Struck by impulse, Annabelle Agnelli decides to run from Seattle to Washington D.C. A skilled cross-country runner, she thinks she can do it. More importantly, she needs to do it. With her grandpa travelling with her, a tactical team at home, and the sneakers on her feet, Annabelle embarks on a journey that introduces her to a variety of people and, as her story gains momentum, the tools she needs to heal. Deb Caletti masterfully weaves a story of tragedy and growth through the eyes of someone touched by gun violence who is going to make amends the only way she knows how: running.
- Clare— From Clare's Recs
“This is one for the ages.” —Gayle Forman, author of the #1 bestseller If I Stay
“A book everyone should read right now.” —The New York Times Book Review
“A vital and heartbreaking story that brings together the #MeToo movement, the effects of gun violence, and the struggle of building oneself up again after crisis.” —Elle
“Equal parts heartbreaking and hopeful.” —BookPage
Each step on Annabelle’s 2,700 mile cross-country run brings her closer to facing a trauma from her past in National Book Award finalist Deb Caletti’s novel about the heart, all the ways it breaks, and its journey to healing. Because sometimes against our will, against all odds, we go forward.
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.
Followed by Grandpa Ed in his RV and backed by her brother and two friends (her self-appointed publicity team), Annabelle becomes a reluctant activist as people connect her journey to the trauma from her past. Her cross-country run gains media attention and she is cheered on as she crosses state borders, and is even thrown a block party and given gifts. The support would be nice, if Annabelle could escape the guilt and the shame from what happened back home. They say it isn’t her fault, but she can’t feel the truth of that.
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.
About the Author
Deb Caletti is an award-winning author and National Book Award finalist. Her many books for young adults include Stay; The Nature of Jade; and Honey, Baby, Sweetheart, winner of the Washington State Book Award and the PNBA Best Book Award, and a finalist for the PEN USA Award. Her books for adults include He’s Gone and her latest release, The Secrets She Keeps. She lives with her family in Seattle.
“Masterful… This is one for the ages.” –Gayle Forman, New York Times bestselling author of If I Stay
“Caletti’s novel dazzlingly maps the mind-blowing ferocity and endurance of an athlete who uses her physical body to stake claim to the respect of the nation.” –E. Lockhart, New York Times bestselling author of Genuine Fraud and We Were Liars
“More than bittersweet… It will nestle inside your brain as well as your heart.” –Jodi Lynn Anderson, award-winning author of Midnight at the Electric
“Remarkable.” –Booklist, starred review
“A timely novel.” –Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Powerful.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review
“A moving novel centered on timely issues.” –School Library Journal
"A moving, unfortunately timely, and gut-wrenching story that will stick with you."
"This is, quite simply, a book everyone should read right now."