I'm going to say it right now, The Anatomical Shape of a Heart is going to be on my top ten book list at the end of the year.
From the moment I read the summary of this book I knew I was going to love it and love it I did. When I turned the last page, I wanted to read it all over again.
Jenn Bennett is a new to me author, even though she's not by any means a new author. This is her first YA title and I'm so, so happy she's jumped in this genre.
The story here revolves around Beatrix or Bex as we get to know her. She's our narrator and I absolutely loved being in her head for this story. Bex is determined to win a much needed art scholarship and she's going to do whatever she has to do to make it happen. Even if that means disobeying her mom and pushing her way into the hospital's Willed Body program so she can draw cadavers. Yes. I said cadavers. That's her specialty and she's crazy talented, but she needs the extra experience to win, and she needs the scholarship because her deadbeat dad walked out on them several years ago and left her mom to care for her and her brother with no support. But this whole decision is what ultimately changes her entire summer and introduces her to the mysterious Jack.
Jack is everything you ever wanted in a book boyfriend you guys.
"And right now, my anatomy-obsessed mind was appreciating the way my new acquaintance fit together, too. He was a walking figure study in beautiful lines and lean muscle, with miles of dark lashes and cheekbones that looked strong enough to hold up his entire body."
He's gorgeous, he's funny, he's talented and he's got a secret no one would ever guess about him. He's one of the city's most wanted graffiti artists. His life is definitely not perfect. He's got some major things happening, things that he can't exactly be up front about for reasons I can't even tell you because I'm not a spoiler!
From the very second that these two meet, I was hooked. I wanted more of them more of their banter and more of them falling for each other, because those were two of my most favorite things here. Bex is probably among my most favorite characters I've read as of late. I appreciate her voice, her wit and her humor, her quirkiness and her talent I would want her as a best friend if she were here in real life. And Jack - no matter the hand he's been dealt, he tries so hard to find the happiness in his life and when Bex appears, he wants to grab tight with both hands and never let her go, I absolutely loved the way he pursued her.
While outside forces may be pushing and pulling them apart, they know what they've become to each other and are determined to make this relationship work. And they are seriously the cutest and sweetest. But there are a lot of background forces at play here The secret that Jack has in his life and the noose over his head in regards to being the most wanted artist in San Francisco.
"Hey Bex" Jack said as he grated. "Just so we're clear, if we were alone, I'd probably kiss you right now."
I gave him a swift glance as the hallway laughter made its way back to the kitchen. "Just so we're clear, I'd probably let you."
You guys the SWOON in this book - I can't even tell you how much I loved seeing these two fall more and more for each other. If you're looking for an amazing YA romance then this should be at the top of your list. One of my favorite parts was when Bex and Jack talk about sex and can I just tell you how much I love his eagerness to make sure she gets what she needs and they are just so adult and mature about it and what an amazing representation of two people who are in a spot in their lives where they are responsible enough to be having sex. Plus Bennett is really good at writing the really sexy stuff so if you're like me, you'll appreciate that.
"Just promise me one thing," he continued. "If it's not good, tell me. Don't just get angry and resent me. I'd rather us not do anything and keep what we have now than screw things up between us. Okay"
If you're a fan of contemporary and looking for a book filled with romance and friendship and family, look no further because this has it all and more. Bennett does an amazing job of weaving a captivating story filled with wonderful characters, and a story you'll absolutely love. Plus, it's low on drama and that is always a bonus in my reading life!
Thank you to my lovely Kassiah for grabbing this for me at TLA!