Title: The Anatomical Shape of a Heart
Author: Jenn Bennett
Date Published: November 3rd, 2015
Number of Pages: 304
Summary: 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 her family’s closet tear them apart?
Often, I find I notice more about a cover when I post it on my review. The title is spray painted onto the wall as if it were graffiti. Just putting that as a side note.
The Anatomical Shape of a Heart surprised me. It was quite enjoyable but not what I expected from the summary. The novel follows the story of Beatrix Adams who labels herself as a “misfit”. When she’s waiting for a bus, she meets Jack, who she later finds out to be the graffiti artist in San Francisco. Jack is attractive, witty and their banter is interesting.
Beatrix wants to be a medical illustrator, and she wants to sketch a dead body for practice at their local hospital. Jack’s art is different. Illegal. The novel follows them meeting near the hospital, chatting, travelling, and Beatrix untangling Jack’s secrets.
If you’ve read any of my reviews, you’d know that I love writing style. This novel’s writing style was perfect. It’s not wordy or sophisticated in anyway. Perhaps it was because it was from Beatrix’s view. The way Jenn Bennett crafted the language of Beatrix’s thoughts was really unique. She was relatable and funny. I loved being in her mind.
“This was the night bus, not a Journey song. Two strangers were not on a midnight train going anywhere. I was going home, and he was probably going to knock over a liquor store.”
The characters in this novel were good considering it’s YA. We have a mother who actually is in the novel. She talks to Beatrix and gives her advice on relationships. Beatrix has an older brother who is messy and a classic older brother. He loves and cares for her. Beatrix was witty, and I liked how she loves art. We actually see her talking about it. It is an unusual twist already: a character that wants to be a medical illustrator.
“Yeah. I guess I’m a color-inside-the-lines girl. Worse, really—I’d rather shade inside the lines with a nice, light 4H pencil. Something dark like a 5B or 6B? That’s me going nuts.” He laughed, stretching out his long legs”
Jack Vincent, the love interest was a unique character as well. Immediately, we see him describe himself as a bad vegetarian and a bad Buddhist. He’s not your normal teenager. He goes around spray painting words in the city. His interactions with Beatrix was fun to read, but I did not like how he is described as this perfect guy, every teen girl wants. He’s a rebel, artsy, funny, sweet and the novel makes him seem so perfectly attractive. Beatrix describes how he’s beautiful so many times, it was frustrating! Not just 3 times, but around 10 times. Once would be enough. With all these descriptions, it created a bumpy platform and made his relationship with Bea just based on looks to me.
“Those dark eyelashes should be illegal.”
“He was a walking figure study in beautiful lines and lean muscle, with miles of dark lashes, and cheekbones that looked strong enough to hold up his entire body.”
“He was all retro and rockabilly and cool. If James Dean and David Beckham had a baby, it would be Jack. That jewel-thief outfit he’d been wearing that first night was a total criminal disguise.”
The plot was well executed. It was fast-paced and I was never bored with it. I never stopped because a scene was dull. The ending was quite lovely as well. It was a plot twist is all I will say. It was also well developed where the last plot twist didn’t seem too out of place. Jack’s family secret was a bit of a plot twist too. I thought, I saw it coming, but I really didn’t.
The book was also sex positive. It mentions it, and we see Bea’s mother telling her that it’s ok to have sex, but she does need to take precautions. Jack and Beatrix deal with their relationship maturely, and sex was portrayed realistically. They were witty about it, and Jack wasn’t scared to ask Bea about what sex was like, since he was a virgin.
The whole concept of the book was brilliant. I loved this idea of the anatomical heart, and Bea’s dream of being a medical illustrator. Jack even gives her a cute anatomical heart necklace.
I would recommend this to anybody who likes contemporary books. It was such a classic YA contemporary, and yet not. You’ll love the characters and I’m sure you’ll finish it in 1 day like me :). For anyone who has read the book, you’ll understand my 3 pictures of the hearts.
4.5 Out of 5 Cups of Tea
I recommend a nice lemongrass tea to go with this book. You can find it at David’s Tea. It’s called, Sweet Dreams. Enjoy guys! I’m trying to stick with my resolution this year. I also wanted to thank all of you who took time to read any of my reviews or even just visited my site. I love writing reviews, and I hope you guys love reading them. So thanks for all the support!