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 come back to haunt him? Or will the skeletons in Beatrix's own family's closet tear them apart?
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
If we could order up our dream young adult love story, it would look very much like The Anatomical Shape of a Heart, a charming novel about two artistic teens who cross paths on a crowded night bus in San Francisco. Beatrix is an aspiring medical illustrator whose “sunless, friendless summer” is upended when she meets Jack, a handsome graffiti artist wanted by the police. We adored both of Night Owl’s leads and were bowled over by author Jenn Bennett’s cheeky humour and soulful story.
In her first book for teens, adult author Bennett (the Arcadia Bell series) presents a story about two unusual, talented artists: Bex (short for Beatrix) Adams, who dreams of becoming a medical illustrator, and Jack Vincent, who has a double life as a San Francisco street artist, traversing the city by night to spray paint words like "Fly" and "Trust" in gold. Their chance meeting and Bex's quick discovery of Jack's secret sets off a sweet romance between these two struggling teenagers. Bex lost her father to divorce, and her family can barely make ends meet, while Jack has family problems of his own. Jack's fascination with Buddhism intrigues Bex, and he sees in Bex some of the peace he so desperately seeks. As they fall in love and make their first forays into sexual intimacy, Bennett doesn't let their story fall prey to melodrama, even when their relationship is challenged. Readers interested in art and Buddhism will find this novel a satisfying read. Ages 12 up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Swoony and sarcastic YA romance!
Great characters, lots of diversity, swoony romance. *flails* These characters are sarcastic and full of complexities, family drama, and their own ambitions. I adored the San Fran setting and how the families influenced our heroine and hero—just like real high schoolers.
For the most part I enjoyed it and even laughed out loud a couple times. It was a cute story and all but there wasn’t much to it. I swear 1/3 of the whole book was describing how drop dead gorgeous and perfect Jack was. I felt like I was reading Twilight sometimes. It was a happy little story with some life changing family tragedy casually tossed in but it didn’t seem to have any long-term effects. It seemed like the ending was tied up too neatly and all within a couple paragraphs. While that’s great for the characters, it felt unrealistic and uninspired. Fathers showing up out of the blue and offering to pay for college, kid commits a numerous felonies but facing no consequences, and a girl with a serious mental illness getting to go home because her family finally realized she’s not an embarrassment they need to hide. Having a family member with schizophrenia myself, it would have been nice to see an ending that didn’t end up with everyone living happily ever after. It wouldn’t have seemed so fake to me if it seemed more relatable. All in all it wasn’t a terrible book and even if parts seemed sugar coated it was still nice to see some non-psychotic representation for schizophrenia.
I fell in love with the characters and the plot from page 1. I encourage everyone to give this book a shot cause it's certainly worth it !