Book review: The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: AmazonTBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: November 3, 2015
Source: Purchased

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?

It’s no secret that I had a huge reading slump in August. I hated just about everything that I read and it was just… the worst. I had purchased The Anatomical Shape of a Heart in one of my many book-buying binges of the summer, but I actually had no intention of reading it any time soon. Then my best friend started texting me. She promised me that I would like it, and seeing how we’ve been friends since 2001… I guess I kind of trust her opinion. And, okay. I liked it. It was no Starry Eyes, but I liked it.

It was pretty clear to me that this was Jenn Bennett’s first YA book. It doesn’t feel as polished as either Starry Eyes or Alex, Approximately, two of my absolute favorite YA contemporaries. Jack was a decently swoony character, but he had nothing on Lennon Mackenzie. Aside from being a handsome, rich artist, he didn’t really have that much going for him. Bex, on the other hand? I’m pretty sure both she and her art are way too cool for me.

As usual for a Jenn Bennett book, there’s a really frank discussion of sex between the two main characters. This is one of my favorite things about her writing — I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I wish that YA books would have been like this when I was an actual young adult.

Now that I’m all caught up on Jenn Bennett’s YA books, I’ll have to venture into her adult series. (And cry endlessly about being denied for an ARC of Serious Moonlight.)

Previously: Alex, Approximately • Starry Eyes


Have you read The Anatomical Shape of a Heart? Do you love Jenn Bennett as much as I do?
 Let’s talk in the comments!


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18 thoughts on “Book review: The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

  1. inknpaper85046788 says:

    the art teacher in me is fascinated by reading about drawing cadavers. 🙂 In art school we had to draw the skeleton of a human being…not a plastic/fiber/fake skeleton but a skeleton made of real bones from a real person. Usually, the skeletons were from people who decided to donate their bones to science and from people without name or family. I don’t think schools still have real skeleton, nowadays.
    Do you know that da Vinci dissection was completely illegal at first? It is believed that da Vinci would get grave robbers to get him cadavers to study!
    As I said before, I am a fan of sex in a novel because it makes the novel cheap. But, discussion of sex is EXTREMELY important for YA. Thus, I am pro discussing sex…if the discussion helps YA with understanding sex and conducting safe sex.
    Thnak you for writing this wonderful review!

    Liked by 1 person

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