Monday, 2 November 2015

Review: The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

Hello there!  It's been a long time, but I'm back!  This is my first post in about three months and while I've missed everyone I've enjoyed and needed the time off. I hope everyone has been well!

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication date: November 3rd 2015
My rating: 4.5 stars 
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

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?

My Thoughts:
If you’re looking for a swoony young adult romance The Anatomical Shape of a Heart is the book for you! 

Beatrix, “Bex” Adams wants to be a medical illustrator, a highly competitive field, and is trying to win scholarship money to aid that future. After trying to get a seat in the Willed Bodies program of her local hospital she misses the train home and must take the late Owl bus where she meets Jack.  Their chemistry is immediate and mutual:

His gaze lifted and met mine. We stared at each other.
And stared.
And stared…
A strange heat sparked inside my chest and spread over my skin.—I didn’t know what was happening between us, but I honestly wouldn’t have been surprised if the Owl had burst into flames, veered off the road, and exploded in a fiery inferno.

But on their journey, Bex figures out Jack is an infamous graffiti artist. Does she want to get involved with trouble?  The pull to him is undeniable and they end up crossing paths and hearts, navigating first love and family drama along the way. 

I enjoyed the fact that Bex was comfortable in her own skin being a sort of “misfit” but okay with that.  I admired that she was a hardworking teenager since her father left and the family’s funds were stretched, but didn’t wallow in self-pity. Her father was supremely selfish for leaving, and my heart broke for them.  I felt for Bex’s mother, Katherine, and I thought she tried to do right by her kids for the most part, but I was very disappointed with her over one issue, but no one is perfect, and feelings of rejection can short circuit good thinking sometimes. 

Jack, the graffiti artist/beautiful boy, had his share of family issues, but he was a complete sweetheart!  The unraveling of his secrets and slow progression of Jack and Bex’s romance kept me glued to the pages.

I just visited San Francisco over the summer, and while reading I felt like I was transported back there all over again with its cool, foggy weather, trendy restaurants, old Victorian townhomes, and unique energy! The city came alive through Jenn Bennett’s writing.  Visit her Pinterest board to get some of the imagery and more of a feel for the story.

It’s been a while since I read a young adult romance. I actually don’t read many young adult stories anymore, but I’m a huge fan of Jenn Bennett so I knew I had to read The Anatomical Shape of a Heart.  Ms. Bennett nails the ups and downs of youth and real life, mixing it with humor and charm making her story utterly captivating.  She captured the thrill and headiness of first love perfectly, which, of course, was my favorite part! 

Connect with Jenn Bennett:




  1. A swoon-y romance is always a treat! The buzz surrounding this title is fantastic, and I will definitely read it too :) Wonderful review!

    1. I agree, Ramona. A swoony romance is always a treat. Hope you enjoy it as well, and thanks! :)

  2. Ahhhh Rachel! You're back. I'm so glad to see you!!! And yes. Holy Hannah this book was freaking awesome. Easily one of my favourite reads this year (and perhaps of all time). I'm so happy you love this one, too!

    1. Thank you, Joy! I'm happy to be back! I hope you get to Jenn Bennett's adult books as well. She works her magic there, too! :)

  3. AHHH! I just read Nick's review of this one and she adored it as well Rachel, so I really need to make time for it. If you guys both loved it I know I will to. I can't wait to meet Jack ;-)


    1. Hi Jenny, I'm happy to be back, thanks!! I'm here for the foreseeable future, so yeah!!

      I know you're a fan of Jenn Bennett so I'm sure you'll adore this story. Its what YA romance should be. :)

  4. First of all Rachel, I'm so glad you're back! I've missed your posts! :)
    Secondly, wohoo! I'm so glad you loved this one just as much as I did! It was SO SO swoony. I loved both of these characters so much. And I 100% agree with you! Her Pinterest board was AMAZING! It even inspired me to do a graphic using the images. :)
    I read the first book in her adult PNR series and her writing is amazing! I can't wait to read more.
    Beautiful review, Rachel!

    1. Thank you so much, Nick! I'm happy to be back!

      Your graphic was lovely and incorporated one of my favorite images from Jenn's Pinterest board: the rockabilly embrace. Loved that pic! :)

  5. i know a lot of people loved this one, especially the writing.. I love the fact that he is a graffiti artist and she is a sort of a misfit, what an interesting combo

  6. Welcome back, Rachel! :) Does this book sound swoony or what?! I love the extract you posted. Just so happens that I have a copy of this one for review so I'll be bumping it up my TBR. Can't wait for all the SWOON! :D

  7. Rachel! I am so thrilled you are back. I missed you. I enjoyed this one as well, it renewed my hope for YA Contemp romances. Loved the setting, the characters and the positive sex.

  8. Welcome back, Rachel! I think a lot of readers have pointed out that this isn't exactly unique, which I agree with, but it does some basic things so well and the characters are adorable and I really just enjoyed the progression of this romance. Plus, I really do love your point about the inclusion of place and how authentic this feels to the area it's grounded in. Fantastic review! Also, so so happy you're back! <3

  9. YAY for being back :D Love your review Rachel. <3 So so glad you liked this book. Yay for it being swoony :D It sounds pretty awesome. <3 Not my genre, but curious. Thank you for sharing about it. <3 Hope you are doing okay sweet girl :)

  10. HI RACHEL! Wow, what a great rating! I initially passed this one straight (I don't particularly enjoy YA contemporary), but I've heard nothing but great things about this book. So glad you enjoyed it, Rachel!

    Lovely review. :)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  11. Loved this book so much too! It was so good, that it brought me out of my reading slump that Queen of Shadows put me in. I really need Jenn to write more YA.
    Great review, I'm glad you enjoyed the book. :)

  12. Yay, Rachel! Glad you gave this a try! I'm hoping some mostly-YA readers will pick up her adult romance books, because she deserves all the love!
    Anyway, yes, love how swoony this book is, and the characters are great... especially Jack. :D Lovely review!

  13. It’s so good to see you on Reader’s Den again, Rachel. Wonderful review! I know your love for Bennett’s adult books; I actually added her Roaring Twenties series after you review. I think now I’ll start with her YA, I’m definitely in a mood for a swoony young adult romance.

  14. I've seen a lot of great reviews of this one! I haven't been too into YA this year but I think I will give this one a try -- you had me at swoony! Great review Rachel!!


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