posted at Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016 at 8:00 AM | Reviews, Young Adult
I received this book for free from NetGalley 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 3, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Amazon • The Book Depository
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?
My Gansey but I love that feeling when a book just blows me away completely unexpectedly. The Anatomical Shape of a Heart was barely on my radar. Pretty sure I downloaded it on a whim, because contemporary romance, rather than from any particular interest in the book. Well, seriously, bless past me for giving present me the gift of this incredibly shippy, swoony read. If you’re one of those people who shares my tastes in bantery ships, you NEED this ship in your life.
Before I get back onto my soapbox to yell about how this ship brought me life and made my heart beat faster, I’m going to try to talk about actual plot things rather than just writing SHIP in the biggest boldest font I can fit on this blog.
Um okay oops. But no really. I did love more than the ship; I really did. First, there’s Bex, who is an outcast, aka YA character standard. However, her nerdiness is unique: she dreams of being an anatomical artist for textbooks, which I didn’t even realize was a thing and which totally grosses me out. She’s super serious about it, down to trying to get a college professor let her draw an actual corpse for a hopefully scholarship-winning piece.
Bex gets picked on at school, called Morticia by the kids which she a) doesn’t find insulting really except that b) she thinks she looks much more like Wednesday. I love, though, that Bex, while a bit drear at times, is fun and quick-witted when someone takes the time to draw her out from behind her art. She and Jack have a lot in common (like love of art and a sense of humor), but they also challenge each other in some very important ways. Oops, I’ve circled back to the ship again. SHIP GUYS SHIP.
Both Bex and Jack have really important family story lines. Bex’s is more typical; her parents divorced when her dad cheated on her mom and left to the marry a much younger strip club owner. Though Bex’s family struggles to make ends meet, they love each other fiercely. They’re flawed but always have each other’s best interests at heart. I adore Nurse Katherine the Great, Bex’s mom, and her brother Heath and his boyfriend Saint Noah are so. fucking. cute. I’d love a separate book about them tbh.
How about it, Jenn Bennett?
I can’t really get into what’s going on with Jack because that comes out in the course of the book, and I don’t want to ruin any little bit of Jack and Bex getting to one another for you guys because omfg ship. Um. Oops again. BUT Jack is defacing public property and their reasons for why a seemingly well-adjusted, hot, vegetarian Buddhist is doing that stuff. Love Jack forever. Also, I love the way side characters are treated; you always get glimpses at hidden depths, not just the mean girl or the horrible stepmother.
Okay, finally I give myself permission to rave about the ship. In the first chapter, Bex meets Jack, though they don’t exchange names at this point, and my interest flared as they mistrustfully awkwarded/bantered. But then they end up getting on this night bus and having this intense, incredibly hot staredown, and let’s just say that this was an omen of things to come. TBH, the relationship is instalove but I really don’t care because I ship it so incredibly fiercely. Your mileage may vary, but honestly I buy that they’re in love with each other or feel like they are. My main issue with most instalove is that they don’t seem to bond or really have any interest in each other aside from the physical, which is SO not the case here.
And they are just so fucking precious and bantery. They click right off, despite some reasons not to trust one another. I just. And I love that Jack’s the more nervous one about basically everything, the sweet cinnamon roll hufflepuff pompadour rocking hotness that he is. View Spoiler »I super love that Jack’s a virgin and she isn’t, though they’re basically still just learning together, but I love overthrowing standard romance tropes so holla for this. « Hide Spoiler They’re both kind of weird and they love one another’s weird and I am just so here for it. Also, The Anatomical Shape of a Heart is sexy. Not too many are really that hot but this one very much. The UST is UNREAL and when it’s realized that is also epic just saying. I mean, I mostly just want to post a bunch of quotes of them bantering but I also want you to experience it firsthand (though check below for one sample), so just know that I was grinning stupidly and literally flailing at my eARC. It is not every ship that makes me do this.
I have definitely not heard enough about this book, so here’s some hype. The Anatomical Shape of a Heart is an amazing contemporary, especially for all of you like me who cannot resist a very banteresting book. I think I need to go read everything Jenn Bennett has ever written.
“Happy Fourth,” he finally said. “Or is that ‘Merry Fourth’? What’s the standard Independence Day greeting?”
“I think you’re supposed to salute the flag while imitating the mournful call of a bald eagle.”
Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy: