For What It's Worth

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Review: The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

23310763Artist 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? ~

Source: ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

I adore Bennett’s Arcadia Bell, Urban Fantasy series. In no small part due to her portrayal of Jupe, the teenage son of Cady Bell’s boyfriend. I don’t like kids in my adult books but Jupe totally won me over. So the idea that Bennett wrote a full length novel with teens, for teens – welp – I’m all over that!

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart was a delightful story that felt like a throwback to old school YA, where coming of age themes like lust and independence are explored without all of the over the top angst but with much needed updates like sex positivity and diversity.

Both Bex and Jack are smart and kind of odd ducks. Bex looks like Wednesday Addams and draws anatomically correct body parts - for fun - and hopes to do it professionally & Jack is a not very good Buddhist/vegetarian that dresses like a rockabilly. But they aren't YA cutesy or pretentious and I loved how they both knew what they wanted out of life. I could be friends with them. They definitely weren’t perfect and made mistakes but they were truly good kids, trying to do the right thing even if it wasn’t always in the right way.

25327818It was a quieter story than I was expecting but the characters were so sweet and original and the inclusion of actual, responsible parents and family life made it stand out from the rest.

I really hope Bennett decides to write more YA or even NA. She has a wonderful, unique voice.

I don’t usually spotlight alternate UK covers but this one is gorgeous and even has a different title so I wanted my UK readers to know it’s the same book.
Both covers and titles are perfect for this story – just in different ways.


  1. I am not a fan of when they use different titles, it is so me ;)

    1. Either cover or title works for this one and they're both beautiful but it is a little confusing.

  2. A novel I've been hearing lots about, mostly positive I have to say. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  3. Sweet and original characters sounds great for this one

  4. I agree, I hope Bennett writes more YA. I have had the worst luck with YA Contemp this year, but this one renewed my faith, however, I am still going to be extremely leary about YA next year.

  5. I requested this late, I still haven't heard, I hope I get a super late approval though

  6. This sounds delightful.I don't read a lot of YA contemporary but this sounds like one I would enjoy.

  7. It's weird that the U.S. and the U.K. change titles sometimes...covers make more sense. Honest, I like the U.K. title AND cover better. Maybe I can get it from Book Depository or something. Glad you liked this one. I want to read it!


  8. This book is on my holiday reading list and I can't wait!

    Kate @ Ex Libris

  9. LOL I thought Night Owls was different than this one. Thank goodness I didn't buy both copies! Great review! <3

  10. I cannot WAIT to read this book! It is on my wishlist, so fingers crossed :D I also really love the UK cover- that is actually the one ON my wishlist, because it is so pretty! I love a well-written character driven book, so I am definitely even more excited now! Fabulous review :D
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight