2019 Printz Award Honor
This is one of the best teen books I have read in a long time. Annabelle begins her journey to run across America. She is running for a reason, and we find out why through multiple flashbacks. Annabelle has been through a traumatic experience and is trying to deal with it by doing something positive for herself, but it turns out she inspires the whole world.
If it's possible to both think a book is incredibly powerful and moving and necessary, and also never want to read it ever again as soon as you're done, then that's how I feel about this one. This was devastating -- I found myself wanting to stop reading the deeper into the book I got, as the pieces of Annabelle's trauma were put together through flashbacks, but the writing is so compelling that I had to continue to the end. It's an easy read in that it's totally engrossing and page-turning, but an incredibly difficult one in that it's heartbreaking and maddening, too. It is also, ultimately, hopeful and empowering, and features an incredibly well-developed cast of secondary characters that were worth the many tears I shed in the book's closing chapters. Put this book in the hands of every teenager you know.
I'm decades (many) older than Annabelle Agnelli, but I couldn't put this book down as I identified with every emotion she felt, especially her vulnerability as a young woman, as she runs to try to recover from real trauma. I kept wondering "What happened? What's going to happen with Annabelle? Please, please get me to the ending!" And we don't find out what happened until almost the end, when I was in tears. This book simply has to be read!
There are also fascinating chapter headings about the heart that are simply amazing.
Annabelle is a girl who has experienced a trauma and the only thing that she can think to do is run. She’s a runner and she finds some solace there. She doesn’t want to ever stop running so begins a run across the country - 16 miles, a half marathon, a day.
I couldn’t help but to get caught up in her journey and her terror. Again and again she reminds us how women live in fear, are never safe in the world but she doesn’t try to come up with answers. She just runs. As she points out in a speech that she gives, she believed that danger would be taken care of by others like adults, those in power in society but it is not.
Her character is believable and engaging. That she can pull off the run across the country is hard to believe but somehow the author managed to pull me along with it. This is a book for our times and I strongly recommend it to everyone. As an adult, it was a satisfying read despite being labeled as YA.
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