I received this book for free (hey, thanks!) in exchange for an honest review. I promise that this does NOT affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. For real.The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Published by Macmillan on November 3rd 2015
Also by this author: Alex, Approximately, Starry Eyes
Format: ARC (304 pages) • Source: Around the World ARC Tours
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A mysterious graffiti artist, an anatomy-obsessed artist, and a night bus that will bring the two together.
Artist Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she's spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow in Da Vinci’s footsteps, she's ready to tackle the one thing that will give her an advantage in a museum-sponsored scholarship contest: drawing actual cadavers. But when she tries to sneak her way into the hospital’s Willed Body program and misses the last metro train home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside down.
Jack is charming, wildly attractive . . . and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists. On midnight buses and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who Jack really is—and tries to uncover what he’s hiding that leaves him so wounded. But will these secrets come back to haunt him? Or will the skeletons in Beatrix’s own family’s closet tear them apart?
The premise of this book and the characters inside it were just so unique – I knew I was going to like it (at the very least!). I have definitely not read a book about a girl who draws cadavers and dreams of being a medical illustrator, or a boy who is a graffiti artist with lots of family secrets. Both Bex and Jack felt so real, interesting, and different.
I say this a lot, but I love when a YA book features strong family presence. There were some great scenes with Bex, her mom, and her brother. They were so funny and her mom was the best: super understanding and compassionate. I loved the interactions between the people in Bex’s family. I wish there was even more time with them. Even Jack’s family presence (and growth) was strong, and he was just the love interest.
I think the biggest thing I loved about this book was how unique it is. The story is unlike any that I’ve ever read. It’s not every day that you meet characters with such interesting backgrounds and interests. They both felt fully developed to me. As I said earlier, Bex wants to be the next great medical illustrator, so she gains access to some cadavers at the local university. She meets Jack on the late night train and discovers that he’s the notorious graffiti artist. The two of them hit it off literally instantly and their relationship grows from there. Jack kept a lot of secrets and they were kind of slowly revealed, which was good, but I wouldn’t have been okay with it if I were Bex! If you get to know someone that well and spend that much time with them, you should know the whole story.
I wish this book was even longer. Getting more into some of the family dynamics and spending more time with everything would have been awesome.
The one somewhat annoying issue I had with the book was the insta-love. It started out as an intense infatuation but it grew to love pretty damn quickly. They were so passionate for each other after such a seemingly short time, and I just didn’t buy it. I loved the chemistry but they were willing to do anything for each other WAY too quickly.
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