Monday, October 7, 2019

TTT: Ten Things I Love About Annabelle from A Heart in a Body in the World

 TTT is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl .  If you want to quadruple the size of your TBR AND find a bunch of great book blogs to follow head on over and check it out!

The topic this week is: ten things that make me fall in love with a book character

I think the author's skill is really the main ingredient--I love characters sweet and characters bitter, the angsty shy ones and the outrageous bold ones. So I'm going to explain ten things I loved about the main character of a book I finished about five minutes ago, A Heart in a Body in the World.

Annabelle is grieving. 
It takes awhile for the reader to really find out who and why she's mourning, but her grief is real and relatable, and made me care so much for her. There's a sense, when tragedy first hits, that recovering from it is not even a worthy goal, that it would be a betrayal of those you loved to want to start feeling okay again. Annabelle's guilt is even more complex than that, but I recognized it all the same.

Annabelle is an athlete.
I always say you'll only see me running if I'm about to miss a plane. But as much as I love a character I can relate to, I also love a character who has interests beyond my own. 

Annabelle is an awesome sister.
Her relationship with her little brother is so sweet and healthy and lovely. Sibling love for the win.

Annabelle find her mom infuriating and wise, supportive and frustrating, all in pretty much equal measures.
This is the mother/daughter content I can relate to. 

Annabelle hides her fury under her guilt.
Oooh boy. As a reader, you come to this understanding right along with her, and it is so satisfying to see her recognize and then claim her anger. 

Annabelle loves books, and shared that love with her bestie.
I'm pretty sure most readers love to read about readers, right?

Annabelle is figuring out some really tough stuff about what it means to be a woman in this world. She has some important questions about why girls are told they can do anything but still are held accountable for boys' actions to them. She struggles with how she can be flirty without giving up her right to say no. This is stuff that is really hard to navigate, and when I was her age, these questions were so far below the radar. It's a baby step, but I'm glad we are at least openly talking about this stuff now.

Annabelle's growth is not linear.
She makes progress, then she regresses. She claims her power, then loses it again. She gives up, but then she keeps going anyway. Not only does this make me super proud of her, but it is also far more relatable than a character whose arc is just up-up-up.

Annabelle's friends and family all have different, specific nicknames for her.
How cute is that? From Pip to Belle Bottom to Bella Luna, her people show their love by giving her a name just between them.

Annabelle dedicates herself to fighting against gun violence.
She's my hero.

BONUS CONTENT: Annabelle's mom, Gina, responding to her little brother Malcolm heading outside from the hotel room they've convened in the first evening of the story.
"It's dark out there. It's eleven thirty! We're in Renton."
This cracks me up, given that my sister lives in Renton, and it's...pretty bland. 

A Heart in a Body in the World


  1. What an awesome post. It's a brilliant way to combine a review with one of my favorite memes. I have heard a lot of amazing things about this book. It sounds emotional and powerful.

  2. You thought carefully about all the ways you connect with characters and then shared all these with us. Such a rich and interesting post. This character was both admirable and human, flawed but resilient, and that’s something we can all understand and love.

  3. Fighting against gun violence is a very good trait.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.

  4. This was such a creative post. Great job on it!

    My TTT.

  5. I like that you focused on one book. It’s a review and TTT combined! Sounds like a pretty great book too. I’m heading over to Goodreads to look it up.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  6. OK so now A Heart in a Body in the World is on my TBR! It sounds lovely and I love the sound of Annabelle.
    Cora |

  7. I really liked this book a lot. I am surprised it hasn't gotten more traction among bloggers. Thanks for highlighting it. My TTT list

  8. So many interesting elements in this story, it sounds like. The relationship with her mother sounds well done.

    That bonus content was interesting too- I've never been to Renton (isn't that a suburb of Seattle, more or less?) but I've never seen it referred to as sketchy or anything.

  9. Love the fact that you focused on a single character for this. And everything about this makes me want to read the book (this would be a great way to do reviews!).

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  10. I like how you took a creative take on this prompt and mentioned the lovable characteristics of one character.


Please share your thoughts. Comments are almost as sweet as chocolate!