Author: Jenn Bennett
Published by: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: November 3, 2015
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?
I can honestly say that The Anatomical Shape of a Heart (internationally known as Night Owls) is one of the best books in the YA genre I’ve read. No joke. There are so many elements to TASoaH that made it wonderful.
♥ It’s very realistic for the the characters ages (18) without being annoying or over-dramatized.
♥ I immensely enjoyed the way art was incorporated into the story. I was so curious about what the meaning behind the graffiti was and why it was being done. I can say that I was very pleased with the reasoning and loved the way everything turned out. The other type of artwork is Bex’s anatomical drawings. She wants to be a medical illustrator, and that includes the need to use cadavers to get parts accurate, which I found especially interesting.
♥ The characters and their different dynamics are instrumental in making this book amazing. One of them being Bex. I seriously love her sense of humor and deadpan wit, especially when Jack couldn’t tell whether or not she was joking at times in the beginning (I get that a lot). There’s no mush brain syndrome when she’s in the presence of a cute guy either, instead she’s quick with banter and has the art of flirting down pretty well. Not to mention how she straight out says what she’s feeling without being all angsty about it. It’s extremely refreshing. Also, this may not seem like a big deal, but I was elated to see Bex take certain steps regarding her safety. For instance, sending a photo of Jack’s I.D. to her brother. What a clever girl!
♥ Ahh, and Jack. What a wonderful guy and again, completely refreshing! I love his retro-rockabily style. His whole demeanor, actually. I’m so used to certain types in YA, so I kept waiting for his true douche self to appear, but what a lovely surprise he was. Girls, there really are guys like him in real life, they just don’t get enough credit.
♥ The romance was executed fabulously. Bex and Jack are absolutely wonderful together! The author did a phenomenal job with putting a realistic feel on first love. And they were just flat-out funny at times. I was smiling and laughing so much, I had to cover my mouth because I’m sure I looked and sounded like a loon. More so than usual. I about died laughing at one point when … well, lets just say he made an impression on her family. It was also nice to see how she didn’t just fall all over him, she made him work for it at first.
♥ Can I just talk about the family dynamic for a moment? I was so happy with the type of relationship Bex had with her mom and brother. Her mom is a friend, but at the same time parental. Even though Bex turned 18, she is still expected to follow the rules and listen to her mom. I thought that was handled very well. Though, things aren’t exactly … perfect, but I’m not getting into spoilers. I can’t even tell you how much I adore the relationship with her brother. They gave each other crap, but were close and had each others backs the way sibling should.
♥ The setting was fantastic! It felt like I was right there in San Francisco with the characters. Granted, I was already familiar with the areas they were in, but I’m sure anyone who hasn’t would still feel that way.
Seriously, The Anatomical Shape of a Heart really impressed me. It’s an all-around sweet, funny, and touching book that left me smiling for a long time after it ended.