- Age Range: 12 - 18 years
- Grade Level: 7 and up
- Lexile Measure: 800 (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (November 3, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 125006645X
- ISBN-13: 978-1250066459
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #294,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Anatomical Shape of a Heart Hardcover – November 3, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Beatrix is not a typical teen artist. Her specialty is anatomical drawing. She wants nothing more than the chance to get into the Willed Body facility at a San Francisco medical school to draw the cadavers, sure that her precise work will win her a scholarship in a museum-sponsored drawing competition. Being a medical illustrator is an ambition she works toward by clerking in a local organic market to save for college and help her divorced RN mom keep their household afloat. Stuck waiting for the late bus one day, Beatrix meets a mysterious and gorgeous boy. They connect at once, staring into each other's eyes while flirting on the bus, but when a can of gold spray paint rolls out of Jack's bag, she knows why he's nervous and who he is: a notorious street artist who leaves single words of graffiti around the city. It should turn her off that he appears to be trouble, but Jack turns all of Bex's buttons to ON, and he is just as smitten, tracking her down and wooing her, even as she comes to understand that the words he's painting have as much to do with family and secrets as they do with art. Characters are well wrought, and dialogue feels realistic as the two navigate their lives and a fledgling relationship with humor and frank talk about sex, parents, and art. VERDICT An appealingly realistic romance that will curl toes and inspire sighs.—Suzanne Gordon, Lanier High School, Sugar Hill, GA
Winner of the 2016 RITA® Award for Young Adult Romance
"An appealingly realistic romance that will curl toes and inspire sighs." (School Library Journal)
"Swoonworthy, sex-positive romance." (Booklist)
"A fulfilling read." (RT Book Reviews, Top Pick)
"Artsy, cool, and everything you want a San Francisco adventure to be. Get ready to be swept away." (Maximum Pop)
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Top Customer Reviews
Young artist Beatrix just wants to get into the hospital's Willed Body program area so that she can study real cadavers to improve her art work and one day illustrate medical texts. One evening on the Night Owl bus, Beatrix meets the mysterious Jack and she can't stop thinking about him. When Beatrix finds out Jack is a locally famous graffiti artist, she begins spending time with him. But not everything is easy in Beatrix's life and she's about to confront the truth behind parts of her past while also finding ways to push towards her future.
What I Liked
I love Jenn Bennett's adult romance series so I was very curious about her writing young adult. I was very happy with this book; it had the quirky, interesting characters, great romance, and wonderful writing that Bennett is known for. I liked that Beatrix was different but didn't consider herself the misunderstood, moody teenager. She was comfortable with who she was and didn't feel like she didn't belong in this world. She was very mature for her age, but considering I was the same way growing up I probably related very strongly to this part of her personality. I also liked the way Bennett portrayed the side characters in the book. For instance, Beatrix's brother is an openly gay man but his character isn't used to make a point or be a stereotype; he's just a character. Bennett always does a great job with characterization so I felt like I really knew the characters as if they were real friends of mine.
I also really liked Jack, though he was pretty perfect in that way that young adult romance heroes often are. But I was ok with that because it's fiction and sometimes you want your characters to be better than regular people. The reasoning behind Jack's graffiti was very sweet if a little misguided in terms of legalities but he just wanted to make his sister happy. Though Jack was reluctant to be in a serious relationship he was fascinated by Beatrix and there sweet romance was great to read. This book is very sex-positive with a very open and mature look at sex between teenagers. I respected how Bennett handled this topic as it can be very sensitive but often gets handled poorly in books for young adults.
What I Didn’t Like
I loved the book but it didn't have the same kick that Bennett's adult romances have for me. This is purely personal preference and I think it mostly comes from not being a teenager anymore and struggling to really connect with young adult books. There was nothing wrong with Bennett's writing or storytelling, I'm just looking for more adult characters now.
This book, in short summary, is about two art-loving teenagers falling in love San Francisco. What sets this story apart from other romance novels (or at least those I've read thus far), is that the characters are capable of empathy and communication, and the main character isn't some girl with obvious mental instability who falls for a wolf in sheep's clothing. At first, this seems like a surefire winner, but unfortunately I was soon discover there are many more pitfalls for a book to fall into.
I feel like this novel really lacked any kind of conflict. The characters worked things out so easily, just by talking things through in a matter of a few lines, that any tension in the book was quickly dissolved. On one hand, it made the characters extremely likable, and in my opinion, real. On the other hand, it made for kind of a boring read. I really think this book could have been drastically improved by throwing in a few jerks to antagonize the main characters, a few people who couldn't be reasoned with and were just plain awful people. It kind of opened my eyes a bit, realizing that a true-to-life romance probably isn't that exciting from the outside looking in unless it has a few stumbles along the way.
That said, there were plenty of things I did like about this book. Besides the interesting characters, there was also realistic portrayals of sex, interesting dialogue and descriptions, multiple sub-plots, and actually a decent storytelling ability, so hence the 3 stars. I couldn't bring myself to give it 4 though, because truthfully, it felt like a 3-star read. I never got disgusted and threw the book away, yet I never got enthralled and just couldn't put it down.
Part of me thinks this is a fault of my tastes. I knew going into this that I've never really cared for romance. I prefer to read about things I just can't go out and do, like throw fireballs from my hands or ride a spaceship. If I want romance, I'll take my wife out to dinner and experience something real. Perhaps this book is actually just amazing, and but I'm just not it's target audience. I have yet to read a romance story I truly enjoy outside of fantasy book, which makes me wonder what it is I'm actually looking for here.
Overall, I think this book actually taught me a lot as a writer. A story can have a great setting, characters, etc etc etc, but without a solid plot of tension and intrigue, that story just isn't going to do too well.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's been a while since I read something in Spanish, and I'm glad I read this book in Spanish, yes, I know, I didn't practice my English, but I read Night Owls...Read more