Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Title: The Anatomical Shape of a Heart
Author: Jenn Bennett
Series: stand-alone
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: November 3, 2015
Source: ARC received for review from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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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?

This book was everything - EVERYTHING - that I could want in a YA contemporary novel. LOVED. IT. The art. The families. The relationship. How sex-positive it is. It. Was. Perfection. This book is absolutely going to make it to my list of favorites…for the year and for all time.

Jenn Bennett has been on my radar for awhile, after seeing so many friends fall for her Roaring Twenties series, which I've yet to succumb to. It won't be long now, though, since I've read and absolutely adored her first venture into YA contemporary. I secretly believe one of my past lives was spent in the 20s, so those books sound right up my alley.

But back to The Anatomical Shape of a Heart, which is actually titled Night Owls abroad. Do you ever find yourself in between books, wondering what to read next? And then a fantastic cover on your shelf catches your eye, but you say to yourself, "No, not that one...not yet. It doesn't release for months and you won't be able to share your feels for ages." And then you flip open to a page and you realize that it doesn't matter, this is the book you've been longing to read. Something about that interaction on page 90 had me captivated, and I had to read this book immediately.

And that feeling of immediacy never left, even if the book itself is languid and unhurried. The romance is a slow-burn, even if the connection between the characters was almost instantaneous. I love how Bex and Jack meet. How they come together. How it takes ages for anything physical to happen between them, but when something does? Man, it is SOMETHING. But I love that even before that happens, there's a very real discussion about sex. This couple is open and honest, at least about what's going on between them, even if it leaves them momentarily raw and vulnerable.
"If we can't talk about it, how can we do it?"
Yes, there are secrets between them at first, like Jack's somewhat secret identity as a graffiti artist. And they've both got beaucoup family issues to cope with. But despite reservations, they both try. They make that effort to find each other time and again. Their connection is crystal clear, as is their shared love of art, the thing that brought them together in the first place. And I love how that aspect was implemented, both as a stratagem for more rendezvous and as an instrument for bonding, not only between the characters but between them and their families.

It is so hard these days to find a good family unit in a young adult novel. A lot of times they're just not involved or overlooked so that the teenage characters can cavort at all hours of the night with no one the wiser. But in this book, parents take notice. They are strict and mete out punishments when deserved. These parents do not abide lying and deceit, and they are quick to reprimand and set ground rules. They are not always perfect, but as a parent and former teenager myself, I can tell you that none are. It was just nice to see them included in a way that really added to the story.

For all of the family drama and running from the authorities and sneaking around, this book really was pretty humorous. The snark and banter were on point. Just thinking about it makes me restless for a re-read. I pretty much adored every single thing about this story, and I'm willing to bet that a lot of other people will think so, too.

GIF it to me straight:
Night Owl just LOVES this book! And so do I! :D

About the Author:

Jenn Bennett is an artist and RITA-nominated author of the Arcadia Bell urban fantasy series (Kindling the Moon) and the Roaring Twenties romance series, including Bitter Spirits, which was chosen as one of Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2014 and winner of RT Book Reviews Paranormal Romance Book of the Year, and Grave Phantoms—which was awarded RT's May Seal of Excellence for 2015. The Anatomical Shape of a Heart, (aka Night Owls in the U.K.) is her first YA contemporary romance. She lives near Atlanta with one husband and two evil pugs.

Find Jenn:

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | FacebookInstagram | Tumblr

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely fell in love with this one as well!! So glad to see you enjoyed it too!!


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