Review: The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

Title: The Anatomical Shape of a Heart

Author: Jenn Bennett

Published by: Feiwel & Friends | 03 November 2015

Date Read: 25 February 2016

Rating: 3/5 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Artist 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 com
e back to haunt him? Or will the skeletons in Beatrix’s own family’s closet tear them apart?



The Anatomical Shape of a Heart is the type of YA book that offers more than what the blurb and previews may give us. This book is about art, family, and acceptance.

“He had an art thing. She had an art thing.”

Beatrix aka Bex has a weird art fascination. She loves to draw. She loves to draw cadavers and by cadavers I mean corpses and other macabre things. This summer, she is trying to get herself some scholarship money to pursue her wanted career which is to be a medical illustrator.

This girl’s particular love for macabre type of art may be a bit weird but at the same time it was super cool. I’m a squirmy kind of girl but Bex is definitely not.  From the first few pages of reading, I already saw the brave, determined and focused character of Bex.

Jackson aka Jack also has a weird art fascination.  He loves to draw. He loves to draw illegally within the city limits. He goes around painting the city random words – BEGIN, FLY, BELONG, JUMP etc.  On the first few pages on reading as well, I already adored Jack’s character. He intrigued me. He’s a genuinely nice guy, honest, loving, and passionate on what he does and he’s a thrill-seeker. As to why he’s doing the graffiti’s? I will not spoil it, but I guarantee you guys/girls, it has its purpose. A very good purpose.

Bex and Jack are great characters but I didn’t particularly agree on some of their decisions. In the end, you would definitely see great developments on the characters of these two.

“It’s a Zen thing; we try to live in the middle, somewhere between self-denial and self-indulgence. No extremes.”

The plot of the story was actually your typical boy-meets-girl / conflict arises / they declare their love for one another / separated / finally reunited – but it was overall cute and fun to read. The pace of the story was really fast for me and I totally loved it. It didn’t drag me into the conflicting parts and didn’t overwhelm me with cheesy parts as well. Everything was equally given.

There are several conflicts on the story – Bex’s scholarship woes, Jack’s illegal graffiti sideline and their individual familial problems – but each conflict didn’t overtake the whole book. Each was solved in a very good way on the end. The way it ended may be too perfect for others, but I just love how everything came together.

The familial part was also a huge part of the story. I like how it was written so honestly, giving the idea that both families are flawed but they all make efforts to work it all out till the end. The each have their flaws but they work around it and accept each other because they are family.

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart is a good quick read. Though I still don’t understand the relevance of the title – what‘s really the anatomical shape of a heart? – The story was enough to satisfy me. (Though I would really appreciate if someone can explain to me the meaning of the title? Yea? 😉


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