Cover Image: Anatomy: A Love Story

Anatomy: A Love Story

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Member Reviews

Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Anatomy: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz is an amazing blend of history, romance, adventure, thriller, mystery, science, fantasy, and feminism.  I don't think I've read a more original YA book this year.  It's so hard to categorize this book.  If I had to compare it to something similar, I would say that this book is perfect for fans of TNT's The Alienist or Kerri Maniscalco's Stalking Jack the Ripper series.  The plot revolves around Hazel Sinnett, a proper young lady in 19th century Edinburgh who wants to become a surgeon.  Unfortunately, nobody will train a woman as a surgeon, and everyone is pressuring her to accept her place and marry a high-ranking nobleman.  She meets Jack Currer, a man from the lower classes who digs up corpses and sells them.  Since she needs corpses to learn how to become a surgeon, they agree to work together.  But when people of the lower classes go missing, including Jack's friends, the two get entangled in a sinister and deadly plot.

Here is an excerpt from Chapter 2 that expands on Hazel's predicament:

This was the sort of event Hazel wanted to attend! Not the dreary luncheons with dowdy widowers and insufferable debutantes or the dull, endless balls. As soon as Hazel turned fifteen, her mother had begun forcing her down to London for the social season, where Hazel would be squeezed into crinoline the size of a small sofa so that she could whiz around various ballrooms in the arms of various foul-breathed boys."

Overall, as stated before, Anatomy: A Love Story is an incredibly original and difficult-to-categorize book.  It's definitely isn't a typical YA fantasy.  I enjoyed the historical and medical aspects of 19th century Edinburgh, as well as Hazel's attempt to subvert or dismantle the patriarchy that pressures her to get married instead of pursuing a career.  I also enjoyed the slow-burn romance between Hazel and Jack.  The two characters are great, and I was rooting for them to get together the whole time. Fortunately, the romance goes at a nice, slow pace, giving them plenty of time to get to know each other before anything happens.  Lastly, I loved the mystery and thriller aspects of this book, specifically the people who go missing and how Jack and Hazel find out what's going on.  The climax of this book was amazing, and I couldn't put it down.  If you're intrigued by the excerpt above, or if you're a fan of any of the genres that this book encapsulates, then you won't regret checking it out when it comes out in February!
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I really enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. It was unique and the author took the story where I was not expecting. I will be recommending this book to all of my friends.
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A must read for young adult book fans! Anatomy: A Love Story will leave you surprised! You won't want to put it down.
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This definitely qualifies as a "gothic tale" but the romance piece definitely takes a while to get rolling and almost felt like an afterthought until towards the end. Speaking of the end, it felt a bit abrupt and I wanted more from the ending. Perhaps there will be another novel? 

Kindly received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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This book was surprisingly wonderful! I had no idea in the beginning of the book how it would go, but I pleasantly found myself really enjoying this book! Hazel was a woman that was well ahead of her time and confounded 1800’s era society. She was brave, bold, intelligent, and surprising. No one understood her as well as Jack and I loved their story! I think that I would be much like Hazel in that era; she is a marvelous woman and ahead of her time. Great story, thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for my free arc in exchange for my honest opinion! It was pretty fantastic!
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Yes, hello, writing to report that I AM OBSESSED. I was so excited to read Anatomy: A Love Story because everything that Dana Schwartz writes feels targeted to me, and I was not disappointed with this new YA novel. Spooky Scottish romance with dead bodies and a plague and kissing IN A GRAVE? Yes, 5 stars.

Hazel Sinnett wants to be a doctor, a surgeon, but of course, it is Scotland in 1817, so her womanhood makes that impossible…or does it? When the opportunity arises, she dons her dead brother’s clothes and attends the coursework as a man, George. A potential plague is threatening Edinburgh, and resurrection men–body snatchers–are working hard to find bodies for use by the surgeons and anatomists and their classes, but avoid getting the fever. Jack Currer is one of those resurrection men. When his and Hazel’s paths cross, everything changes. And both will be pivotal in each other’s stories as Hazel finds her footing as a doctor, even with the patriarchy, criminal elements, and an overbearing almost-fiancé at the gates. There’s the dark academia of surgeon school in the early 19th century, threats of virus and disease, open grave make out sessions, and more!

This is definitely older YA–and I think readers of adult fiction will enjoy it too. Hazel may be 16, but her youth makes the story even more enjoyable, rather than making it feel “YA” like a book set in high school would. The romantic elements are great, and THE ENDING. HOLY HELL THE ENDING.

Also, as a long time Dana fangirl, I loved the Easter Eggs to her cat and the Brontes, through Jack’s last name!

This book is not for the squeamish because…plague, anatomy lectures, dissection of human remains, etc, etc, but I’m going to force everyone around me to read it so…get ready.
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It is the 1800's in Scotland and the only thing Hazel has to look forward to is convincing her cousin, the son of the viscount, to ask her for her hand in marriage. Hazel is not thrilled about the idea but she knows it is her duty to marry. Hazel would prefer to study anatomy and become a doctor but women aren't allowed to talk about science let alone learn it.
Jack is a resurrectionist, a man who digs up graves to sell to doctors, medical students, and surgeons. He does this to survive and to make a few coins on the side since his job at the theatre is at risk due to the Roman fever.
Hazel and Jack meet by chance and form a working relationship by choice. Hazel employs Jack to find her bodies to study. Jack needs a partner to dig up the bodies so enlists Hazel to go with him.
This story is so much more than a love story. It is an historical fiction about how women were supposed to be seen and not heard, about how the poor struggled in society, and about how the rich profited off of the poor. It touches on the evolution of medicine. It has a little mystery mixed along with the love story. 
I really enjoyed this. It was a quick yet exciting read. I would like to read a sequel if one was ever written.
Thanks to Netgalley, St Martin's Press, and Wednesday Books for the advanced copy. The opinions are my own.
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Well, it was just freaking great!!! I mean, in so many ways. It was edgy and eerie and sweet and awful and lovely and an altogether awesome read!!! I took longer to catch on than I would have liked, but I got there. And I really appreciate the historical accuracy and details. My heart breaks a bit for Hazel and her absent family. But mostly I’m just glad she found Jack. And always had Iona and Cook. 💜💜📚
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