Book Review

Review: The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

the anatomical shape of a heart by jenn bennettPublished: November 3 2015

Number of pages: 291

Format: paperback

Publisher: Feiwal and Friends

Genre: romance, contemporary

Audience: YA

Rating: 4/5 owl hoots

Find it on Goodreads | Chapters Indigo


Beatrix Adams knows how she’s spending her summer: drawing actual cadavers to get a museum sponsored scholarship. But after failing to get into a Willed Body Program and missing the last bus home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside down…for the best. Jack is charming, attractive but a notorious graffiti artist in San Francisco. But during midnight bus rides and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see Jack for who he really is and tries to figure out what’s he hiding. But will Jack’s secret past continue to haunt him or will his family secrets tear him apart?

My Review:

I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Out of the all the YA contemporary stories I’ve read, this one really stood out. It’s edgy, sexy, and I love how the romance isn’t too cute and fluffy. And oh yes, there’s drama and family secrets but that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

A boy meets girl story with an artistic edge to it: a girl who likes to draw cadavers (dead bodies) and a rich boy who is a notorious graffiti artist by night. They meet at a bus stop late at night and ride the Owl bus together. Instead of the insta love moment (a trope that I dislike), the romance starts slow as they get to know each other deep down before it escalates into an intense love scene. What I love most about the story are the characters; they’re lively and realistic and not two dimensional which I’ve encountered in a lot of contemporary stories, and why I had so much trouble getting into this type of genre.

Meet Beatrix Adams: she’s a young gothic chic with an artistic talent for drawing dead bodies. Her dream is to pursue a career in medical illustrations much like what da Vinci did. One of the qualities that I love about Bex is that she’s a punk artist with a fascination for the macabre. The entire story is written in her point of view and I love hearing her casual and sarcastic voice, it was almost like reading her journal. She describes her thoughts and feelings about stuff that happens to her everyday at home so well, that it felt like hearing her own voice beside you while reading.

Jack is charming, attractive, a Buddhist, and a graffiti artist. He’s also a rich boy but with a bad boy side to him, especially if he’s going around town vandalizing public property. And just like Bex he too has personal drama at home but together they both manage to face their problems, and instead of allowing their family secrets tear them apart, they find a way to make things better for themselves. So in the end, things did work out between their families but not in a cheesy happily ever after sort of way.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I love how the story is so real and romantic with no clichés, insta love scenes, or anything too cute. The characters are grounded and dramatic but nothing too over the top. It’s a charming read with a sweet ending and I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a good YA contemporary book to settle down with.


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