A Heart in a Body in the World
Booklist Reviews 2018 June #1
*Starred Review* A guy in a parking lot leers at her, and Annabelle Agnelli takes off running. Eleven miles later, she stops, only to realize that running is exactly what she needs to do. Not just an impromptu, panic-stricken bolt, but an outlandishly extreme run that will take her from Seattle to Washington, D.C. It might help with her PTSD, and it might help her come to terms with her body. It will surely give her time to mourn the terrible losses of the previous year, and atone for the role she was never meant to play. This remarkable book traces Annabelle's cross-country adventure while gradually peeling apart the events that led to the trauma she's running from. Annabelle was on the rebound from a disrupted relationship when she befriends a socially awkward boy, now known only as "The Taker." Annabelle couldn't decide if he was weird or cute and tried not to encourage him, but looking back, she is tormented by her every smile and kindness. Through Annabelle, Caletti rips apart the contradictions of a society that commands women to be compliant and pleasing and then blames them for male responses to their attractiveness, however violent they might be. This timely, well-written novel is crucial reading in the days of #metoo. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2019 Spring
Eighteen-year-old distance runner Annabelle embarks on a cross-country run to manage the anxiety, guilt, and sorrow dogging her since the boy she calls "The Taker" irrevocably changed her life nine months ago with a gun. Readers take the physical and mental journey with Annabelle as she relinquishes feelings of self-blame and inspires others to act. Caletti's lyrical third-person, present-tense narration blends immediate detail with gut-wrenching flashbacks to great effect. Copyright 2019 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2018 #6
Nine months ago, the boy whom eighteen-year-old long-distance runner Annabelle calls "The Taker" irrevocably changed her life for the worse. Now she has embarked on a run from Seattle to Washington, DC, to try to manage the immense anxiety, guilt, and sorrow that have dogged her since. As she runs her daily sixteen miles, accompanied by curmudgeonly Grandpa Ed in his RV, she battles blisters, cramps, dehydration, and unwelcome memories of her relationship with The Taker. She agonizes over what she could have done differently, and blames herself for making excuses for his behavior. When she meets a kind young man along the way, she is understandably wary. But as she is cheered on by friends, family, and complete strangers, Annabelle's broken heart slowly begins to mend. When readers finally discover what happened between Annabelle and The Taker (involving a gun and a death), it's almost anticlimactic. The joy and power of this story is in taking the physical and mental journey with Annabelle as she relinquishes her feelings of self-blame and inspires others to act. Caletti's lyrical third-person, present-tense narration blends immediate detail with gut-wrenching flashbacks to great effect. An important and legitimizing book for any girl who ever believed a boy was owed her attention and any boy who ever assumed it was his due. jennifer hubert swan Copyright 2018 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
PW Reviews 2018 July #5
It's been nine months since an unnamed act of violence left runner Annabelle "broken and guilty and scared." When an incident at a restaurant triggers bad memories for the high school senior, she takes off running, forming a plan to go 2,719 miles, from Seattle to Washington, D.C. In a powerful story of a survivor trying to regain a sense of justice and power, Caletti (