Book Review: A Heart in a Body in the World (Realistic Fiction YA Novel)

A searing, raw, honest, and unflinching portrait and exploration of grief.

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Book Cover of A Heart In A Body In The World, by Deb Caletti, a Young Adult Fiction Novel.
Title: A Heart In A Body In The World | Author: Deb Caletti | Genre: Young Adult Fiction | Year Published: 2018

17 year old Annabelle Agnelli has been through something BIG. So big that it’s upended her entire world.

Grieving, she decides to run from Seattle to Washington, DC.

Why? Because she has to do something.


She runs because she’s tired of sitting still.

She runs because she has to keep on living.

Read the official synopsis…

My Thoughts

I LOVED this book. I loved everything about it.

Grief is a process and this book hits the nail on the head in its depiction. It mirrors how its process is often uncertain and uncomfortable, and portrays the desire to keep going even though you have no idea how you’ll make it through.

The characters, I recognize them from my life: the supportive grandpa; the concerned and overprotective mother; the little bro who gets under your skin but always has your back. Annabelle’s support system was a wonderful thing to behold.

Keep In Mind

As fantastic as this book is, we don’t get the backstory for quite some time (in case you’re the kind of reader who needs to know what happened).

In fact, you won’t find out until the last 1/3rd of the novel. If that bugs you, you might want to skip this one.

This story is just as much about the how (how a person comes back from a devastating event), but it also has a lot to say about the what (what happened and the signs that lead up to it).

*Trigger Warnings down below in the P.S. because it may contain spoilers.

Wrap Up

My Final Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

If you’ve ever grieved something or someone, you’ll likely see yourself somewhere in Anabelle. She was so brave and strong even though she didn’t feel that way. You will feel seen and understood. And that is a beautiful thing.

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, you can read the first pages here…

Happy Reading!

All the Best,
♥ Ash 

P.S. Triggers: emotional abuse, gun violence, violence against women