Friday, March 25, 2016

Review: The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett
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Series: No
Release date: November 3rd, 2015
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan)
Length: 304 pages
Source: gift
Rating: HEART EYES, and not anatomical ones

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?

I'm trying to be coherent here, but i'm struggling. I loved this book bunches. Cutey cuteness all over the place, ship a dee doo dah, ship a dee day. This book is sort of instalove done right, in that I totally believe these crazy kids are in love despite how quickly it happens. THEY'RE SO CUTE I MELT. Such adorable banter and chemistry and SQUEEE. In addition to be a highly successful romance, TASoaH is also a sensitive portrayal of complicated families and mental illness. I loved how no character is ever demonized, not even the parents, who all try their best but are flawed and fully realized and aww feels.

The UK cover and title

Bex Adams looks like Wednesday Addams and draws like Da Vinci. She's a weird one, Mr. Grinch, and while she looks all gloomy and scary on the outside, she's actually very practical and wry and I loved being in her head. When she meets Jack (JACK!!!! *HEART EYES*) on the night bus, after failing to get into the hospital to draw cadavers (told you she was a unique one), there is INSTANT CHEMISTRY!!!! Normally i'm not into the INSTANT CHEMISTRY!!! thing in books, because it's usually the author being like I'M TELLING YOU THERE'S A CONNECTION SO NOW YOU MUST BELIEVE ME and whoa there, I don't believe you, but with Bex and Jack...well, i saw it. They bantered, and there was magic. Plus he was dressed like a cat burglar. He was a MYSTERY.

Turns out, Bex likes a mystery. Especially when that mysterious boy turns out to be a tattooed, Buddhist, Rockabilly, pompadour-sporting...vandal/graffiti artist. A really famous, really talented, really felonious one.

[six paragraphs of swooning over Jack redacted for the sake of my dignity]

casting unapologetically stolen from Christina
me to Jack
also me to Jack
TASoaH is so many things: family-centric, swoony, shippy, heartfelt, quirky without being CUTESY. It's more like the characters were very interesting individuals I would quite like to know and who are very capable of entertaining me for a few hours. It's also sex positive, which YAY. Basically, the romance is awesome. So cute. So sweet. GAH SHIPPY SHIP.

No I will never be over Jane by Design being cancelled
There's not much actual drama BETWEEN Bex and Jack, which strangely enough I liked, because they were so cute and *squishes them together and never lets them break up* They both have THINGS going on outside of the two of them, though, especially Jack, super heavy things having to do with their families, and I love the way this book treated those issues. And also HONESTY between couples! What a novel concept. I'm sorry, I'm trying to talk about things other than the perfect banter and building relationship and hot chemistry between Bex and Jack but I AM FAILING SO MISERABLY. What are words beside "squee"?

Why is it so hard to talk about the books I loved? Ugh. I don't even know what to say. It's a fast read, and while the plot is slight, the feels are not. Both Jack and Bex's family are very present in this story in a way that's totally realistic. San Francisco is in AMAZING form (seriously, this book made me want to take a trip up north.) I loved this book so much. The voice jumped right off the page, and Jack jumped right into my heart. I fell in love with him right alongside Bex. Highly recommend for contemporary romance lovers.

MORE YA FROM JENN BENNET, PLEASE. And I will soooooo be reading her adult books. This lady knows how to write romance, yes indeedy.


  1. This sounds so lovely, I really want to pick it up now!! Wonderful post xx

    1. It is indeed a lovely book! I hope you give it a try!


    I honestly think this review is perfect because it really is all about the setting and the SHIP *cough* I mean characters. Squeeeeeeeee! This is the kind of instalust/love I can get on board with, and I also loved that there wasn't Drama between Bex and Jack! It was refreshing that the drama was going on for them individually, instead of together. Made me sigh in relief actually. I liked how dark and strange parts of this was but really the sexy ship jewel thief banter I am not okayyyyyyyy. Got teensy Wattscroft feels too, I think bc of the bodies and the chemistry.


      ship ship shiiiiiip (and setting!). I know, wasn't the low inter-ship drama strangely refreshing? BANTER. OMG WATTSCROFT FEELS. EEEEEEEEP.

  3. Thanks for the review - I really need to check this one out! I loved her adult Roaring Twenties books by the way, so I imagining so many good things for this one. :D

    1. I TOTALLY need to check out her adult books! I love her style.

  4. YASS so glad you liked this one -- it's just a fun read, but also one with some hidden depth, right??

    but, importantly,

    ship ship shippppity ship!

    Bex and Jack are a great YA couple. They made Feel Things. I really liked how art played into their relationship. But yes, let us take a moment to PRAISE that there was HONESTY in a ya relationship. THAT HAPPENED.

    I find myself also curious about her adult fiction. I bet she writes a great sex scene.


      Honesty, yay! Art, yayy!

      omg, her YA hookup scenes are great. I CAN ONLY IMAGINE HOW HOT AND PERFECT HER ADULE ONES ARE.

  5. I loved this book. Also, I totally forgot about Jane by Design (such a guilty pleasure).


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