"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Friday, May 17, 2019

Quotes and review: A Heart in a Body in the World

Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Rose City ReaderShare the opening quote from the book.
Th
e Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's VoiceFind a quote from page 56.

And a review, of sorts to follow---

Title: A Heart in the Body in the World by Deb Caletti

Book Beginnings:
"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."
Friday 56:
“It's hard to be all that you can be on carrot sticks and criticism.”
Summary: Annabelle is experiencing PTSD from a traumatic experience that involved her and a boy. Everyone in the whole school knows what happened and she feels responsible for all the pain and unhappiness. When a man leers at her in the Dick's Drive-in parking lot she spooks and starts running. She runs from Seattle to Renton, a city over 15 miles away, before she stops. At that point she realized that while she is running she can keep her demons at bay and decides, with no preparation, to run all the way to Washington, DC. She tells her family and friends she has to do something, to make a difference. After her grandfather is tapped to go with her on the trip in his motor-home, Annabelle starts running a half-marathon a day. She learns quickly that she can't outrun her problems, but she does meet people along the way who are as angry as she about what happened and she starts to accept the love and support people are willing to give her.

Review: This book unfolds like a tightly folded piece of paper. Details arrive slowly and messily and one is not quite sure what happened or why for the longest time. But as the reader flattens out the paper they learn more about Annabelle and her relationship with "the taker", a boy she refuses to name. We also learn about how hard it is to be female in a male dominated world, one where women are supposed to be thin, but strong (hence, the Friday 56 quote), look good but not slutty, have desires but aren't supposed to show them. Guns and the ease with which a person can purchase them also factor into the story. It is a very timely book in terms of what is happening in our nation and world. 

A Heart in a Body in the World was a Printz Honor book last year, an award that goes to the best of the best in YA lit. I wondered at this as I started reading the book thinking, "oh no, not another book about a teenager running (literally) away from her problems." But as the story unfolded I realized how important and timely this book is and the message, though it comes out slowly, is delivered perfectly. By the time that Annabelle gets almost all the way across the country on her run, she is asked to deliver a message to a group of assembled college students on her purpose for the trip. The speech she gives is the most real and raw I've ever read in YA lit. It alone makes reading the book worth it. As I was perusing Goodreads' reviews on this book I couldn't believe the superlatives that many readers used:
"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." -Melanie
"I'm furious. I'm heartbroken. But more than anything else, I'm so grateful that this book exists." -Romie 
"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 mental health/mental state. It 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 to derive value in relation to the male gaze, what happens when that becomes internalized?"-Emily
 If my words didn't convince you, I'm sure that these other reviewer's words did: Read this book!

Trigger warnings: graphic violence, guns, language.

14 comments:

  1. Great snippets. I am definitely wanting to read on! Happy Victoria Day weekend!

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  2. I haven't heard of A Heart in a Body in the World before, but it sounds like a great story. Also, I like the book cover. It's simple but nice.

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    1. I think the cover is creepy until you look closely at the runner.

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  3. Love that quote about carrot sticks and criticism! :)

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    1. I know. She was aware of the importance of food as fuel here and talked about what girls do to stay thin.

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  4. I've never heard of it, but want to read it now!

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  5. Sounds like a powerful read. Thanks for sharing! Hope you have a great weekend! :)

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  6. You had me with your description that it unfolds like wadded paper.
    YA has so many exciting things going on right now. Adding to the TBR right now.

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  7. How have I not heard of this book? I need to visit one of our school libraries and borrow it this coming week! Thank you for letting me / us know about it!

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    1. I doubt it is a popular title in any high school library. But they might have it because it was a Printz Honor.

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  8. I'm surprised I haven't heard of this one. Hope you are enjoying the weekend!

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  9. I've been meaning to read this. I guess now I have to!

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  10. I'm waiting for my library hold to come in on this one and I can't wait to pick it up!

    Lauren @ Always Me

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