A Heart in a Body in the World
BookPage Teen Top Pick, October 2018
Haunted by the tragedy that upended her life last year—and the source of her trauma, whom she refers to as the Taker—Annabelle takes off running from her hometown in Seattle. Her destination: Washington, D.C. Why? She’s not going to think about that. For now, all she can do is run. But with the support of her grandfather, who follows her in his RV, and her brother and best friends back home, Annabelle becomes a reluctant activist. As her feet bring her closer to her destination, Annabelle begins to hope that someday she’ll be able to shake her guilt and shame over what happened.
National Book Award finalist Deb Caletti (Honey, Baby, Sweetheart) makes readers wait until the end to find out why Annabelle is running 2,794 miles, but from the very first page, she tackles issues that will be painfully familiar to teen readers, including the constant, simmering fear of assault, the recurring realization that leaders—in school or in D.C.—are unable or unwilling to protect them, and the infuriating internal tug of war between being kind and being vigilant.
Written in driving prose that conveys a powerful sense of urgency and with loving characterizations of Annabelle and her family and friends in all their flawed, tender glory, A Heart in a Body in the World delivers a powerful look at love, loss and guilt as readers follow Annabelle’s cross-country journey to self-forgiveness.
Equal parts heartbreaking and hopeful, A Heart in a Body in the World reads like a battle cry for young women in the #MeToo era.
This article was originally published in the October 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.