The Anatomical Shape of a Heart
by Jenn Bennett
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: November 3rd 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Artist Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she's spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow in Leonardo 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?
Boy oh boy. If you were to tell me a month ago that I would get swoony over cadavers and family dramas I'd tell you that there are a few screws loose in your head. This is the story of Bex, her not so typical art interests and the boy who makes her feel more alive than her art subjects.
When the story started, I wasn't sure how it would go. Bex was very unusual with her want to draw dead bodies but when I found out it was for a contest that would afford her scholarship money, I got it. Bex, to me, was what a lot of contemporary heroines aren't. She was very realistic without being over the top. She was a child of divorce with a hard working mother. She had a job and she rode the train. Bex even lusted after the very hot and mysterious Jack the way a normal 18 year old would. It felt refreshing.
Speaking of Jack, holy hell.
Jack was what bad boys were made of on the outside and on the inside he was the perfect guy with cracks in his armor. Questions about him always popped up when he came on the page. For a good portion of the book, I found myself trying to figure him out the same way Bex was. And each little nugget that was revealed, I feel for him just like Bex.
My heart raced when they were together and ached when they were apart. There was something about their chemistry that felt natural. From them meeting on public transportation to her figuring out the reason Jack was tagging the city, none of it felt forced. Originally I thought that there was going to be more about the graffiti but it was there and I'm glad it wasn't over done.
Not only was this a cute contemporary read, it was also funny. Bex's brother and mother were hilarious to me. They worked like a real family unit to me. From meeting Heath's boyfriend to their mom giving Bex almost expired condoms stolen from the hospital she works at. I found myself laughing a lot. Great read all around.
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Jenn Bennett is an artist and RITA-nominated author of the Arcadia Bell urban fantasy series (Kindling the Moon) and the Roaring Twenties romance series, including Bitter Spirits, which was chosen as one of Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2014 and winner of RT Book Reviews Paranormal Romance Book of the Year, and Grave Phantoms—which was awarded RT's May Seal of Excellence for 2015. The Anatomical Shape of a Heart, (akaNight Owls in the U.K.) is her first YA contemporary romance. She lives near Atlanta with one husband and two evil pugs. Visit her at www.jennbennett.net.