Cover Image: Anatomy: A Love Story

Anatomy: A Love Story

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Member Reviews

This one is so interesting, and the story one I hadn’t read before. I mean truly, the science was fascinating and I loved rooting for the heroine. I also loved the romance!!
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My thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an advanced copy of this young adult science fiction horror story.
Mix of Frankenstein, a lot of Gray's Anatomy (the medical book) and Grey's Anatomy (the television show) and you get just a taste of what Dana Schwartz's novel Anatomy: A Love story is all about. Mix in a bit of steampunk, Scotland of the 1800's and a little grave robbery and ou have a fun adventure story. 

This young adult novel has a a ton of biology and atmosphere, and features two lead characters who can help each other with their respective problems. Hazel Sinnett is a young woman with a dream of being a surgeon, but being a female makes receiving an education close to impossible, unless she can find some cadavers that she can practice on. Jack Currier is a resurrection man, suppling local medical schools with fresh corpses to practice and learn from, a dirty job and not just from digging up the newly interred, but from strange men who haunt the graveyards where young Jack does his illegal work. A solution to both their problems seems easy if they can work together, and from there high jinks ensue. 

The book was different sometimes more young adult, sometimes more adult. The romance is a little forced, and the ending a tad abrupt, but as I assume there is a series here, more can be explained in the second book. The characters are fun and interesting and Hazel is not just plucky, but smart and curious, something that society wants to crush in young ladies yesterday and even more today. Perfect for that plucky reader who likes a little more in their reading, and won't be to bothered by a few lessons on body taking.
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I do wanted to love this book but it fell flat for me. It was a DNF for me as I didn’t get into the story.
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Oh I love love love Dana Schwartz. “Noble Blood” is one of my favorite podcasts; I get so excited when she appears on “Hysteria,” and her tik tok game is A+++. I was so excited to receive an ARC of this book, and I did not leave disappointed! Hazel, our main character, grew up in privilege but desperately wants to be a surgeon—- at a time when there were less than 0 female surgeons. She goes undercover as a man; she eventually meets a boy; there is romance and death and missing organs... what else do you need?! Buy this book!!! Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC!
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Anatomy: A Love Story is a story about a young woman fighting for a chance to study her passion, medicine and anatomy, in a world where society and tradition aim to hold her back from pursuing a career as a physician. But against all odds, she discovers her true love for anatomy holds the key to new, riskier paths and a chance for freedom and happiness.

Every aspect of this book I loved; from the ambition of a young female medical student to the gothic, Scottish setting to the grave robbing aspect and the quite adorable romance, every part made for a quick, enjoyable read. Our main heroine is full of life, spark, and undeniable passion and heart. She is an eager learner and admirer of everything in the scientific field, and I just loved her sense of curiosity and adventure!

While this book does take on a fast pace which I enjoyed, I did wish for each of the main plot lines, the romance, the mystery, and the anatomy aspect to be longer with more time to expand and develop each arc of the story.

Overall, I enjoyed this book! It was so easy to read and get lost in the gothic adventures of learning anatomy, grave robbers, and mysterious disappearances. If you love The Corpse Queen and historical mysteries, be sure to add this to your list!


*Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me an eARC in exchange for an honest review.*
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I was immediately interested in this one because of the promise of a dark/gothic setting and content. The premise reminded me a lot of Stalking Jack the Ripper which I really enjoyed but Anatomy: A Love Story was just okay for me. 
Most of the plot progressed pretty slowly and then the ending get super rushed. The posted synopsis covered the whole plot basically all the way through the first 30% so for basically 100 pages of the book I was just waiting for her to get kicked out of the anatomy class and for the conflict to actually begin. 
The romance was nice, it didn’t completely pull me in but I did like that added plot line. 
I could appreciate Hazel and her independence. She wanted to break out of the mold and do something that everyone told her she wasn’t allowed to do just because she was a girl. I definitely enjoyed following her opening up her own makeshift hospital in her home and being so determined to become a physician. 
I feel like there were loose ends that weren’t tied up like Dr. Beecham just got to keep murdering people and taking their body parts with no consequence. I didn’t mind Hazel and Jack’s story being a bit more open ended but it would have been nice to see some consequences for the ultimate villain of the book after the mystery was solved. 
I ended up liking the idea of this one a lot more than the execution but I still think it was a worthwhile read with good writing and an atmospheric setting. 
Thank you to NetGalley, the author and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Honestly think this book would've been better with less romance. This story was intriguing and the characters were pretty great, but the whole "love story" aspect didn't click with me until the end. Also the end seemed pretty rushed. Hopefully there'll be sequel or a companion novel to this.
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Unfortunately, this one just isn't hooking me. I think the historical aspect is sound, it's just not blended in a very entertaining way with the story. I'm a little surprised this is a YA novel, actually.
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It is amazingly easy to die in 19th century Edinburgh – that’s the general vibe of Dana Schwartz’s new story about a young woman with medical aspirations and the resurrection man illegally supplying her with bodies to operate on (along with a heart to fall in love with). 
This was at the TIPPY TOP of my list of books coming out in 2022. I’ve been obsessed with Schwartz ever since I discovered her on Twitter, and though tweets are not always an accurate barometer of writing talent, she clearly has a gift. Maudlin, sweet, and a little icky, I’m taking “Anatomy” as an omen that good stories are headed our way this year. 
Read If: 
-	you’re an aspiring medical student
-	you haven’t read anything that makes you want to say “aww” in a while
-	you’re not overly squeamish  
Thank you Netgalley and Wednesday Books for the early copy – out everywhere 18 Jan 2022!
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Hazel Sinnett wants to be a surgeon more than anything, but as a Society Lady in the early 1800s, she's about to be married off to a wealthy cousin instead. She tries to sneak into an anatomy class, but is banned because of her gender. Enter Jack Currer, a (super cute) resurrection man, who will provide her with corpses to study so she can try to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor. 

This was a really entertaining YA historical fiction/romance. All of the gross vintage medical stuff was right up my alley, and Hazel and Jack were lovable, interesting characters that you can't help but root for. 

I didn't really like the ending, but overall the story was fantastic. I already loved Dana Schwartz because of her Noble Blood podcast, and am now officially a superfan.
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Anatomy: A Love Story is a story carved straight out of the darkest corners of 1800s Scotland. If you enjoyed The Corpse Queen by Heather Herrman, then believe me when I say you’ll love this one. We follow mostly the perspective of Hazel, a girl who wishes to be a surgeon in a world where the wishes of women are often denied. We also get to see a little bit from Jack’s perspective, who’s a resurrection man and also works in a theater.

Let’s begin this chaotic review at the end, shall we? It always irks me in these sorts of novels when the ending is unrealistic. Why should there be a subtle Chosen One trope where all historical accuracies bow at the feet of our Quirky Main Character! I mean, I feel like if the author spends hours and hours and has 120 tabs open for researching and portraying history accurately, the fates of the characters should make sense, no? Luckily, Anatomy didn’t fall into this trap. The entirety of the book is spent discussing the pressures and limitations women faced in 1800s Scotland. Hazel and Jack have a complex relationship and have complex character arcs. And that’s honestly what I loved most about this story: the ending fell perfectly within the boundaries it had already established. Sure, there’s a slight dash of fantastical happenings which weren’t present in most of the book. But the last few pages were so beautifully written, I truly believe that there is not an ending out there more perfect than what Anatomy already has.

I’m a little befuddled as to why Anatomy is pitched as a love story. It’s in the description and the sub-heading. But the romance isn’t a big focus in this story. In fact, it’s not even until the end that we as readers truly feel the weight of what Jack and Hazel feel for each other. Up until this point, it’s more a story of surgeon dreams and stolen kisses. I’ve read thriller books where romance is more prevalent. Although, that’s more a knock to said thrillers than this book because Anatomy has the perfect balance of romance and plot. It’s a shame the expectations are pitched differently though.

All of this being said, the atmosphere of 1800s Scotland was wonderful! I fell into this book every time I opened up my Kindle since it’s so easy to be immersed. The author did a great job at portraying this time period and showing every gilded, high-society edge, while never shying away from the darker parts of the world where Hazel and Jack live in. The friendships in this book are also so well-written and wholesome.

Now unfortunately, I do have a few issues. For example, Hazel and Jack never felt like real people to me. It wasn’t just that Hazel had more pagetime than Jack, it was that I could barely tell if we were even in Jack’s perspective half the time. I feel like each character had a couple of main goals, and every thought they had tied to said goals. Therefore, I never felt like the characters themselves really came alive off of the page.

I’m going to be honest here: it was hard reading this so soon after The Corpse Queen, mostly because they share so many elements and it definitely altered my expectations. Anatomy is a little less gothic than I would have hoped. The mystery is barely a mystery, it’s more or less a conversation about some strange happenings every couple of chapters. That doesn’t make Anatomy a bad book exactly. It just makes it a book that I wish I had different expectations going into.

Sometimes, I’d see sparks of writing genius. That ending that I can’t seem to shut up about? An absolutely brilliant piece of writing. Other times, this book felt so incredibly juvenile. We’d gloss over important details because apparently everything fell right into place for Hazel but then some random thing would come up that we’d spend more time on. I think this story was unsure if it wanted to be a romance, a mystery, a gothic historical novel, or a coming-of-age narrative. The romance was paced perfectly, but there wasn’t enough of it to be considered underneath the category of “love story”. I have no idea what I would even categorize this one as because the only genre it ever fully leans into is historical.

So that’s it! There were some highs and some lows to this book for sure but I think overall it’s a solid 3 stars for me. It’ll definitely appeal to so many people but I think my expectations were just too wrong for this one.
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This is my first novel of Dana's but I am familiar with her online presence. The outstanding cover had caught my eye but I didn't request the title until after I had read another gothic romance and decided I needed more stolen glances over surgeries. The romance isn't nearly as large a presence as I was expecting but I did enjoy the story, and I loved how gross it got. I will definitely be recommending this to customers. As a YA book, it will stand out next to its peers in content as well as visuals.
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This didn't hold my attention as much as I had hoped / thought it would.  I was slightly intrigued by the story and I definitely like books with a lead who doesn't follow the standards of the times and this had that, but it was very slow-paced and I just wasn't connecting with it as much as I had hoped. 

I love this cover, it's perfect for the story and that's what initially attracted me to it! 

Thank you for the early copy.
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It’s 1817 and Hazel Sinnet dreams of becoming a surgeon. She’s determined to prove her worth by passing the medical examination, but will never be able without specimens to study. Enter Jack Currer, a resurrection man- someone who digs up cadavers for use by local anatomists and doctors- who meets Hazel in a chance encounter and strikes a deal to help her achieve her goals. 

Between Hazel’s brain, Jack’s heart, and the sparks flying between them, it seems things just might turn out. But something sinister lurks on the streets of Edinburgh- a deadly plague is returning and the city’s most vulnerable are disappearing. Hazel believes firmly in science, but when man pushes science to its limit, the results can be pure horror. 

This book sounded like it was made for me. As a lover of historical fiction and atmospheric horror currently working on an academic project surrounding a surgeon contemporary to the story, what else could I ask for?

For the most part, this story delivered. Hazel and Jack are both likeable and Hazel especially walks a difficult line. It’s easy to write a driven, intelligent heroine like her in a way that feels cliche or judgmental, and Hazel steers clear of both traps. Her friendship with Iona especially gives her humanity and subverts the trope of a girl who’s ‘not like other girls’ putting down her peers. 

Her family dynamic is also well realized and the side characters are interesting and well used. The plot is engaging and twisty, though I could have done without the epilogue and with a slightly more satisfying wrap up of one of the main storylines (no spoilers here). On the whole, a romantic, spooky historical story that crosses genre in an engaging and fun way. Highly recommended!

My only big complaint is nit picky and has to do with my background in costuming. A lot of the historical details are done so well, so the mishandling of Hazel’s clothes is baffling. I actually thought the story took place much later for a while because the author kept mentioning layers of crinolines, conical skirts, and corsets nipping in waists. The 1810s-20s are such a cool time for fashion and the classical inspiration behind the era’s silhouettes would actually tie nicely to Hazel’s personality. It would be so easy to convey Hazel’s discomfort with formal dress with the correct references and I only comment because I really liked this book and I wish I hadn’t gotten so confused about the era based on such easily corrected details. 

Thanks for NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. Really enjoyed this one.
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Thank you to Dana Schwartz, Wednesday Books and NetGalley for the advance reader copy of Anatomy: A Love Story. This book releases on January 18th!

I have been a huge fan of Dana Schwartz’s podcast Noble Blood for a while now. So I jumped at the chance to scoop this title up the minute I saw it on NetGalley.

Check out my more detailed thoughts below…
Characters: Our protagonist is Hazel Sinnett is excentric, resourceful and independent. She rejects most aspects of the rich high society she is growing up in. Much to the chagrin of her mother, her emotionally distant mother. That compliments Hazel’s physically distant father. Hazel wants to be a surgeon and I loved the drive she had towards making her dream a reality. There are two men in Hazel’s life, Bernard and Jack. Bernard is a childhood friend, who she has been set up to marry basically since birth. Hazel herself describes him as “nice enough.” Jack is a lot more of an exciting character, he is a resurrection man, exhuming the bodies of criminals and selling them to medical students for money. I liked him but I didn’t love him. It felt unrealistic who quickly he would flip flop on who he had romantic feelings towards. I also feel like we did not know him as well as we knew Hazel.
Setting: The story’s setting is nineteenth-century Scotland, Edinburgh specifically. The setting is very Bridgerton-esque. Staples of the time are in play such as going down to London for the season. With this setting it brings the limited amount of medical knowledge we did know. Much as I expected Dana Schwartz’s work is well researched. There are passages on the medicine of the time and they are really interesting. The medicinal and setting elements were the strongest aspect of this book.
Pacing: This YA novel is alright when it comes to pacing. The short and quippy chapters are helpful. The vocabulary and writing are sharp. The language is vivid. The issue with the pacing for me was that it took me a long time to get into the story. Once I was in, I had to put a bit of effort in to keep reading the story. Some things in the book felt rushed while other things dragged.
Romance: I did not buy into the romance in this story. Hazel and Jack had a very insta-love style to their relationship. Jack loved one girl one day and was head over heels with Hazel the next. Hazel kept stringing her betrothed Bernard along. I get why she did, but I was not much of a fan of it. A love story is in the title, so I just wished the romance elements of this book were stronger. I did like their first kiss a lot, I will not spoil it for you but it was a unique setting that made for a unique scene.
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I’m not normally a big fan of YA, or romance for that matter, but man did I love Anatomy: A Love Story. Set in the very early 1800s in Scotland, Hazel has her heart set on becoming a doctor. The problem is that she’s female. Hazel uses her recently deceased brother’s clothing to disguise herself as a male and enroll in school to become a physician. When she is discovered and removed from the program, she takes matters into her own hands practicing on dead bodies with help from a resurrectionist named Jack.

Despite being engaged to her cousin (ew, I know) Hazel and Jack fall in love. Grave robbers and the poor alike are going missing and found dead or near-death, missing limbs, organs and extremities. When Hazel’s corpse studies are cut short she opens up a hospital for the poor. She discovers the truth, but it seems it’s too late.

I loved this story. Slightly gothic and more historical fiction, this definitely gave me Frankenstein vibes. It was beautifully written and I’m hoping there’s a sequel! Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for my review copy.  Anatomy: A Love Story is expected to release in January of 2022.
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I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Anatomy: A Love Story is one of those books that was very easy to devour. There was just something about this mysterious gothic book that kept the pages flying. Plus, it doesn't hurt that Hazel was a wonderful character throughout the book. She has dreams of becoming a surgeon one day and honestly - I was here for it all.

The reason why is because in this time, women don't really have dreams. Or maybe they just can't afford to dream. They are mostly supposed to be an object to be put on a shelf by their darling husband. A baby making machine as well. Which is something that Hazel has zero desire to do at the moment. Well, it is on the backburner for now.

Now her cousin was a little turd-ball and I didn't like him one bit. I hated how Hazel has to repeat herself over and over again too. Then there's Jack, who I absolutely adored. He was in a shitty situation but together they were amazing. The chemistry and tension between them were addicting. Or maybe I'm just being a tad bias.

In the end, I'm not exactly sure of what to think of that ending. It was definitely bittersweet but I'm also just kind of sitting here thinking about all the what ifs. Definitely happy that I got the chance to jump into this beautiful book and I can't wait for the next book by Dana.
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I love Dana Schwartz! Choose Your Own Disaster is one of my favorite memoirs, and I love to read anything she writes online or elsewhere. I didn't think this would be my style (as this genre is not my favorite), but luckily her brilliance shone through despite that!
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I don’t typically read much YA but the synopsis of this one just sounded so up my alley, I had to give it a shot! Thanks so much to @stmartinspress and @netgalley for the digital arc. Much appreciated! 

First off, the 1800’s is a vibe for me 👌 It’s a time period I really love reading stories in. It adds great atmosphere and this time was no exception. Loved it! I also absolutely ADORE Hazel. Great character, smart and endearing. Most of the book is spent with her, following her journey, so I felt like I got to know her well and really enjoyed that. 

Unfortunately, despite my love of Hazel, the book as a whole felt underwhelming for me. The synopsis of this book calls it “A gothic tale full of mystery and romance.” Ummmm where? The last 25%? That’s just not good enough if you are using romance and mystery as your selling point. Jack’s character was so underused for such a huge chunk of the book, I felt like I barely got to know him in comparison to Hazel. The three strange dudes? Barely mentioned in most of the book. We meet them in the prologue, then don’t hear from them again until chapter 23! (And it’s a VERY lackluster next encounter.) I just found all of that really annoying. I mean, as much as I enjoyed Hazel’s bit in all this, to have those other really interesting elements present, highlighted in the synopsis, mentioned here and there in the story but mostly go unused and not explored for the majority of the book? I was disappointed & frustrated to not get more. There are definitely things I didn’t need in Hazel’s storyline that could have been replaced with more from Jack’s, if page count was an issue. 

I did enjoy this book, don’t get me wrong, but I’d be lying if I said it was fantastic or it blew me away. 💁🏻‍♀️ It had a lot of promise but just didn’t hit me the way I was wanting or needing it to. I still would recommend this for lovers of historical fiction and feminist stories but if you are wanting romance and mystery, can’t say I think this will scratch that itch. It certainly didn’t for me.
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I really enjoyed this book. It took me a little while to really get in to the story, but once I did it was very unique. I also loved that there was a twist at the end that I was not expecting!
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