The Anatomical Shape of the Heart by Jenn Bennett is a fun YA novel that follows the story of a girl who has found art in the human body and a boy who has found art in the modern world.
I’ve been waiting to review this novel, because (again) I wanted to do a video blog on it. This is the second time I’ve mentioned wanting to do a video blog and yet not providing one. I should probably just work off the assumption that I’m never going to do one! What can I say, I must be camera shy (and lack the ability to edit videos). Moving on, I really enjoyed The Anatomical Shape of the Heart as a story. I think that Bennett did a great job developing a believable plot with interesting characters.
The basic premise of the novel is a love story. Beatrix, a high school student, meets Jack taking the late night bus home from a hospital one summer night. Beatrix is caught up in her own world, trying to get into college in order to become a medical artist (draw cadavers, etc), deceiving her mom along the way to pursue her dreams.The typical stuff, even if what she is specifically trying to do is really atypical. What I found really interesting was Jack’s story line.
I think that Bennett did good job of creating an air of mystery around Jack’s character. The only thing that the reader knows about him for the first half of the novel is that he graffits large gold letters on prominent places throughout San Fransisco. I read this book a couple of months ago, when I was in the middle of reading a lot of YA contemporaries focused around mental health. It was refreshing to see some characters grappling with issues that weren’t highlighted in some over characterized way. When the reader discovers who Jack really is and why he’s chosen to do this graffiti art, the story begins to pick up the pace. I found myself wanting to read just one more page before I had to tear away and go to work.
Overall, I was really impressed with how Bennett kept me engaged in the characters and the story throughout the whole book. I’d recommend this book for anyone who wants to touch on some mental illness issues and how it affects those around the person. I’d also recommend this book to someone who wants to read a sex positive book about teenagers, because Bennett definitely wrote that well.
Until Next Time World….