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Running Barefoot

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When Josie Jensen, an awkward 13-year-old musical prodigy crashes headlong into new-comer Samuel Yazzie, an 18-year-old Navajo boy full of anger and confusion, an unlikely friendship blooms. Josie teaches Samuel about words, music and friendship, and along the way finds a kindred spirit. Upon graduation, Samuel abandons the sleepy, small town in search of a future and a life, leaving his young friend behind. Many years go by and Samuel returns, finding Josie in need of the very things she offered him years before. Their roles reversed, Samuel teaches Josie about life, love, and letting go. Deeply romantic and poignant, Running Barefoot is the story of a small town girl and a Native American boy, the ties that bind them to their homes and families, and the love that gives them wings.

443 pages, Kindle Edition

First published April 5, 2012

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About the author

Amy Harmon

29 books17.5k followers
Amy Harmon is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and New York Times Bestselling author. Amy knew at an early age that writing was something she wanted to do, and she divided her time between writing songs and stories as she grew. Having grown up in the middle of wheat fields without a television, with only her books and her siblings to entertain her, she developed a strong sense of what made a good story. Her books are now being published in two dozen languages, truly a dream come true for a little country girl.

Amy Harmon has written eighteen novels including the USA Today Bestsellers, Making Faces and Running Barefoot, as well as The Law of Moses, Infinity + One and the New York Times Bestseller, A Different Blue. Her fantasy novel, The Bird and the Sword, was a Goodreads Book of the Year finalist. Her newest release, What the Wind Knows, is an Amazon charts and Wall Street Journal bestseller. For updates on upcoming book releases, author posts and more, join Amy at www.authoramyharmon.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,852 reviews
Profile Image for Christy.
3,920 reviews33.1k followers
June 10, 2021
5 stars!

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Running Barefoot was one of those books that was off my radar for so long, that when I finally started it I thought ‘What was I waiting for?’ When I saw that this was Amy Harmon’s first published novel, I was shocked. This does not read like a debut. The writing is fantastic. This is a beautiful story of love, loss, music and most importantly, friendship. It’s the journey of two young people and the strong impact that their unlikely friendship had on their lives.

Josie Jensen is a young girl who has a lot of responsibility for her age. She’s thirteen now, but ever since she was a child, she’s pretty much ran her house. Ever since her mother passed, she took on the cooking, some of the cleaning, and taking care of her dad and brothers. Josie is such a special girl. She is wise beyond her years. She is a musician, a reader and a dreamer.

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Then there is Samuel. Samuel is eighteen and goes to the same school as Josie. His senior year of high school, they get assigned to the same seat on the school bus. From there, the most unlikely of friendships evolve. Josie opens Samuels eyes to literature such as Shakespeare, and music. He realizes he loves classical like Josie. Samuel is a quiet and stand-offish man. He’s different than everyone around him. He is half Navajo and doesn’t feel like he fits in anywhere. Except when he’s with Josie.

After spending the year becoming close friends, Samuel graduates and enters the Marines. For the near 10 years he’s gone, lots happens in his and Josie’s lives. Even though they were apart, they’ve never forgotten about one another. Their friendship was invaluable to Samuel. It shaped the man he became.

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Even though Samuel lost touch with Josie, he explains why.
“You were so young, and the feelings between us were too intense. I found myself thinking about you like you were my girl. Then I would remember how young you were...”

But Josie is not a child any more. She is a grown woman. A grown woman who has been through a lot this past decade. She has changed in some ways, but deep down, she’s still the girl Samuel knew all those years ago.
“You’re not thirteen anymore, and I’m not eighteen. It’s a damn good thing.”

Samuel is back for a short time, but their feelings for each other were always so intense, their connection so strong and real, it’s easy to pick up where they left off.

I love a good second chance romance and a friends to lovers tale. Although there were several moments of tragedy that were heart breaking, for the most part, this book left my heart happy and left me with a big smile on my face. I was fascinated by all the information on music, as well as the Navajo culture. This was a story that really touched me and I won’t soon forget. The friendship, the romance, the characters, the story, the writing, I loved it all. If you’re looking for a beautiful and engaging story with a lot of love and a lot of heart, this is one I would recommend.
“You’re... home. That’s what you’ve been for me ever since I met you. The note I could hear even when it wasn’t being played. The one I gravitated towards all these years.”
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“Am I the girl you love best?”

“You’re not the girl I love best, Josie. You’re the only girl I’ve ever loved.”
Profile Image for MarilynW.
1,202 reviews3,052 followers
May 18, 2022
Running Barefoot by Amy Harmon, Tavia Gilbert (Narrator)

This story is listed as Teen & Young Adult and Coming of Age, which I don't read much, but I'd already read/listened to four Amy Harmon books that I enjoyed so I wanted to try another one. We meet Josie Jensen and Samuel Yazzie when she is thirteen and he is eighteen. Both are not normal teens, Josie lost her mother when she was eight and she was pretty much the woman of the house for her loving but grief stricken father and three older brothers. She loves books, words, and music and spends most of her free time reading and working on her music with an elderly neighbor. Samuel is half white, half Navaho and feels like an outsider in both worlds except when he is with his Navaho grandmother. His dad died when he was four and his mother remarried an abusive man and because of fighting on the reservation Samuel has been sent to live with his white grandparents.

For seven months Josie and Samuel are seat mates on the bus to and from school. Samuel is surly and unwilling to get along with anyone but eventually Josie and Samuel develop a true friendship over books, words, classical music, and Josie's willingness to listen to Samuel's stories of his Navaho past and culture. But, on graduation, Samuel must go out and find himself, make a life for himself, and he can't do with with a thirteen year old female best friend.

I enjoyed this story from beginning to end partly because Josie and Samuel aren't typical teenagers. Both of them had to grow up so fast in some ways. But, at the same time, there are ways that Josie's emotional growth seems stunted by not having a typical childhood and being so mature at an early age, until a tragedy occurs soon after her graduation from high school. She is locked into a mindset that she can never leave her home and her father. Samuel needed Josie when they were teens, she is what helped him navigate his last year of high school and take an important path in his life, and years later, he finds that she needs him to help her navigate life, too. This story is about faith, family, and home and making one's way home when it's not really a place.

Published March 26th 2014 by Tantor Audio (first published April 5th 2012)
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.7k followers
July 29, 2020
i love AH, but im slowly realising i love her more recent, more developed stories much more. while this isnt a terrible book, especially for a debut, im just used to better storytelling from her.

and i can see roots of the emotive storytelling that i have to love from AH within this novel. the concept is quite heartwarming. i love the overall idea of josie and samuels friendship/relationship, i just didnt quite love the friendship/relationship itself. i was also a little let down with the ending as well. it just feels very underwhelming. and i wasnt exactly a fan of the constant religious narrative.

so no, this isnt my favourite book by AH, which that makes sense because she has become such an incredible writer over the years, but still decent and worth the read.

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Lady Vigilante (Feifei).
632 reviews2,704 followers
February 9, 2017
2.5 stars!


When I heard that this book was loosely connected to the upcoming The Law of Moses and featured an unusual couple pairing, I was immediately on board with reading it as I love interconnected stories with a dose of cultural references and quirky, unique characters. But as I have learned the hard way many times, no matter how wonderful a book idea may be, if I cannot get used to the author’s writing style than that glorious premise might as well be nothing to me. And sadly, this is the case with every Amy Harmon book I have read. It is very clear that she has a way with words and that her books appeal to a certain audience, but her overly rich writing style is just not one that I can identify with. And with this being the 3rd book of hers I have read (or tried to read and then later put down) and didn’t particularly enjoy, I think it may be time for me to just part ways with this author and move on indefinitely, even though a part of me still really wants to try out The Law of Moses because I genuinely like the premise.


This book tells the love and life story of two kindred souls Josie Jensen and Samuel Yazzie. At the tender age of thirteen, Josie is far more mature and possesses an intellect that surpasses most of her peers. Harboring a deep love for books and music, the kindhearted Josie strikes up a tentative acquaintanceship with the edgy but misunderstood Samuel, a half-white, half-Navajo eighteen year old whose ethnicity is judged upon by others and isn’t fully accepted in either world. Through her eyes and ears, Samuel comes to appreciate literary arts more and they form a bond over their mutual love for Shakespeare and Beethoven.

After months roll by, Samuel leaves for the Marines while Josie remains in the small town of Levan and so they part ways. The story then starts alternating between some time gaps for a few chapters until finally, seven whole years have gone by. Josie and Samuel haven’t seen or spoken to each other during this time and the years haven’t been kind to Josie. Tragedy after tragedy occurs and so she’s stuck in the same town caring for her family when Samuel returns to Levan and their paths cross again.


I want to preface that I am a huge second chance romance fan. The idea that two people have such intertwined fates that they’re given a second chance for a relationship feeds my inner romantic. But I also have to be upfront by saying that the second chance romance here was poorly executed. Not going in specifics as it’ll spoil part of the plot, but basically Josie goes through tragedy after tragedy and when Samuel conveniently is on leave, they see each other again and their romance is instantly rekindled. This was so hard for me to believe…because here’s the truth: while they were young, there wasn’t a romance. Their relationship was more of a friendship and both knew if Samuel had stayed instead of going off to the Marines, it would soon turn into something more. And when he was gone, they only interacted once before leading their own lives for the next 7 years. So my bewilderment comes from not understanding the romantic connection in the first place. I think the author should’ve spaced more time in between, especially with a certain tragedy that happened which made it even harder for me to believe in their romance.

But the main reason that left me feeling underwhelmed? It’s the author’s writing. And I don’t say this to be extra mean. I say it like someone who doesn’t like a vegetable or prefers the color green. It’s really my personal preference and I know tons of readers who love her writing style so I’m in the minority. The overly rich and descriptive writing combined with too many life anecdotes and Navajo history honestly smothered me. It got to the point where something would happen plot-wise, and then Samuel would say “another Navajo legend…” and I wanted to hurl myself off a cliff. It’s overkill.

That’s not to say that there weren’t good quotes or that there weren’t any scenes I liked because there was. The first 40% of the book I loved and thought that this’d be 4.5 stars at the very least but after that the difficult writing style that I couldn’t adjust to along with the weak and unconvincing second chance romance crippled the story.


Perhaps staunch fans of the author and those familiar with her writing style will enjoy this one, but for me it further solidifies that me and her books are like oil and water. We simply don’t mix.

Running Barefoot is a second chance romance with heavy emphasis on Native American history and religion. It is loosely connected to The Law of Moses in terms of the setting and a brief cameo but both can be read as complete standalones.
Profile Image for Amy | Foxy Blogs.
1,475 reviews975 followers
February 22, 2022
Re-read on 6/9/2021 - Still as good as the first time.

Running Barefoot is a love story that spans ten years worth of time and takes the reader through a journey that will leave them appreciating love's splendor.

Josie is a 13 year old girl, who finds herself sitting on the school bus next to Samuel, an 18 year old Navajo boy. A friendship grows between these two lonely souls who don't quite fit in with their peers. Books and music fill their conversations.

Samuel's graduation has him leaving their small town. He wants to become a man of worth. The separation, of these two, brings many changes that will grow them into the adult they aspire to. After many years with no contact, they are brought back together and find themselves trying to rekindle their bond. Having both endured hardship and loss one thing remains... their will to persevere through it all.


When I heard that Josie and Samuel will be making a cameo in "The Law of Moses" I knew I wanted to read this in preparation for TLOM. I bought the audio of Running Barefoot so I could listen to it while I worked. It's a beautifully written debut novel. The flow and beauty of the story left me in awe of Ms. Harmon's storytelling skills. Thank you, Ms. Harmon, for another inspiring love story that leaves me feeling encouraged and blessed.

A side note from Amy Harmon:
My very first published novel was Running Barefoot. It takes place in the town where I grew up, and it is filled with the nostalgia and flavor of home. In my new book, The Law of Moses, I return to that little town where it all began. The Law of Moses is a completely different story with all new characters, but I invited my main characters from Running Barefoot, Samuel and Josie, to duck their heads into a scene or two and say hello for old times sake. To celebrate The Law of Moses and to give a nod to my first book, I am putting Running Barefoot on sale for a few days so that you can snatch it up to read before (or after) you read about Moses. Again, these books are not in any way a series or even a spin-off. But you will squeal a little when you see Samuel and Josie in The Law of Moses.


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Profile Image for Kristin (KC).
251 reviews25.1k followers
April 13, 2017

*4 Stars*

This is the story of Josie and Samuel — both of whom seem to be running barefoot as they find solace, courage, and friendship in one another.

Josie is a child musical prodigy who was forced to grow up too fast and embody the role of "nurturing caretaker".

Samuel is a half Native American boy who harbors anger and has yet to find his place in life.

When these two lonely souls connect on a bus ride home, a heartwarming friendship forms that will seem fit to stand the test of time. And time will certainly put this unlikely bond to the test...

This is not a love triangle, but Samuel and Josie do face a long journey towards love. There also isn't much of the typical young-adult angst to speak of, although this story is not without some deeper tragedy. The five year age gap between Samuel and Josie as teens does present a slight "forbidden" tone, however that particular line is never crossed due to our incredibly classy and dignified hero.

But as the years pass, bringing both characters flush into adulthood, life will reveal further obstacles for them to hurdle.

Classical Music, as well as insight into the Navajo culture play significant roles within this plot. I did notice some readers commenting that this insight became a bit excessive, but I found it extremely interesting and was excited to gain some knowledge on this particular culture. I guess it boils down to personal preferences on that regard.

As with all Amy Harmon books, this story fiercely strummed my emotions and many times left me in a speechless state of awe. The gentle plot builds slowly, as does the romance, but it's worth the wait and the journey is incredible. There's so much depth, and you can tell with every word written just how much this author genuinely loves to create.

Speaking of which, if you're an Amy Harmon fan, you'll gain some knowledge on her childhood town within this read; this story's setting is built to mimic the sweet place in which she was raised — which I thought was pretty awesome in and of itself. It's always nice to know that the certain vibe of the place I'm visualizing exists even if the story itself is fiction.

And, of course, I cannot end this review without complimenting the writing, which was flawless. Beautiful. Layered with insight and executed with class -- reminding me every minute just how rare a talent like this is. This book was Miss Harmon's debut, and I could not have been more impressed.
A beautifully touching read!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Book Stats:
▪ Genre/Category: YA/NA Romance
▪ Steam Caliber: Fairly clean, but still sexy.
▪ Romance: Tender and true. Slow burn.
▪ Characters: Strong and inspiring hero and heroine.
▪ Plot: Friends to lovers. Spans a decent amount of time.
▪ Writing: Beautiful, insightful, strong.
▪ POV: 1st Person: Heroine
▪ Cliffhanger: None. Standalone.
▪ HEA?

Profile Image for ♥Sharon♥.
971 reviews142 followers
December 8, 2014
When I turned the last page of Running Barefoot my first thought was that it was such a sweet story. It was also thought provoking. For me that is what is at the heart of Amy Harmon’s writing.

This is a story about two young people, Josie and Samuel, who make a connection during a time in their lives when they are finding their way.

Josie was at the heart of her home. After her mom passed away she was forced to grow up quickly. But at the center of Josie’s life was her love for music.

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She played the piano beautifully. Playing and listening to music fed her soul. Soon it became her life, her reason for being.

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Samuel has yet to find his place in life. Things that have happened in his life has only caused him to be angry and jilted.

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Strong and determined, Samuel’s Navajo heritage is at the core of his being but it isn’t enough. Being half white and half Navajo has caused him to question who he is. What his purpose is.

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Running Barefoot tells the story of Josie and Samuel’s journey through their young lives. It is a journey of growth, change, heartache, enlightenment and love. It is about finding strength, moving on yet holding on to hope.

I think it was fate that brings Josie and Samuel together…..along with music.

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Their friendship grows into something neither one expected. The bond that forms between them was unwavering and one that was as much beautiful and as it was heart breaking. When life takes them down different paths it will be that bond that keeps them connected.

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I have only read one other book by Amy Harmon. As with Making Faces, I also found this one to be inspiring and amazing. I appreciated the care she took with the development of Josie and Samuel’s relationship especially with the ages they were when they first meet. I love the way music is used as a perpetual connection between Josie and Samuel and the injection of Navajo words and legends fed my imagination.

Read this book with an open mind and heart. It really is a special story. Josie will inspire you and Samuel…well I think he will steal your heart.

“You always had this light that made you seem like royalty….such an incredible mind, such beauty and humility. You took my breath away, time after time, day after day, on that smelly old school bus.” ~ Samuel
Profile Image for Iryna *Book and Sword*.
447 reviews641 followers
February 12, 2018
4.25/5 stars

I'm on a quest to read all of Amy Harmon books and I only have like 4 books to go. Which makes me both really proud of myself and really sad - because that means from now on I will have to wait for new books to be released.

I just can't seem to get enough of Amy's writing, of her characters and of the emotions that flow through each and every one of her books.
Speaking of amazing characters - I related to Josie on such a deep level that she immediately shot up to number 2 of my "all time favorite female characters list" - number one still being taken by Lark from The Bird and the Sword, yes also by Amy Harmon.

Josie is a book worm, and not just because she says so (which I find to be the problem with many books that try to portray their characters as bookish, but fail) but because she is truly one. Josie began reading to escape her reality, and she never stopped because books became such a big part of who she was. She didn't just read for pleasure - she read to learn, to discuss, to speculate and to broaden her horizons. I admired that about her the most, as that reminded me once again to read quality books because everything I put into myself reflects on who I am.

​But I got off track with my bookish views. Josie loves to garden - she loves to feel the soil below her toes and she loves too cook with all of her fresh vegetables - if that's not an image of me, I don't know what is. If Josie Jo was a real person she would have been my best friend.

“I hated making small talk and avoided people in the grocery store and other places just so that i wouldn't have to think of things to say. I liked people, i cared about them, and i wanted to be a good person, but don't make me chat idly on the telephone or make pleasant conversation just for the sake of being polite." -I've never related more!

Running Barefoot is a story about young love, but it's also a story of restraint and waiting. Waiting till the time is right, waiting and believing that the person who was meant for you will in the end be indeed yours.
​The novel starts when Josie is 13 and Samuel is 18 and I absolutely adored the way it was handled. Under the circumstances that could have been the worst, their friendship and love remained the purest.

​Now, sure Samuel is literally an 18 year boy out of the dreamland - besides being a very angry, lost and closed-up teenager, he turned out to be the utmost gentleman. I loved Samuel's heritage story and how he struggled to fit in, being half Native American and half white. His tribe didn't think him native enough, and his white peers didn't consider him white enough. Samuel was stuck in a limbo of anger and resentment and the way he found his place in the world was truly beautiful.

And just because I have't met anybody like Samuel in real life, does't mean that boys like him do not exists. For the sake of all the young girls in the world, I hope they do. I also hope that more girls read this book and realize what they truly deserve and what true love could really be if they are only patient enough.

“Like a shoe that has lost its mate is never worn again, I had lost my matching part and didn't know how to run barefoot.”

I inhaled this story and I am sure that this is a novel that I will re-read many times in the future. Only thing was that I expected this book to be more emotional to me than it was. Sure I teared up a few times, but having read Amy's other books, I was excepting a full out cry fest. The event that was supposed to leave me in tears didn't because for me there wasn't enough momentum leading up to it.
​But there were many other precious moments, and amazing life lessons that I will cherish forever.

Profile Image for Christie«SHBBblogger».
965 reviews1,248 followers
February 10, 2017
3.5 stars

A sweet little second chance story about childhood friends with some angsty moments thrown in. Once again, I really enjoyed Amy Harmon's writing and her grasp of creating three dimensional characters. My only issue was that it slowed down quite a bit toward the middle and the end felt rushed. All in all, it was still a quick and fairly satisfying read.
Profile Image for Bonnie Shores.
Author 1 book371 followers
December 18, 2017
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Running Barefoot is a story of true love. The kind of love that accepts, respects and cherishes. The kind of love that is conveyed when Neytiri says to Jake, "I see you" in the Avatar movie—I see you, I know you, I understand you, I love you.


There is no instalove here. This is a love story that takes time to develop, as two teenagers, who are quite literally thrown together on the school bus, show each other random acts of kindness that, to them, come naturally, but mean more than words can say to the other.

This is a "clean" romance that doesn't shy away from invoking God and religion. It also shares many Navajo legends, as one of the MCs is Samuel, a half-Navajo, half-white boy who treasures his Navajo grandmother and the stories she told him growing up.

The other MC is Josie, a small-town girl who lost her mother and was forced to grow up too quickly, being the only female in the home she shared with her dad and brothers. Josie discovers a love of classical music and a natural ability for the piano quite by accident when she accompanies her cousin to an elegant home she has been hired to clean. The lady of the home agrees to teach Josie to play the piano and the two develop a friendship that is essential to the motherless teen.

Josie shares her love of reading and of classical music with Samuel during their daily bus rides and they eventually bond over the interests. In fact, they first read Wuthering Heights together because Samuel needs to read that particular book in order to pass his class. Thus begins a shared passion that endures over time.


Amy Harmon always surprises me in that the "happy ending" I envision never comes to pass, but her stories are better for it. Her endings are so much richer not having come too easily.

Profile Image for Glass.
643 reviews4 followers
February 7, 2017
Review posted on January 27th, 2015.

I never know what to expect when I pick up novel written by Amy Harmon. Sometimes I love them to pieces, sometimes I think they are okay, and there are those with some topics that I don't prefer when choosing what to read next.


One of my favorite books that I read last year is The Law of Moses by Amy Harmon. (You can read my review here.) Everything about that book was perfect - characters, topic, writing, storyline... When I figured out that it's happening in the same fictional world as one other Amy Harmon novel, I knew that I'd read it soon as well. Running Barefoot is her debut and has all recognizable bits and pieces of Harmon's writing - emotional read, small town setting, religious tones and sweet love story. I have to be honest and say that I would probably never read Running Barefoot if there wasn't Moses and his story. I wanted to know what happened to Josie and what does that tall and brooding Samuel hides. I am happy that I did because it was a book worth reading. I did have a lot of issues with it - mostly regarding all religious undertones and how some views seem a little bit overly "exclusive" to the only one group of the people sharing same ideology. Or Sam's transformation and his complicated relationship with his heritage and parents that gets resolved in the direction of previously mentioned ideology. On the other hand, that is mentality of small, traditional communities - that thing is same wherever in the world you are living at - so I sort of was able to understand their actions.

Final judgemnt? Sweet story that fans of Amy Harmon novels will enjoy reading, as everyone else who prefer religious-heavy romances. As I said, I am not a fan of any religious ideology and I still enjoyed reading this story.


Review posted at Ja čitam, a ti?
Profile Image for Deborah Obida.
681 reviews620 followers
June 21, 2020
Buddy read with Silk my June 2020 tbr twin.

Running Barefoot exceeded my expectations, though this book is my sixth by Amy Harmon I didn't appreciate the synopsis, it was so not me or so I thought. This book is so me, it took place in a span of ten years.

If you push people away for long enough isolation become a terrible habit. People start to believe you prefer it.

Just like all Amy's books, this is more of a love story than a romance. This book is not only about love but friendship, hardships, hope and many other themes. The book is also diverse, Samuel the love interest is a half Navajo and I enjoyed the Navajo tales included in this book.

In very small towns the whole town helps raise the kids. Everybody knows who everybody is, and if something or someone is up to no good, it gets back to the parents before a kid can get home to tell his side of it.

This book was set in a small town and I grew up in one so I totally understand what Josie the main character meant. The book is written wholly from Josie's point of view, it's fast paced and easy to get into.

Josie is a very strong character, she is so brave despite all that happened to her at a young age, her father and brothers didn't help much but somehow she pulled through not only for herself but for all around her.

Samuel was a boy that also suffered a tragedy but didn't deal with it well, she helped him pull through even though she was younger than him. So when she herself was in a bad place, he helped her.

You can’t build walls and then be mad when no one wants to climb over them.

The plot is one of a kind, the first part of this book is coming of age. Josie met Samuel when she was thirteen and he eighteen. No worries this isn't another romanticized paedophilia book. They were just friends at the time, the best of friends, though they fell in love he didn't act on it, he was the perfect gentleman. He waited for her to grow up without telling her to wait, it was risky and he almost lost her. They got together when she was twenty-three and he twenty-eight.
Profile Image for Michelle [Helen Geek].
1,772 reviews403 followers
April 28, 2013
04/27/2013 –

Overall Rating = 10 Stars!
Book Cover / Book Blurb = 4 / 4 = 4 Stars
Writer’s Voice = 5 Stars
Character Development = 5 Stars
Story Appreciation = 5 Stars
Worth the Chili = 5 Stars [$3.99 on Amazon]

This was the second book I’ve read by this WONDERFUL Lady; Amy Harmon. I’ve been chatting a bit with her and her goodness shines through in this book. It has one incredibly beautiful Native American man; Samuel. It also has one of the most interesting heroines I’ve ever read in Josie Jo. Together these two give us a love story for the ages. One you usually only find in a classic romance. The beauty of their interaction just flies off the page.

I loved everything about this book. I think what I most liked was the deep emotion this story pulls from me. It has its sad moments, but they don’t last and nothing is ever really free. You must take the good with the bad and believe me when I say, this book is worth any tear it may cause you.

Let me tell you about some of the wonderful things I found when I read this book:
1 – Again, I loved this writer’s style. She pulls you from the very first page. She tugs hard on your emotions from empathy, sadness, happiness, curiosity, anger, apathy, friendship, love. All of it and more. She writes intimately. What? Well, she grabs the reader at their core. She does this immediately and she doesn’t turn you loose. Not until you finish the last page and still you want more and know this story and its' characters will pop into your head for some time to come.

2 – Great characters. Off the charts, wonderful people. People you want to know. People you feel you know. This book takes Josie and Samuel through ten [10] years and more. You get to know them and care about them. You want them happy. You want them safe and you want them together. You watch them as they develop a deep friendship they both need and come to depend on. They save each other. They are the other half of the other. The term soul-mates is used way too often, but with these two, it's true. They are too young for this depth of feeling. They don't really know what to do with it or about it. You move ahead a few years and life goes on. Samuel is in the Marines and is still too old for Josie. Samuel, who is 19 pushes her away. Josie – 16 now, doesn’t understand. What has she done? Why doesn’t Samuel need her friendship anymore. What she doesn’t know is that he does need it. Too much. He needs her to grow up. He needs her to be as certain as he is. He plans to wait, but never tells her. Love is wasted on youth? Heard that one? Not wasted, but definitely not understood. When we are young and we feel this much so soon, we think it will come again. It was here the first time – so this is the way it always happens. Right?

3 – A story for the ages. One I had a deep connection to. I too lost a parent very young. I too had the responsibility of caring for what remained of my family. I also had all the grief struck emotions; bone deep loss, anger, guilt, a quietness that keeps you safe ... However, unlike Josie, I didn’t have someone give me the gift of music. Didn’t have a Samuel to take my mind off my life and let me share my love of music and my love of classic literature. We meet these two when she is 13 and he is 18 on a school bus in a very small community in Utah. They rode the bus together two hours a day and shared a seat. Day in, day out for 8 months. Samuel needed help with English so he could graduate and join the Marines. Josie had nothing but time and a huge brain and she found she wanted to help Samuel. This is the start of this love story. The story finishes for us when they are in their mid-twenties. Just lovely.

I absolutely cannot believe this is the debut book by this author. It has a polish and a vocabulary you rarely find in romantic fiction. It was an amazing book. I wish I could give books more than 5 Stars. It just doesn't seem right that we can't. I rated "A Different Blue" by this author 5 Stars too. Really no comparison in these two stories. They are very different but both are outstanding and VERY enjoyable. This book had me in “self-reflection” mode through much of it. It made me feel it deeply. I literally cried myself stupid in places, but laughed out loud and smiled until my cheeks hurt too. I’ll read it again and again and know I’ll take away something different, more powerful each and every time.

I can’t thank Amy Harmon enough for sharing these stories with the world. I don’t know who I listened to on GoodReads who pointed me here, but nothing happens by chance. Know? Thank you whoever you are!

Happy Reading!
Profile Image for Belle.
529 reviews517 followers
August 27, 2017
5/5 stars

This book tore apart my heart and left me a puddle of emotions. I physically could not put this book down until I finished it, I stayed up until the very late hours of the morning crying into my pillow. This book so artfully introduces you to two character who you follow for years, from when they're young teens to when they're adults.

I felt so much love for these characters that I read grow up, and this book was filled with their struggles and real life situations. This was not a book about financially blessed people living in luxury, this was a book about small town people blessed with community, love and the will for better.

Josie Jenson lost her mother at a young age and took over the position for her father and brothers. Cooking and looking after the house and them from a young age. She's a quiet, intelligent girl with her head always stuck in a book. Her love for words and knowledge made her an incredibly loveable character. She was strong and resilient in that quiet unassuming way, taking on the burdens of others without a thought, and wading through heart crushing event after heart crushing event.

Samuel Yazzie, a Native American boy trying to find out where he belongs in the world, meets Josie on the school bus. The two create an unlikely friendship despite their age difference, reading to each other on the bus and sharing their dreams.

It follows the two as they leave each other and then find each other some years later. This book was filled with music, love and heartbreak. It's a book that I know will stay with me forever, it was so beautifully written that I will be rereading it for years to come.
Profile Image for Julie Carpenter.
1,443 reviews176 followers
January 7, 2023
This is a 10 ⭐️+ read for me!

Reread: February 18-19, 2018

I've read this one multiple times...it's one of those go to books for me. I love it. This was my first book and introduction to Amy Harmon's writing and I have been a fan ever since. It is such a beautiful story, very moving and emotional. I'll admit that I usually end up sobbing every time I read it.

Fun little side note, my ancestors lived in the small town this story is set in and actually owned the little store that is mentioned in the book. When I came across that store in the book it was pretty cool. And, every summer I drive through the town with my family on our way to our long summer camping trip. While driving through I can't help but think about this amazing book. It's definitely one of my top favorite books of all time.

Read it! I feel like I've told so many people about this book and my love of it. I know I connected to it differently than other readers but it's still just a beautiful story about life, loss and love. Oh and I can't forget music. I know I've said it before in other reviews but I'm a pianist and the MC of this book has a beautiful journey with music and the piano. Truly beautiful.

Ok, the more I'm thinking about this one, the more I just need to go read it. Excuse me while I grab my tissues and blanket so I can curl up and read this again.

Content: Clean, talk about grief and dealing with death and loss of loved ones. Mild language scattered throughout and some religious talk.

My own personal copy.

Happy Reading!!!
Profile Image for Jacob Proffitt.
3,002 reviews1,647 followers
February 3, 2017
I picked this up based on a friend's review, mostly because it was a cheap kindle buy and I was almost out of lunchtime reading. I'm glad that I did.

I have some concerns with the book that I want to mention, though with the caveat that none of them mattered to me in the least as I was reading—mostly, that so much of the story is deeply unlikely in a lot of ways. This is clearest in the abilities and attributes of the main character, Josie. She has taken on the responsibility for a lot of the care of her family, including cooking, cleaning, care for the chickens, all in addition to school (that includes a 40-minute bus ride to neighboring Nephi, UT—each way). That's a lot of time out of her life right there. Adding a passion for playing classical music that prompts her to master any piece within a year of plunking out her first note is beyond unlikely and into pure fantasy (and it's substantially less time than that in this novel)*. Add a love (and understanding) of classical literature and you have a lot to swallow just because the story says it is so. I suppose it is possible that such a 13 year-old exists but that'd just be a case of truth being stranger than fiction. There are less obvious, though equally unlikely, coincidental events. Again, there is nothing completely impossible, but there are definitely events that if encountered in real life would make you wonder if you weren't a character in a mildly manipulative romance novel.

There are other concerns that I didn't have, that others very well might. The handling of the romance between Josie and Samuel was extremely deft—even though it starts with him 18 and her 13. Yeah, that's a big age/maturity difference at that stage, but Harmon gives it the exact right amount of weight and foreshadowing. It helps that Josie is as naïve as she should be and doesn't really recognize what she has as romantic love. It helps, too, that Samuel clearly does recognize it and you can see how troubling it is for him. That his actions remain above reproach throughout is a key part of drawing my sympathy to him so that I want it to work out (once they've aged a bit).

Another area that Harmon handled well was the backdrop of a small LDS community. Josie's father is inactive and Josie's own faith is mostly off-stage. This allows Harmon to give enough background so that anybody unfamiliar with the trappings of small-town Mormon life won't feel out of place or wonder about the what or why of things. This is a benefit for both Mormon and non-Mormon readers as it allows Josie's faith to be significant in the ways that are important without dominating the story as it otherwise could.

All of that said, I didn't care for any of those things while reading the novel. The fact is that the story simply touched me on an emotional level and drew me into caring deeply about Josie. I felt a part of her struggles and enjoyed her determination and grit. I felt, with her, the joy of finding a friend in Samuel and the loss when he leaves for boot camp. I identify with her frustration of having nobody to talk to who can relate to what you care about. And I felt her despair at feeling trapped into a life so far short of her plans and potential. And there were moments of sheer beauty in the book that left me devastated enough that my afternoon work was a dead loss.

On a personal scale, this book buries the needle for five stars. If I didn't feel the need to excuse so much coincidence I wouldn't hesitate. As it stands, I reluctantly drop it a grade in recognition of the weight of all those caveats.

* It has been pointed out in the comments that I misread the section about the time Josie had been playing before her first performance. That is my bad so pointing out this aspect as an extreme is incorrect on my part. There are still unlikely aspects to the novel, but labels like "pure fantasy" are unearned and unfair. I'm sorry for those unearned labels, and have decided to let the review stand as originally written in order to make this apology and correct any false impressions I am responsible for.
Profile Image for Mo.
1,363 reviews2 followers
February 10, 2017

3.5 stars

I finished another book by this author yesterday and was on a high from it so decided to check out this one. My review will be mostly visual as I just do not have the time to do a full one.

I think my expectations were way too high because I totally loved her other book.

It is still a good story but not as engaging as the other book.

It was too good to be true, too sweet to be reality for too long, so when someone set out to destroy his belief in her, it made more sense to doubt her than to believe that she had truly loved him in the first place.

I had a member of my platoon whose Mom was born and raised in Ireland. They guy could do an authentic Irish accent, and man, could he sing. When he sang “Danny Boy” everybody cried. All these tough, lethal Marines, bawling like babies. He sang this one song called “An Irish Lament” that I loved so much I memorized it. In fact when I saw you in the rain a couple of weeks ago, it was the first thing that came to my mind.”

How much owest thou unto my Lord?

Profile Image for Korrie’s Korner.
1,122 reviews13.6k followers
August 18, 2023
2nd reread and once again, I have no words! Still can’t believe that this was Amy’s first published book!! 2014 never looked so good!

I literally got swept up in this story.

This can’t be Amy Harmon’s first novel, can it? I literally read this book in 10 hours! I think my soul just needed some some soul food. That’s exactly what Amy’s books are to me. Soul food that comforts & soothes. I love how Amy’s characters are always so diverse, and rich in different ethnicities. I love how she is not afraid to go there, challenging the closed minded people of whatever society the story is laid out in. Love is truly all that matters. It matters not what the person looks like on the outside, but the heart is what’s important. Josie and Samuel were absolutely perfect I tell you! I loved the contrast—Josie being white with blonde hair, blue eyes, and Samuel being 1/2 white and half Navajo Indian. He wasn’t quite accepted by his people on the reservation being “too white”, and to the outside world he was just an Indian boy with bronze skin and jet black hair, but oh did he have a heart.

I love Friends to lovers romances, especially when the girl is younger “falling” for the older guy. Josie was 13 and Samuel 17 when they befriended each other. They connected on a soul level, but things changed when Samuel joined the marines after he graduated. I literally could keep on, but I urge you to just pick up this masterpiece and read!
Profile Image for Annika.
453 reviews102 followers
February 10, 2017

The second book I've read by Amy Harmon, and the second time I cried ugly tears (okay, technically the third time as I cried twice reading Making Faces).
Challenge accepted, Ms. Harmon. Challenge accepted.

So here's the deal: Up until about 50% or so, I was sure this was going to be an almost 5 star read for me, I loved it so much. The multi-dimensional characters, their unlikely yet tender friendship, the heartbreak, the writing, it was (almost) perfect. During the second half, though, somewhere along the way between extensive descriptions, lengthy history lessons on composers, Navajo folklore and bible stories, and a romance I didn't feel, the book kind of lost me.
The further I read, the more bored and indifferent I became, which is a shame considering the amazing beginning.

Oh well... Slowly but surely, I'm growing used to being the odd one out.
Profile Image for Kaila.
742 reviews13 followers
June 2, 2018
4/5 stars

“What softened your heart?" I asked softly.
"Good music and a friend”.
"I felt my eyes burn a little and turned from him, blinking quickly to lap up the sting of tears. "Music has incredible power"
"So does friendship," he supplied frankly.”

I don't think there will ever be a time when I stop enjoying Amy Harmon's writing. Once again, she has written a book that was absolutely beautiful, touching and heart-warming to read. The story of Josie and Samuel is so gorgeous and subtle, but intense at the same time. I loved the blooming friendship that slowly turned into something more. I was just so captivated by the story, I really never wanted to put the book down. I couldn't stop myself from continuing to turn the pages, even when I should have been asleep, because I really wanted to remain in the world of this book. I especially loved the elements of family, music and culture that all played a role in shaping these character's lives. This was a truly lovely story.

Josie Jensen is unlike the other thirteen-year olds around her. She is somewhat of a musical-prodigy, she helps run her house and is enamoured by literature and learning. On the opposite spectrum, Samuel is an eighteen-year old Navajo boy that is full of anger and resentment. Despite their differences, this pair form an unlikely friendship on the school bus, bonding over literature and classical music. During the worst time of his life, Josie’s compassion and friendship helped Samuel significantly, allowing him to pursue his dreams of becoming a marine. Now, almost a decade later, Samuel returns to the small town to find that Josie is no longer the joyful, inspiring girl that he had grown to love many years before. Just as Josie helped Samuel, it's his turn to use his friendship and love for her to give her strength in the face of tragedy.


I'm completely in love with Amy Harmon’s writing. She just has such a talent at making a seemingly simple story into something that is absolutely heartfelt. Her romance books are some of the most beautiful that I've ever read, and this was no exception. Normally I don't go for romance books that start from childhood and span many years, but at this point I trust Amy Harmon completely because I know I'll love it regardless. In this case, the longevity of the relationship just increased my connection to the story and the characters. I felt so deeply for Samuel and Josie, all I wanted was for them to be happy. They were constructed in such a compassionate and humane way, I couldn't help but fall in love with them, which is why I think this author is so talented at created such real characters. By the end of the book, I felt completely touched by the story, it was truly beautiful. My only real complaint about the book is the pacing. There were some moments that were really slow and drawn out but were seemingly unimportant whereas more focal scenes were skimmed over. This did kind of mess with my engagement with the story, but not drastically so.

I really loved how different passions, relationships and culture really played a role in shaping the characters’ lives. In particular, Josie grew through her literature and her music, which were significant in shaping her growth. I felt as encapsulated by the music as she was, just because the scenes in which she was playing were so emotionally strong. I would consider myself a passionate person, so I really loved how her hobbies and her talents really influenced her life. With Sam, it was his culture that shaped him which I equally appreciated. At the beginning of the book he was almost resentful of who he was because of how he was treated. His growth and maturity throughout the book meant that he ended up truly accepting his Navajo traditions. I also enjoyed learning about the spirituality of this culture and how that impacted on his life. All these aspects of the character growth really rang true for me and made me love the characters even more as they felt so real.

“Like a shoe that has lost its mate is never worn again, I had lost my matching part and didn't know how to run barefoot.”

This book is very much character-driven, which is good considering these characters were just so loveable. Josie was an intelligent, compassionate character who was so easy to like. She cared for everyone around her and was selfless to a fault. Her love of music and literature also made me like her more because they are both things that I am passionate about. I also really loved Sam. He was very different to Josie, but still just as likeable. At the beginning I empathised with him and hoped that he would grow as a character to love himself. By the end of the book, my wishes were mostly granted and he had become a strong, loving man. Both of the characters had so much heart, which really pushed this book forward. The beauty and strength of these characters was the driving force of the novel.

Apart, these characters were fantastic, but together they were soulmates. Amy Harmon wrote their relationship in such a way that it was undeniable that they were just meant to be together. They started as friends, especially since Josie was only thirteen (don't worry no weird business) but after many years went by it was obvious that their relationship had grown more than that. I absolutely adored them together, although I do wish we spent more time when they were adults developing their more romantic relationship.
Profile Image for Candace.
1,176 reviews4,335 followers
February 9, 2017
'Running Barefoot' is touching and beautiful love story spanning a lifetime. Josie and Samuel's story began when they were assigned to sit together on the school bus. A seventh grader, Josie is soon enamored with the older boy. Despite a five year age difference, the two develop a strong friendship and fall in love. Neither of them voices, or acts upon, these feelings because of the significant age gap.

Samuel is especially conscious of Josie's comparative youth and the immorality of pursuing any romantic feelings he may have. He acts honorably, refusing to entertain a relationship that is anything other than platonic. When Samuel's dream of being a Marine takes him away from Josie, they eventually lose touch. Josie is devastated, but tries to bury her hurt feelings and forget about the young man that she feels abandoned her.

Over the following years, their lives take them in different directions. Yet, their unspoken feelings and connection remains strong. When their lives again intersect as adults, Josie's life circumstances have changed significantly and the two have to make some difficult decisions.

This is a story of first loves, heartbreak, friendship, unrequited love, perseverance, and longing. It was heartfelt and emotional. I loved every minute of this story!
February 9, 2017
4.5-4.75 Stars

“True love sufferth long, and is kind; true love envieth not. True love vounteth not itself, is not puffed up. True love does not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil. True love rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in truth. True love beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endoureth all things.” ~ 1st Corinthians, Chapter 13

Tell me that is not one of the most beautiful things ever. I’m completely blown away by this story. I cannot begin to describe the emotions that ran through me while I read this. If that opening line above didn’t tell you, I’ll tell you right now: This is a VERY deep, emotional love story. The story contained several spiritual and religious components, and along with the music, it wove a beautiful story.

“You always had this light that made you seem like royalty…such an incredible mind, such beauty and humility. You took my breath away, time after time, day after day, on that smelly old school bus.”

Josie and Samuel first met when she was only thirteen and he eighteen: She in seventh grade, he a high school senior. They rode the same bus to school every day and was assigned to sit next to each other. Josie, though young in age, has been through a lot in life. She lost her mother very early in her life and took it upon herself to take care of her father, and three older brothers. She is wise beyond her years, tall, pretty and easily intimidates a lot of the boys in her school. She’s also a very accomplished piano player and avid reader. She is not your typical thirteen-year-old girl. Josie grew up fast.

When she meets Samuel, he was one very angry boy. Samuel is half Navajo Indian and half Caucasian. He lost his father early in life and lived with his mother on the reservation before finally moving in with his grandparents. The feeling of not belonging has always plagued Samuel. His half/half heritage has always made him a target at school and at the reservation. He hardly talks to anyone, but the girl sitting next to him slowly melts his icy reserve.

During their bus ride is where hey talked of books, music, and religion. The friendship between Josie and Samuel became very strong. However, no one really knew the extent of it. It was kept mostly between themselves because honestly, how would it look? Once Samuel graduated, he joined the Marines. It broke Josie’s heart, as well as mine, when he went away. At first, they constantly wrote each other and kept in touch. Two years after, Samuel returned home to visit, but he and Josie had a falling out of sorts. Josie and he moved on as best they could.

“You were so young, and the feelings between us were too intense. I found myself thinking about you like you were my girl. Then I would remember how young you were, and I would be ashamed of myself.”

“You see, in my mind, I always kept track. I would mark time with your birthdays. Josie is sixteen – but I’m 21. Josie is 17, still too young.”

Josie is twenty-three when twenty-eight year old Samuel returns. Josie has been through a lot during his absence. She has lost another person she loves and dreams of becoming a famous pianist were put on the backburner as she cared for her father. Samuel is currently on leave and is there to help his aging grandparents. When he first encounters Josie, he notices her bright spirit has diminished into something sad. Their friendship soon rekindles, but is friendship really what they want?

“I did my best to be a man you could be proud of.”
“You were the bar I measured everything by.” ~ Samuel

The story was not rushed. The relationship that blossomed between the Josie and Samuel took a natural progression that involved a lot of deep conversations. If you’re an impatient person, this is probably not the book for you. I do have to warn you though, it did feel a little overwhelming at times, but not enough to bother me. I was not easily deterred. I was too engrossed with Samuel and Josie’s relationship to keep me going. The fact that there was no of steam whatsoever didn’t even bother me; I loved them both too much too care the lack of. Highly recommend for anyone looking for a beautiful and emotional love story.

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Profile Image for Jenny Jo Weir.
1,549 reviews79 followers
January 3, 2022

I know Amy Harmon is one of my favorite authors but I had forgot how amazing she truly is. Her talent is beyond words and I cannot adequately express the magnificence of her writing capabilities.

This story is about Josie Jo and Sam. A very unlikely pair of kids who form a friendship on the bus ride to and from school. The relationship and bond that forms between them is unlike anything I have read before. It was honestly beautiful and fascinating to experience this journey with them.

I can't believe how long I waited to read this wonderful story. I will not make this mistake again. From now on, Amy will always be one of my top priority authors to keep an eye on. I highly recommend this book to ALL!
Profile Image for Kremena Koleva.
218 reviews62 followers
June 14, 2022
Една проникновена книга, пълна с истините за нещата, които ни заобикалят, които ни се случват, променят ни и ни оформят около потребностите на духа ни.
Цялата Running Barefoot на Amy Harmon е изградена около музиката, книгите, душевните търсения и смазващата тежест на загубите. В тази книга намерих онази Amy Harmon, която познавам от WhereTheLostWonders. Тя ми даде всичко, което харесвам и от което се вълнувам.
Откриването на сродна душа, с която да споделяме мислите, идеите и притесненията си , е може би най - трудното нещо в живота. Богатството на такова приятелство няма цена. Има ги само мирът и безкрайната свобода да бъдем ние . Без преструвки, без компромиси и без страх да дадем воля на думи и мисли, които оголват слабите места у нас и потребностите на жадната ни за духовност природа. За Джоузи и Самуел приятелството им беше точно такова откровение. И както потомката на датчани се различаваше от метиса от племето Навахо, така и личностите им бяха различни. Но откриването на силата на класическата музика, обсъждането на книги, разказването на индиански легенди и споделянето на страховете и загубите превърна две деца в най - добри приятели. Неразделни. Нуждаещи се от освежаващото присъствие на другия. До деня , в който не можеха повече да бъдат приятели. Когато раздялата и поемането на свой собствен път беше единственото възможно нещо за всеки от тях.
От корица до корица в Running Barefoot звучаха минорни и мажорни сонати и етюди на класически композитори. На страниците й се обсъждаха героите на " Брулени хълмове ", " ��жейн Еър ", " Отело " и други любими мои томчета. Имаше толкова много от преданията и обичаите на индианците Навахо, че непреодолимата ми любов към културата им ликуваше. Amy Harmon разказва без драматизъм и сякаш някак със сдържания тон на страничен наблюдател. Но всяка стъпка на героите дърпаше сърцето ми, извикваше емоционалност ми и ме караше да преживявам свои собствени минали моменти. Не беше възможна инертност. Можех само да дишам с героите.
В слушалките ми звучеше VIOLIN 2.0 на HELION, около мен високите дървета , шумния водопад и песните на птиците в екопарка ми напомняха за индианския резерват на Самуел, а аз четях с огромна тежест в гърлото.

* "Ако отблъскваш хората достатъчно дълго време ,изолацията се превръща в ужасен навик. Хората започват да вярват, че я предпочиташ. "
* „Защото винаги е по-лесно да повярваш в най-лошото."
/ Running Barefoot,
Amy Harmon
Profile Image for ✶Rachelle✶ .
266 reviews126 followers
February 23, 2017
5 stars

This book.
All the feels.

I pretty cried and ugly cried and all around made my family very nervous about my emotional state.
I bought the book and then cried when I saw the cover.
There are lots of tears, but they are good tears. I will love this book until the day I die.


Easy 5 stars

Any book that makes me an emotional, sobbing disaster (for all the right reasons) gets all the stars.

Profile Image for Britt.
196 reviews56 followers
February 5, 2017
"Human beings are not designed to be alone. Our creator gave us smooth, sensitive skin that craves the warmth of other skin. Our arms seek to hold. Our hands yearn to touch. We are drawn to companionship and affection out of an innate need."

I picked this one up as a freebie and was pleasantly surprised.

This is the story about a young friendship blooming into something more. About two people that hold a deep connection, a connection that is not severed by distance and time and this story is ultimately about these two people and how they eventually get their happy ending. However this isn't a light read. The tragedies that occur, the plot, even the philosophical conversations between the main characters were brilliantly intelligent and definitely appealed to the academic in me.

"Jane Eyre was like comfort food to me, and I was feeling a little rejected."

"Where true love would have redemmed them, obsession condemned them forever."

For example the reference and discussion about the Bronte sisters was wonderful as I can totally relate. This was such a refreshing story because instead of just examining the physical connection between two people, the sexual attraction, the physical prowess of each character this story looks at the intellectual connection. Don't get me wrong I do love a good steamer but this was a nice change and I think the intellectual stimuli between two partners is often not examined and questioned in contemporary romance.

"Organised sports were beyond me. I was more than slightly spastic." This was actually my favourite quote because I could definitely relate to this predicament. I was the kind of girl that would sit on the sidelines and still get hit in the head with a tennis ball so I loved being able to relate to this poor girls situation.

This book had the trappings of a five star read, even the possibilty of hitting my favourites shelf however the one thing that put me off was the constant references to God. I don't have a problem with religion even though I am a non-believer but I feel that this book perhaps threw too much at me. I just can't relate to discussions about God and the bible etc. It almost makes me uncomfortable and for me it takes away from the story.

However this is a book that I will recommend to everyone because it looks like none of you guys have picked this one up. It is a beautiful story and well worth the read.

"You can't build walls and then be mad when no one wants to climb over them."

"You were the bar I measured everything by."
Profile Image for Maayan.
Author 3 books306 followers
June 21, 2015
This book was so beautiful and touching .. I feel like every time I read Amy Harmon book I gain so much knowledge ! In this case, I was fascinated with all the Navajo culture and legends, and with all the classical music and composers .. Josie was amazing! She was such an inspiring young woman, and Samuel was a fascinating hero <3

Profile Image for Elena.
166 reviews37 followers
February 14, 2020
Красива, нежна, трогателна, но и малко сурова история. Малко прекалено сериозна ми беше за тийн роман, но все пак това са неща и от реалния живот. Историята проследява живота на Джоузи от самото ѝ детство, от смъртта на майка ѝ до последването на истинската си любов. От ранно детство се научава да разчита само на себе си. Скромна, срамежлива, сдържана, но и много начетена, любознателна и добра е Джоузи. Хареса ми това в нея, че намираше изход от всяка ситуация и винаги гледаше положително на нещата /малко си приличаме тук с нея 😀 /, казваше всичко, каквото мисли и не се срамуваше от това. От друга страна Самюъл ми беше по-прикрит, по-дръпнат, ако мога така да се изразя, по-затворен и може би това е идеалната комбинация между тях. Допълваха се по един прекрасен начин. Книгата не е лека, на места си поплаках, отделно самият стил на писане на авторката е трогателен. Има много описания за класическата музика, за племето навахо, за спомените с мама, но за мен не бяха излишни, личеше си колко се беше постарала авторката. Когато прочетете накрая бележките на автора ще разберете защо го казвам :)
Дано Ибис издадат и друго от авторката, ще го прочета с удоволствие, защото Ейми Хармън пише от сърце! ❤️

"Ти си като основната нота. Ти си нотата, около която всички други се въртят и гравитират. Ти си домът. Без теб песента няма да е песен, семейството ти няма да е семейство. От това се страхуваш, нали? Кой ще бъде тогава базовият лагер, основната нота, ако си тръгнеш? Ти и за мен си това, откакто те срещнах преди толкова години.”

„Любовта е дълготърпелива, пълна с благост, любовта не завижда, любовта не се превъзнася, не се гордее, не безчинства, не дири своето, не се сърди, зло не мисли, на неправдата се не радва, а се радва на истина; всичко извинява, на всичко вярва, на всичко се надява, всичко претърпява. Любовта никога не отпада…”
Profile Image for Syndi.
2,993 reviews690 followers
October 25, 2020
Now this is the book by Miss Harmon that I admired and missed. Since reading Making Faces, I am in love with Miss Harmon's work. Unfortunately, I did not like Song of Moses.

Running Barefoot is a love letter to Najaho culture and Mormon culture. Captured nicely within 2 characters. Sam and Jossie relationship started as friendship and turned into more. They seperated due to their age different.

In my opinion, this book talks more about true love. The romance is light and so very tender. The wording is like a river flow. Calming and beautiful. Heart breaking too.

What a wonderful journey. Wonderful book.

5 stars
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