Title: The Heart Is Not a Size
Author: Beth Kephart
Release Date: March 30, 2010
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
The summer before her senior year in high school, Georgia decides she wants to go on a community service trip to Juarez, Mexico. She wants to find a way to impact the world. She convinces her best friend, Riley, to join her, even though Riley has emotional issues that she isn’t able to face. Through this trip, Georgia begins to understand more about her place in the world and the meaning of friendship.
I was excited to hear Beth Kephart had an new book coming out this spring, as I read and enjoyed Nothing But Ghosts last year. I was impressed by Beth’s ability to convey so much in such a short book, and I felt the same way about The Heart Is Not a Size.
I absolutely loved the character of Georgia. She really made the entire book for me. She was smart, driven, and focused, and just wanted to make a difference in the world. She has anxiety issues that surface as the novel progresses, which means she isn’t perfect by any means. Georgia is a character that teens will really be able to relate to, but she also sets a great example for them.
Riley’s situation was a bit more complicated. The reader only gets a sense of what she’s experienced and how far deep her emotional issues go. Riley won’t even discuss them with Georgia. I loved how supportive Georgia was of her. Georgia was incredibly loyal, even when she knew she risked alienating her dear friend because of how much she cared. I think we all ache for a friend that true, at any age.
As always, Beth Kephart’s writing is gorgeous. She writes with such beauty and grace, yet it also seems so natural. There’s nothing contrived about her writing style; it is clear that the poetry of her words comes from deep within her soul. I believe Beth’s novels are worth reading simply for her stunning prose, but the fact that she has something worthwhile makes it that much better.
The Heart Is Not a Size is a slip of a book, but don’t let that fool you. The emotions in this novel run deep. It’s a beautiful and sweet book that will leave you thinking long after you finish it.