Cover Image: Anatomy: A Love Story

Anatomy: A Love Story

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This felt like something I would like, but it didn't grab me. I ended up not finishing this title. I really think that others will enjoy it though.
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A YA novel set in 1817 Scotland, about Hazel, a young lady engaged to a viscount but who really wants to be a surgeon, and Jack, a dashing and handsome young Resurrection Man. Of course ladies are not allowed to train as surgeons – unless, perhaps, they dress as men and make friends with the people who can supply corpses to train on. That would be enough plot, but something deadly seems to be happening to Edinburgh's Resurrection Men, and as Hazel and Jack uncover the mystery, the answers turn out to be supernatural. 

To be honest with you all: I did not realize this was YA when I started reading it, and I probably wouldn't have picked it up if I had known. Nothing wrong with YA novels, but I haven't been in the mood for them lately and <I>Anatomy</i> is EXTREMEMLY YA. I'm sure this accident influenced my review, and if you <i>are</i> in the mood for YA, you'll probably like <i>Anatomy</i> much more than I did. 

Hazel is very much the standard plucky historical heroine, with exactly the right modern views even if it makes no sense for her to hold them. My favorite example in this book is that she just knows the medical establishment is too dismissive of local folklore, and we really should test out these herbal teas because there's probably something to them. Why does Hazel think this? How is she so confident? Schwartz couldn't even give her, like, a convenient nanny who had the best home remedies so there was some explanation for Hazel's views. Nope, she just has the right opinion because of course she does. The historical research in general is shallow, though not more so than the characters. Hazel's fiancé comes off particularly badly; his personality completely changes from scene to scene, so he can do whatever the plot requires at that moment. He's dumb but amiable, he's a vicious sexual assaulter, he's kind, he's obsessed with looks and easily jealous, he's her childhood friend who appreciates her quirks, he's her bitter enemy. Etc. The plot is riddled with holes (why is Hazel's mom willing to leave her alone in the house for months at a time? why does Hazel think inoculation can only happen with healing cases? how many bodies do Hazel and Jack think she needs to get through anatomy school? why does Jack become a skilled rider after getting on a horse twice?), but at a certain point it was all so implausible that I stopped caring. 

Overall, it's not badly written, and if you're in the mood to read a cheesy romance about a nerdy girl and her homeless suitor in Regency clothes, <i>Anatomy</i> is a pleasant way to pass an afternoon. I just wanted something darker and deeper.

(Also, how do you write a novel about resurrection men in Edinburgh and not even mention Burke & Hare?)
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I really enjoyed this book! It had so many things I was looking for, but also quite a few surprises! It was a bit eerie but also sweet and lovely and I adored all the history woven in with the narrative. I adore! Hazel and Jack! The pacing was a bit slow for me at first, but then I got to where I couldn't put it down! All in all, a great read!
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I was drawn immediately to this book because what a BEAUTIFUL cover it has! Truly, Wednesday's design team has outdone themselves.

The story of Hazel Sinnett is very interesting, although I found it a bit slow for the first half. Her determination to be a physician when women were expected to stay home was truly admirable. I really loved her character and I did really like reading about her life in the early 1800's which is a time I haven't read about in many books. I did feel that a few of the main twists were a little too obvious based on all the background we received early on and I also felt the ending was a bit abrupt but I am hoping for a sequel!
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Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Books/Wednesday Books, and Dana Schwartz for an e-arc of Anatomy: A Love Story in exchange for an honest review.

Set in the early 1800s, Hazel wants nothing more than to be a surgeon in a time when women were not allowed in the medical field.  Disguised as her brother, she attends the lectures of renowned surgeon Dr. Beecham, but after her secret is discovered and she is kicked out, Hazel enlists the help of resurrection man, Jack.  Jack brings Hazel the bodies of the recently deceased for her to continue her studies and keep her on her path of becoming a full fledged surgeon.  But Jack has his own worries.  Strange men have been seen in the graveyards and his fellow resurrection men have been going missing.  Hazel and Jack must work together to solve the mystery of the missing men.

Anatomy: A Love Story was a great gothic, atmospheric read.  Reading about medical practices in the early 1800s was particularly interesting, especially from the perspective of a woman who was not allowed to take part in the field.  I loved Hazel’s spunk and tenacity, her determination to do whatever it took to pursue her dreams. The mystery behind the disappearances of the Resurrection Men was very interesting and I wasn’t expecting it to end how it did, but I really enjoyed the aspect that was introduced.  I wish that it was a little more present throughout, though. This is definitely for people who enjoyed books like the Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Kerri Maniscalco.
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I couldn't finish this. It's not terrible, if you're into that sort of thing. I like the feminist aspects of the storyline. The historical fiction aspect doesn't seem particularly well-researched, more like a setting to fit the concept. If you're squeamish, the concept might bother you: there is some detailed discussion of surgery, dissection, and stealing bodies from graves
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Hoping I'll pick this book up again someday and try again but ultimately I don’t think this book is a good match for me, personally. DNFed.
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In Edinburgh in the early 1800s a young society woman, Hazel, who wants to be a surgeon but is being forced to marry, meets a destitute "resurrection man" named Jack. 

Hazel disguises herself as a man to attend medical lectures, but she is discovered and kicked out. She then makes a wager with the professor that she will take the physician's examination anyway, and if she passes, he will allow her to become his apprentice. However, if she wants to pass the exam, she needs bodies to study... Enter Jack who, as a resurrection man, is able to provide her with recently buried bodies that he steals from their graves to sell to physicians for study, and maybe other nefarious purposes. Away we go! 

Anatomy is a plot-driven young adult novel that I enjoyed for its strong and determined heroine, hell-bent on following her dream. And the cover is gorgeous! :)

(Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the advanced reading copy.)
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for granting me an advanced reader copy. All opinions are my own.

I absolutely LOVED this book!

I am a sucker for strong-willed women in historical stories. No man is going to stand in your way! Get it, girl!

Hazel wants to be a surgeon, but women are not allowed to be surgeons, doctors, lawyers, or anything that requires the usage of the brain. This will not deter her, though. She dresses as a boy, goes to lectures, and is determined to learn everything she can. She is, of course, found out, and instead of being turned away completely, the professor strikes a deal with her. If she can pass the surgical examination at the end of term, while studying alone, she can become his intern. 
In order to study on her own, she needs human corpses to practice on. Luckily, the Roman plague has returned, so bodies are in large supply. Hazel teams up with Jack Currer, a resurrection man, to supply her with corpses. Once she starts performing autopsies, she discovers that something is definitely not right with these corpses. 
While tending to the sick people of the town, avoiding a betrothal to her cousin, and studying for the surgical examination, Hazel also uncovers the truth behind the mysterious happenings with her corpses.

The gothic atmosphere, the strong main character, and the caring sidekicks... it was all just amazing!
I loved that for the most part, society is the villain in this story. The twist of there being an actual villain only made it more interesting.
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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher I was able to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Anatomy by Dana Schwartz is (for now) a stand-alone novel that follows headstrong Hazel Sinnett on her quest to be a surgeon more than she wants to follow the path of the duties of a lady and her chance encounter with resurrection man Jack Currer. What follows is an atmospheric tale set in Edinburgh in the 1800s following the outbreak of a disease that is taking the people of the city… but might not be the only thing making the people disappear. Jack has heard tales and noticed the disappearance of many of those he’s known, someone seems to be taking people too, for what he doesn’t know,
Hazel is a lady of import and Jack is someone who knows the city in a more intimate way and together the two are going to discover all sorts of secrets, and Hazel is going to work hard to acquire the skills of a knowledgeable surgeon.
I enjoyed this story. I always like the story of a plucky female character with goals of things she shouldn’t be doing but her interest for it is worth more than societies disdain for her doing it.  Hazel has goals and while she is headstrong she also is fighting doubts and fears and has plenty of moments of weakness. The setting was a fascinating period of time for me and as someone who loves history and has traveled to Edinburgh in the past the story was quite evocative and all the more enjoyable for it.
The ending took a bit of a turn I had not expected and while not bad definitely changed the tone of the book a bit and leaves the reader with a question, which is where my noting of for now this story is a stand alone, but with the chance to be revisited.
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I knew I was going to love it from the beginning, and even though the love story sneaks on you while fully focused on Hazel's journey, it leaves you shaken in the best way in the end. Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to discover this story.
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

5 stars

Release Date: January 18, 2022
Page Count: 338 pages
Perfect for fans of: The Infernal Devices, Stalking Jack the Ripper, Frankenstein
Tropes: upper-class noble girl x lower-class boy, strong female lead making her way in a world of men, gothic mystery
Content Warnings: gore, dissection of humans and animals, death, sexism

Wow oh wow oh wow, where do I even begin to describe this book? I can’t remember exactly how long this e-arc sat on my Netgalley shelf before I finally picked it up (but it was definitely months), and I can emphatically say I regret not picking this story up sooner.

Anatomy: A Love Story has probably been the biggest surprise read for me so far this year. I initially requested it on Netgalley without looking too closely at the synopsis, so when it came down to crunch time and I told myself now was the time to read it I…suddenly lost all motivation to do so.

Gore? Gothic mysteries? Anatomy? No thank you, not my cup of tea. I pushed this book far into the back of my mind until it was suddenly a few days before the publication date and I told myself I was going to at least give it a try.

And I’m not going to lie, the first few chapters? Not for me at all. It seemed like all of my preconceptions about the book were true and I was dreading having to slog through a book I wasn’t interested in. That is, until we were introduced to Jack Currer.

The moment he jumped onto the page, my enjoyment of the book completely flipped on its head. I started to notice the eloquent writing style, the charming banter, the loveable but fierce main character. In short, I began to fall head over heels in love with this story, and it only got better from there.

I truly cannot put into words how much this book meant to me. Reading it felt like escaping into the story itself and resurfacing a new person, with the heartbreak and love I felt towards the book lingering long afterwards. The characters, the romance, the suspenseful mystery–everything about this book was pure perfection and I cannot praise it enough for the wonderful escape it granted me.

I will say though that the ending might affect some people’s opinion of the book. For me personally, it was the type of ending I love and very much tugged on my heartstrings, but I can imagine others finding it too rushed or open-ended. Despite this, I still think the book is absolutely worth picking up.

I cannot think of much else to say about how much I adored this story, but if you need a push to pick it up, do so now!! This is your chance!

I will be anxiously awaiting any more of Dana Schwartz’s future releases. She is certainly a talented and brilliant writer, one to keep an eye on, and I am so incredibly excited to read what she writes next.
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1817 Edinburgh. An upper class young woman who dreams of becoming a surgeon. A resurrection man just trying to survive using whatever means necessary. Admittedly, I was initially drawn to ANATOMY because of the author's podcast, Noble Blood. As it turned out, the book more than stands on its own merit - I absolutely inhaled this one and would love to see a follow-up novel (& this coming from a reader who loves her standalones!) Plus a make-out sesh in an open grave...HERE FOR IT.
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This book is an absolute delight!! I shouldn’t have used the word “delight” considering the theme and setting of this love story, but I couldn’t find a better word 🙈 I’m not joking, the story has death and disease!! Anatomy is one of those stories that has several elements rolled into it - love, intrigue, feminism and fantasy. Each of these elements are blended nice into the story. Its unusually incredible ending elevated the star points for me. 

Came for the cover, stayed for the story. Thank you St.Martin’s press via Netgalley for the reader’s copy.
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I loved the slow burn of the societally discouraged aspiring female surgeon and the graverobber all in the midst of a big mystery. I hope this is the begging of something more!
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This book captured me from the cover art to the endpapers; a thrilling and wonderful tale of anatomy, society, medical arts in the Victorian era, and romance. Loved it to pieces!!!
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Dana Schwartz has written a fine evocation of early medical education and experimentation, and class stratification in the UK wrapped up in a love story. I found #anatomyalovestory to be a very enjoyable read full of descriptions that evoked time and place wonderfully. Plus an ending that, initially,will take your breathe away. Enjoy this lovely gothic tale. I loved it! Thank to #netgalley and #wednesdaybooks for this copy to read and review. All opinions are my own.
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I definitely enjoyed this. Just a heads up, I thought it was going to be pure historical fiction/mystery, but it has a speculative/fantasy element as well.

Hazel is a fascinating main character. She longs to be a a surgeon, but it's Scotland in the 1800s. Jack mostly just wants to live, and his trade often veers into procuring dead bodies. He knows it's risky, but what else are you gonna do when you need to eat? I loved their romance and thought they went well together.

The actual plot of the book is a little disjointed. We have Hazel wanting to be a surgeon and the challenges she faces there, a new wave of a plague, the mystery that is Dr. Beechem, and mystery murders going on in Edinburgh. In the second half of the book we see Hazel setting up a hospital in her house and deviating from the other plots entirely for a while. Then we go back to the mysteries, and a surprise bit of magic (?) is thrown in. The ending is a bit up in the air, and we are left unsure of where Hazel will go next.
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I must say this absolutely stunning cover is what drew me to this one at first. Set in the early 19th century in Edinburgh, Hazel wants nothing more than to study medicine - a thing while not explicitly forbidden is certainly not encouraged. But absent parents and being related to the local viscount (her uncle - and it is assumed that she will marry his heir, her cousin), has given her more freedom than other young women of her age and class. the other main character, Jack Currer, is a resurrection man - he spirits away the dead for doctors and medical students to study.

Hazel, bookish and intelligent, makes for a likable heroine. And though the time period feels authentic, the book reveals itself to be more fantastical than historical. The ending is rather open to interpretation and it concludes without resolution or any sense of justice being meted out. I suppose in that way, this will lead to lively discussions amongst readers, but detracted for me. The odd plague, the doctor and Hazel's futures are all left dangling... 

The central romance is sweet but not exactly unexpected. It's a quick read, though, and certainly entertaining. I just wish that the conclusion had been more satisfying.
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Holy crap. This book was amazing. It yanked me right out of a reading slump and had me devouring it nearly entirely in one day. I could NOT walk away.

A bit of Frankenstein, a bit Dickens, a bit Sherlock Holmes, Anatomy is just a mesmerizing narrative that had me captivated from the beginning. Gothic, Victorian, and mysterious with a strong female protagonist. It has things that just get me excited to read.

The writing is excellent and the pacing just flies. The narrative is gritty and awesome, reflecting on the female situation in the early 19th century and the misogyny that strongly existed in this era with regard to employment, social standing, and the worth of opinion. Hazel is a badass female character and I freaking adored her.

The medical aspect of the book was awesome and I loved it so much. Not for the squeamish, but so freaking good otherwise. Just enough dark and weird to whet my appetite and I am chomping at the bit for more. There is some indication from the author that there may be a follow-up novel coming in the future and I could go ahead and take that right now thank you.

The ending is a bit rushed and there is something of an ambivalent ending, but if there is to be a continuation of this as a series...all good. I'm down for more. Let's do this thing.

* Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. *
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