting and beautiful.
Regarding the theme it handled, this book came out as nurturing and hopeful. This is the kind of book which makes you feel like you have just met a stranger out of nowhere but you need to know this stranger bit by bit, slow and meaningful. You would wait with all the patience in the entire world for this stranger to open up to you. You will want to make this stranger have his own moments of quiet and bad timings and then open up to you again whenever the stranger is
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,
April (Aprilius Maximus)
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Wow, I have a lot to say about this one. I'll either write a review or film one and when I do, I'll post it here. But for now, SLEEP BECKONS.
Nov 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, starred-2018, ya, 4, printz
Printz Honor 2019

I get it.

Original review

A book for our time, and a well written one. Gun violence, violence against women, activism. I can see it capturing Printz committee's attention, even though I failed to love it.

What I found the most compelling was the main character's grappling with her feelings about getting involved with a guy she never really felt comfortable with and always putting her self-imposed rule to be nice and kind to him before her discomfort. How much is one responsible
“Every person is a book with chapters. Some are glorious and some are dark and ugly. Every person survives something.”

This story is so beautiful and real and so relevant that it's terrifying. This books is about (view spoiler) I'm blocking it out because it's kind of a spoiler, but it's also a trigger warning so I think some people might like to know what it is about going in. But wow this story could not be more relevant right now in America, and I think this is so
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
Phenomenal!!! I’m not sure why I started reading this book or how I came across it but I’m so glad I did. The writing was great, the story unique. I wasn’t expecting the “reveal” to be so brutal. A VERY good read indeed!!
Shaun Hutchinson
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is heartbreaking and heart mending and beautiful.
Dannii Elle
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actual rating 4.5/5 stars.

“Oh, every person is a book with chapters. Some are glorious and some are dark and ugly. Every person survives something.”
Jane (It'sJaneLindsey)
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.
Amy Risner
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing

If I could recommend one book to read this year, it would be this. I loved it so so much, and it will stick with me for a very long time.

Things start out a little vague but slowly picks up as we begin to learn so many things about Annabelle and her past. Due to a very traumatic experience, Annabelle decides to pursue a daunting task: running cross country from Seattle, Washington to Washington, DC. It is a five-month journey with her running from town to town, with her grandfather following her
I'm furious. I'm heartbroken. But more than anything else, I'm so grateful that this book exists. One of the best books I've ever read. It's so important to talk about gun violence, and A Heart in a Body in the World did such an incredible job. Forever in awe of it.
Lea (drumsofautumn)
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lea (drumsofautumn) by: Madalyn (Novel Ink)
Incredible. Incredible, incredible, incredible. I don't think I'll ever be able write a review for this one.

Buddy read with Melanie from meltotheany
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
An all-too-timely feminist YA novel about the ways toxic masculinity harms each and every one of us. Annabelle has been victim of (view spoiler). To clear her head and try to do something, she begins to run. And suddenly, she decides her goal is to run from Seattle to Washington, DC. She has no real plan but knows this is deeply what she needs and ...more
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 ...more
Laura • lauralovestoread
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this and devoured it in one sitting, and I’m wrecked y’all

“𝙼𝚞𝚜𝚒𝚌 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚋𝚘𝚘𝚔𝚜 𝚜𝚝𝚒𝚛 𝚞𝚙 𝚎𝚖𝚘𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗𝚜. 𝚃𝚑𝚎𝚢 𝚖𝚊𝚔𝚎 𝚏𝚎𝚎𝚕𝚒𝚗𝚐𝚜 𝚛𝚒𝚜𝚎 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚌𝚕𝚊𝚝𝚝𝚎𝚛 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚠𝚛𝚎𝚌𝚔, 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚜𝚘𝚖𝚎𝚝𝚒𝚖𝚎𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝'𝚜 𝚍𝚊𝚗𝚐𝚎𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚜. 𝙱𝚞𝚝 𝚖𝚞𝚜𝚒𝚌 𝚌𝚊𝚗 𝚖𝚊𝚔𝚎 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚛𝚒𝚜𝚎 𝚞𝚙 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚌𝚕𝚊𝚝𝚝𝚎𝚛 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚍𝚎𝚜𝚝𝚛𝚘𝚢 𝚠𝚑𝚎𝚗 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚗𝚎𝚎𝚍 𝚝𝚘, 𝚝𝚘𝚘.”
Oh this book was so good! I can’t give away too much without revealing spoilers, but Annabelle Agnelli is trying to deal with the aftermath of something that has happened. She doesn’t even think before she takes off and starts running. From
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a devastating book that I want to give to every young girl who has experienced any kind of violence because of their gender. I love how layered this is, how it has audience-appropriate use of metaphors and motifs, how it understands that it didn't need to make the protagonist "not like other girls" or heap a bunch of side issues onto her (she really had plenty to deal with as it was), how it is a book about a teen girl navigating her own sexual & political power, how it deals with ...more
You never know what a day will bring, which is both the good news and bad news of life. She has decided to keep going, as anyone could tell by her closed eyes and calm expression. She realizes that all big decisions are ones that must be decided and decided again.

She imagines that when you fall in love, you must decide to be in love a million times or more. When you are a human being, you must decide and decide again to go forward. You must, or you don’t move from the worst that life offers.
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-read
The thing about this book is that it's hard. It's emotional and dark and it left me feeling raw. But it's also important. And it's necessary. And I think that what this book is doing and saying is what we need to be hearing right now. It's not an easy read by any means. But it's so so so necessary and I can't recommend it highly enough.

It's hard for me to talk about even think about this book because it gave me a lot of anxiety. I had to read it in short bursts because long periods of reading
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.
mindful.librarian ☀️
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
OUTSTANDING YA. A perfect fit for teens and adults alike, and while it tackles incredibly hard topics, there is only one graphic scene (aftermath of violent crime). I adored the running journey and was turning pages as fast as I could to figure out what actually happened with the Taker. If you read this book, PLEASE make sure not to read any spoiler reviews first.
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
CW: Depression, anxiety, PTSD, shooting, blood, graphic description of gunshot wounds, grief.

Original review posted on my blog : Word Wonders

I usually do not review audiobooks. I simply don’t. Because it’s the little part of my reading I do solely for enjoyment without paying too much attention to technicalities or being somewhat critical. But I had to make an exception for this one (like I did for The Poet X) because after finishing it, I found myself with so many emotions and thoughts that
Book 4 for contemporaryathon round 5.

I don't have the words this book deserves right now, but I will say that I think it's worth your time. Whether this turns out to be one of your favorite books of the year or just an okay read, I do believe that there are important takeaways addressed in this novel that will stick with you and should be discussed.
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 -
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Deb Calettiis the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of over sixteen books for adults and young adults, including Honey, Baby, Sweetheart, a finalist for the National Book Award, and A Heart in a Body in the World, a Michael L. Printz Honor Book. Her books have also won the Josette Frank Award for Fiction, the Washington State Book Award, and numerous other state awards and honors, and ...more
“It's the people who know you and love you that save you.” 14 likes
“Anxiety is like being in freeway traffic all the time. There's the constant sense of dodging and darting, seeking your chance to cut in, the irritation of others pulling ahead of you. You hit the accelerator, you slam the brakes. You scout and scan for danger.” 13 likes
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