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The Heart Is Not a Size by Beth KephartThe Heart Is Not a Size by Beth Kephart

Published by HarperTeen (A division of HarperCollins)

Pages: 256

Ages: Young Adult

Publishers Summary: Georgia knows what it means to keep secrets. She knows how to ignore things. She knows that some things are better left unsaid. . . . Or are they?

When Georgia and her best friend, Riley, travel along with nine other suburban Pennsylvania kids to Anapra, a squatters’ village in the heat-flattened border city of Juarez, Mexico, secrets seem to percolate and threaten both a friendship and a life. Certainties unravel. Reality changes. And Georgia is left to figure out who she is outside the world she’s always known.

Beth Kephart paints a world filled with emotion, longing, and the hot Mexican sun.

“In a matter of pages Beth Kephart has you hooked, completely drawn in and begging to turn page after page of this beautiful novel. This is the story of Georgia and her good friend Riley as they travel to Juarez Mexico to discover where their hearts lie and how much they can hold. Somehow during this journey they discover that who they are is more than what others tell them, but how they care for the path they are given and those they meet along the way. Through this they find that the Heart truly is Not a Size.

“There is so much I could say about this book, because there are so many layers to it. Two of which would be first – the actual place, Juarez Mexico and secondly – the complicated relationships we have with those we care for. It’s amazing to me that Kephart can create such an incredible story in such a small amount of space. I quite literally devoured this book in a matter of two or three hours tops!

“First, I’d just like to mention Juarez. I’ve driven by this city at least half a dozen times on trips from California to Texas and every time it strikes me to my core. I still have images in my mind of the buildings next to the freeway in El Paso, how freely people drove from place to place and the luxury of it all. Yes, I know, El Paso is still not the most beautiful city to some, but it’s drastic difference with the city on the other side of the border is hard to forget. Just turn your head south and you immediately see the opposite, the disparity, the struggle and the poverty. It’s hard to believe that people could find joy in seeing what they lack so often by just looking to the north, but they do. Some of the happiest people my husband has ever met were those he met while serving his mission in Mexico in some of the most poverty stricken areas. People can find joy no matter their circumstance, it’s all how you approach your life and Kephart doesn’t fail to mention this.

“The second layer to the story are the people, the relationships, primarily between Georgia and Riley, and then with their own families. I related to Riley more than I think I’d like to admit. Her struggle for acceptance and approval is heart wrenching. She goes to the very most extreme, just have her mother reach out to her in a way that can help her understand she is happy with her choices in life. Georgia on the other hand has her own set of struggles and through Riley and Juarez she is able to step outside of her cage to discover her freedom.

“The beauty of this story truly rests with Kephart’s writing. There were some passages I found myself reading over and over again just to find the deepest meaning possible with them. It touched me beyond anything I’ve read in a very long time. A couple of my favorites:

“Silence defeats like nothing else does. There is no fighting it.” p.144

“You can want something more than you can say. That doesn’t ever mean it’s yours.” p.205

“The Heart Is Not a Size is a book everyone should read. Everyone. You will learn so much about yourself, about others and how you can reach out to others in some times extraordinarily simple ways. Truly the Heart is Not a Size and Kephart has captured that in this wonderful journey. A favorite of mine for years to come.”

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 12 and up. Everyone should read this book!

Make sure to take a look at The Heart Is Not a Size blog for more information about the book! As well as the Book Club and Contest!


This book was provided by HarperTeen for review purposes. Thank you!
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16 Responses to The Heart Is Not a Size by Beth Kephart

  1. Shweta says:

    I have just been reading wonderful things about this book and can’t wait to read it myself.I am yet to read any book by Beth Kephart but seeing so many bloggers rave about her I know any book I pick of hers is going to be great 🙂
    .-= Shweta´s last blog ..Beastly by Alex Flinn =-.

  2. Beth Kephart says:

    It is so remarkable to read your words early this morning, and to experience, with you, the drive through El Paso and the glance toward Juarez. And to read, too, of your empathy for Riley. Thank you for such a personal and wonderful review.

  3. I just finished reading this book, and agree everyone should read it; I’m one of those on the way up side of twelve! Thanks for the warm review.

  4. What a beautiful review. I love the quotes you included.

    I love what you said about finding joy.

    How very true! 🙂
    .-= Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com´s last blog ..Yackety-yak: Qualities =-.

    • Thank you Juju! Joy truly is what we make it, sometimes that’s easier to do than certain times, but nonetheless it’s possible I believe. Thank you for stopping by!

  5. Great review of a lovely book! Sometimes it seems like the more we have, the more we forget to be thankful. Thanks for your gentle reminder.

    • Thank you so much Kathy! That is so true! I think sometimes it would be easier the less we had, but certainly it can’t be, it’s all about how we look at things on a personal level. I loved this part of the story, learned so much from it.

  6. Kelly H-Y says:

    Thank you for this fabulous review! Beth Kephart is absolutely marvelous!!!
    .-= Kelly H-Y´s last blog ..Deep Water =-.

  7. NotNessie says:

    Sounds fantastic! Great review.
    .-= NotNessie´s last blog ..Waiting on Wednesday: Paranormalcy =-.

  8. Gina says:

    Great review. I’ve never seen this place first hand but can only imagine the emotional roller coaster it must provoke in person. The complex relationships shown between Riley and her mother is really sad though…I’ve been lucky enough to have a mother that is involved in my life and proud of me no matter what I do. To see others struggle for just the basic acceptance of mother-to-child bonding is just tear inducing for me. Here’s hoping every parent out there makes that conscious effort to have their children KNOW they are loved.
    .-= Gina´s last blog ..‘Informal’ Blog Tour: The Heart is Not a Size by Beth Kephart =-.

    • Thanks! The visual image of this tragic place will definitely take your breathe away, especially when comparing what’s on the other side of the border. Just striking. And yes, I too hope that every parent will really let their children KNOW they’re loved, it’s so important for so many reasons. I’m so glad you’ve had such a great mother to guide you, such a blessing.

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