The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett
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?
This book was so different! Yes, the main characters fell in love. And, yes, there was a gay brother and an absent father. But the rest of the story was refreshingly unique.
Bex wants to be a medical illustrator. (Who knew that was even a job?) She is planning to enter an art contest at the end of the summer to win a scholarship for college, but she needs access to the medical college’s cadaver lab to draw more accurately. She bumps into Jack one night on the train platform going home from her meeting with the professor at the college.
Jack is a felon. He’s been painting graffiti all over the city of San Francisco, and Bex is the only one who knows his secret. In addition, Jack can mysteriously pull strings to get Bex into the cadaver lab. They strike up an unusual friendship/romance.
Some other unique elements were a matchmaking homeless man and Jack’s religion: Zen Buddhism.
The romance story was a bit predictable, but the other plot lines were not. The characters were great. The book was written in Bex’s voice which was snarky and slightly self-deprecating. I loved her. I really wanted there to be visuals in the book of her art. It sounded so amazing.
Romantic contemporaries can sometimes be too dull for me, but this book had enough going on besides the love story to keep me interested. In fact, I couldn’t put this book down. I read 180 pages in the first day, and I really wanted to stay up to finish it. I may have if it hadn’t been the beginning of the work week.
My Rating: 4 Stars
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