A Heart In A Body In The World | By Deb Caletti

A Heart In A Body In The World | By Deb Caletti

A Heart In a Body in the World
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Published: September 18th, 2018
This is a story with a strong message. And I want everyone to read it, talk about it and share it. It's not just about one kind of violence.

I listened to the #audiobook of A Heart In a Body in The World. 

Trigger warning : PTSD, Violence, Trauma


(Courtesy : Goodreads)


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 tries, she can’t outrun the tragedy from the past year, or the person—The Taker—that haunts her.

Through welcome and unwelcome distractions, she just keeps running, to the destination that awaits her. There, she’ll finally face what lies behind her—the miles and love and loss…and what is to come.

My thoughts

It took me a long time to finish this book. This book had a style. It mentions a few facts about heart at the beginning of every chapter. Following that suit, I am stating a few facts that I’ve observed while reading/listening to this book.

1) I live in a country where procuring a gun( even illegally) is a tedious process. Nonetheless that doesn’t mean we have less violence here. – A weapon doesn’t always cause violence. Violence is an attitude.

2) However, the lesser availability, might as well mitigate violence. I read about a gun violence victim committing suicide because of survivor’s guilt. If not for this book, I wouldn’t have noticed this incident because the concept is so unfamiliar to me.

3) When you live in a world where people are capable of foregoing humanity, anything can be a weapon. Even food. The news here a month back was about a woman who was starved to death by her in-laws due to some dowry issue.

4) Household violence is the most terrifying. Home means safety and security. Here in our local news, another violent incident caught headlines. A seven year old was beaten to death by his stepfather while his mother watched.

Narrative and plot

A first person narrative can be monotonous, particularly when it is a slow burn, but something about the tone of this book makes it engaging. Basically, you care about this character, your protagonist right from the beginning and want to know what happened to her. I listened to the audiobook, so the narrator did an amazing job conveying the feelings and struggles of Anabelle.

Characters and Conflict

This book mainly concentrates on what is going through the mind of a young teenage girl -Anabelle. You can see, how her trauma affects the people around her, through her eyes. Backed by a bunch of impressive ensemble characters, this slow paced story is brought to life which makes you wonder whether this is all real. The character arc was remarkable. It didn’t push too far but left you with a glimmer of hope.

The book indicates that something has happened right at the beginning. So the rest of the story is the journey of the reader along with Anabelle and the truth unfolding over the course of time. I have never been to U.S but it was nice to read about the different cities, towns and neighborhood.

After some point you can guess what might have happened. Still, it does not take away anything from the story because you start caring for the people in this story by that time. It had me in tears in more than one occasion. (I was listening on my way to office and I’m sure the driver was looking at me once or twice through the mirror while I was trying hard
not to let my tears ruin my makeup.)


A Heart in a Body in the World is a story with a strong message. And I want everyone to read it, talk about it and share it. It’s not just about one kind of violence. The book makes it clear. This is about every incident where one human being decides that violence gives them power and makes the other person feel helpless. You need to stand up so that no one does that to anybody again ever.

About the Author

Deb Caletti is 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 she was a finalist for the PEN USA Award. She lives with her family in Seattle.

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4 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great review! I’ve been meaning to pick this up since it came out!

    xoxo, tree

  2. Thanks for the trigger warnings. 🙂

    • Rejitha says:

      🙂 This is a very emotional book. When I heard about it from booktube, there was a trigger warning. Thought, I should mention it as well after reading it.

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