The Anatomical Shape of a Heart

304p. ebook available. Feiwel & Friends. Nov. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781250066459.
Gr 9 Up—Beatrix is not a typical teen artist. Her specialty is anatomical drawing. She wants nothing more than the chance to get into the Willed Body facility at a San Francisco medical school to draw the cadavers, sure that her precise work will win her a scholarship in a museum-sponsored drawing competition. Being a medical illustrator is an ambition she works toward by clerking in a local organic market to save for college and help her divorced RN mom keep their household afloat. Stuck waiting for the late bus one day, Beatrix meets a mysterious and gorgeous boy. They connect at once, staring into each other's eyes while flirting on the bus, but when a can of gold spray paint rolls out of Jack's bag, she knows why he's nervous and who he is: a notorious street artist who leaves single words of graffiti around the city. It should turn her off that he appears to be trouble, but Jack turns all of Bex's buttons to ON, and he is just as smitten, tracking her down and wooing her, even as she comes to understand that the words he's painting have as much to do with family and secrets as they do with art. Characters are well wrought, and dialogue feels realistic as the two navigate their lives and a fledgling relationship with humor and frank talk about sex, parents, and art.
VERDICT An appealingly realistic romance that will curl toes and inspire sighs.

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