Friday, March 9, 2018

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

Synopsis (via Goodreads): 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? 
"And then he was kissing me like we were both on fire and he was trying to put the flames out, and I kissed him back like an arsonist with a pocketful of matches."
The universe was against me, but I finally finished this book! It didn't take me long to read, but it was "misplaced" for over a week. My son thought my shelves were too full, so he decided to add a few to his. πŸ€·πŸ’•

I absolutely adored this book! Jenn Bennett is a wonderful author that writes truly authentic stories with relatable characters. All of the characters, regardless of their roles, were meaningful. A few were only mentioned a handful of times, but their overall impact was great and fit seamlessly into the rest of the story.

I loved watching Bex and Jack form a relationship. It was awkward and intense at the beginning, but slows down once the two finally start interacting with each other. It's like they've finally found another person they can confide in, which is good, because there is no shortage of secrets.

I was surprised by some of the revelations, and it was exciting to see how they would start to play into the story. It was so awesome watching all of the pieces come together! The family fights were not over-the-top, and the sibling relationships made me smile. I was disappointed with the parents a few times, but I can understand the reasons for their actions. They also love their children and make an effort to fix their mistakes.

Bex and Jack are practical when it comes to the physical aspects of their relationship, and they're able to talk about it reasonably before moving forward. There were a lot of times I forgot these two were in high school, and loved the level of maturity they had already achieved. They were open and honest, and both wanted assurances from the other that they were happy. They were so selfless and sweet. (Bonus: If they had a problem, they actually talked about it.)

It isn't an angsty romance, or even a slow burn, but a simple and honest connection that blooms over time. They're able to connect through their love of art, but it's really so much more than that. Bex and Jack are two people that know what they want in life, and they're not afraid to go for it. I loved their confidence and enthusiasm, and their willingness to help others. Brilliant book!

27 comments:

  1. This is the book that made me really hooked on Bennett's writing and I've read them all since and will continue to read them. I just love what she does in this genre!

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    1. Bitter Spirits was my first! I think anyone could choose one of her books at random and still get hooked on her as an author. She's amazing! Do you have a favorite?

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  2. I love the cover and title of this one. It sounds cute and uncomplicated and perfect for my current mood. I’ll have to look it up.

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    1. It is cute and uncomplicated! Try it and let me know what you think!

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  3. I so need to read this. I LOVED Alex, Approximately so much, and have vowed to read all that is Jenn Bennett. I am all about a straight forward, lovely romance, and Bennett knows how to write a good romance. Glad you enjoyed this one, because I am really looking forward to reading it.

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    1. I still need to read Alex, Approximately! I've heard wonderful things about it. I've also vowed to forever read anything she ever writes. Have you read Bitter Spirits? It was my first book by her, and sooo good! It has a paranormal twist that is subtle and beautifully done. She definitely knows how to write a good romance! This one is very straight forward, too.

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  4. I really need to read this author. This sounds like a really great book and I am glad you enjoyed it.

    Kids are fun when it comes to moving things around. I remember tearing my house apart 20 years ago trying to find my keys - my daughter put them under her toys in her toy box. A week later, she put my glasses under the living room chair. Those were fun times.

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    1. If you haven't read a Jenn Bennett book, I highly recommend them!

      We lost a set of keys years ago. I really think my son put them in a trash can one day, and I didn't realize it before throwing it out. We've moved since then, so everything was upended, but we never found them.

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  5. Quote: "My son thought my shelves were too full, so he decided to add a few to his."
    Haha, great move! I'm sure he thought mom was too busy with the books she already had, so he wanted to spare you more hard work πŸ˜‰.

    Straight-up contemporary is not my thing (unless it's a story about friendship or finding one's call), but I'm glad that books like this exist, because teen need to read about their peers talking and working problems out in a relationship, as opposed to simply jumping each other's bones πŸ˜‚.

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    1. I think he was more concerned with the babies pulling the books off my shelves. I'm usually able to catch them in time, but we've lost two so far. Luckily, they were Jacob's and not mine! (I moved my books to the higher shelves.)

      Is there a reason you don't like contemporary? I'm just curious!

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    2. Well, they are usually big on romance for one thing, and I tend to stay away from that LOL. Then again, if there is friendship involved, or it's a coming-of-age story, I sometimes make an exception. I've read a few contemp that I loved - only not recently.

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    3. (If you don't count A.S. King, that is, because she's something else entirely - I shelved her books as "Contemporary with a Twist", which pretty much means "Magical Realism" and beyond!).

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    4. I love A.S. King! Have you read The Dust of 100 Dogs?? It was my first book by the author, and one of the very first books I read and reviewed on my old blog! I like the "Contemporary with a Twist" shelf! I would highly recommend Jenn Bennett. If you don't want to read a romance or YA, you could try her Adult books. They're more paranormal with a smidge of romance.

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  6. I have only read her Alex one, but this was the one that made me keep her name in mind

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    1. Did you like Alex, Approximately?

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  7. I haven't read this author but this does sound like a good book.

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    1. You should try something of hers! She also has some Adult books with a paranormal twist.

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  8. I love that Bex and Jack are both mature; you don't always get that with YA couples. I am really curious about this one. I haven't read anything by this author yet.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. You definitely should! She's wonderful.

      "I love that Bex and Jack are both mature; you don't always get that with YA couples." I completely agree with this!

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  9. I did read this one awhile ago but I also really enjoyed it so I'm glad it was the same for you

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    1. Yay! Have you read any of her other books?

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  10. I remember when this one came out but I had totally forgotten that is was Jen Bennett! I love the sound of this one. I'm all for angst but sometimes simple is so welcome. And I love the fact that the MC's actually TALK! OMG, how refreshing!

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    1. SO REFRESHING. I needed this book! It was perfect, simple and lovely.

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  11. Huge Jenn Bennett fan - I need to try her adult books now!
    Jen Ryland Reviews

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    1. Bitter Spirits is wonderful! I still need to finish the series.

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  12. I love her books so much. I think she writes authentic characters - flawed but they're also good people and I love , love, love the way she writes families. Or that she writes them at all! Most families are written as filler or to move something along. Oh and her books are sex positive!

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. Same! She's one of my favorite authors! Her books always amaze me. They seem simple, but they always leave a lasting impact. YES! Most books rarely mention the families, or they play a very minor role, and I enjoyed how involved they are in her books. They're around, offering advice, fighting--but they're there. Sex positive books, ftw! It's nice to have an author that doesn't shy away from the topic, but also writes it really well. Teenagers have sex. It happens, so people should stop pretending it doesn't.

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