I received this book for free from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett
Published by Feiwel & Friends on November 3rd, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Source: Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
Buy on Amazon
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?
I adored this book! It wasn’t perfect, but I really enjoyed it and didn’t want to put it down. I loved the main characters, but beyond that, I wanted so bad to learn their story. I was instantly drawn into this book and it was like I was there with them on their journey. It was great watching their romance form, and it was so heart breaking when they were going through awful things. I was very invested in them and where life would take them, and especially the past that had made each of them who they were.
Bex was an interesting character. She doesn’t have a whole lot of friends because people find her a bit weird. By weird, I mean morbid. She is fascinated by anatomy. She loves the details of what is inside the human body. So much that she even wants to work doing drawings for textbooks detailing the inner workings of humans. She also only does these drawings in black, white, and gray. She is amazing at it. She also needs to be the best to be able to get a scholarship to get into college because since her dad left a few years ago, they don’t really have a lot of money. Definitely not enough to put her through college. Then one night she meets Jack on a midnight train and it flips her world upside down. He makes her feel things she has never felt before, but they both have a lot of secrets that could either bring them closer, or tear them apart.
Jack is every bit as charming as you would expect him to be. He at first comes across as the bad boy, but is anything but once you get to know him. I loved him. He has all the qualities that you look for in a person. He also has some heavy family secrets that he is afraid to share. He is falling hard for Bex though, and knows that he can’t keep things from her forever. She already knows one of his big secrets after all. She just doesn’t know the reasons behind it. I loved every second of getting to know Jack. He got better and better the more that his background was uncovered.
The romance was so perfect. I mean yes, it seemed a bit quick, but it actually developed really well. It wasn’t just “Poof, they are in love.” They got to know each other, they doubted themselves, they didn’t spend every waking moment together. They let things progress naturally. They both have a lot of shit going on in their lives and don’t really want the other to be brought into it, but they also really care about each other and want to be open and honest. They are there for each other and they are both really caring people. I thought the romance was really great and it didn’t make me cringe or think that it was cheesy or too rushed.
The story was fantastic. It was about so much more than Jack and Bex falling for each other. There were some major family issues and medical issues that it centered around. It was about learning to trust and open up to those who you care about, and who care about you. About family and what it means. About hurting those you love, when all you meant to do was protect them. There were many layers to this book, and family was a bit part of it. I love it when the family is very present in books, and it’s not like they were just forgotten about and thrown into a background mention once in a while. I’m so glad that I really liked this book because I was nervous going into it that it would be another cheesy rushed romance, but it proved me wrong by being a meaningful, beautiful story.
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