Member Reviews

I loved this! I was so upset at the ending but thrilled to know the second book is coming out soon. Very interested to see where the story goes and what becomes of Hazel and Jack.

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3.5 stars

I love this cover and the synopsis and was ready to dive in after hearing Dana talk about it.

I really liked Hazel. She's smart, knows what she wants, and is kind. Jack is tender hearted, wants more for his life, and is absolutely smitten. Together these two have an unlikely friendship and it was fun to read them figure things out.

Plot wise, it was a bit of a struggle. With all of the murders and random deaths, you'd think there would be some tension, but it felt like an afterthought. The entire story has a meandering pace and the third person tense coupled with the long long long passages without dialogue had me skimming here and there. I will say that the last few chapters absolutely changed my opinion of everything and really delivered.

Overall, I loved the idea, but expected more of a murder mystery feeling. I'm excited for the next book.

**Huge thanks to the publisher for providing the arc free of charge**

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I'll be honest that I didn't quite know what I was getting into with Anatomy: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz, but I ended up really loving this historical fiction/fantasy book following the adventures (and misadventures) of Hazel Sinnett in her pursuit to become a surgeon in 19th century Edinburgh.

Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for sharing this book with me. All thoughts are my own.

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This was a decent YA debut! I had a good time reading it and the atmosphere was well executed; I could feel the gothic vibes. I love a strong female character who doesn't let society get to her. I had a good time reading it but it's not something that will stick with me and I probably will not read the sequel.

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I wanted to love Anatomy, I really did. It has all the gothic and gory things I enjoy. But mostly I was bored and waiting for something to happen. And something didn't happen until the end of the book. I do like Hazel, she's tenacious, but I still struggled to connect with the characters and the story. Maybe the sequel will be better?

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I felt so bored throughout this book. I just didn't feel very connected to the story or characters. I felt like the plot was more half formed through the book. The romance was so-so.

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I liked the overall idea of the book, but kind of wish she would have stuck with historical fiction instead of putting in the magical element with the immortality elixir and the one that let him do the transplants. I will probably still read the second one when it comes out.

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This book was incredibly interesting, and I think that the best way I can describe it. The book follows Hazel, a young woman from the 1800's who desperately wants to be a doctor. Unfortunately, that's was not a possible career for women back then and she must resort to wearing her dead brother's clothes to disguise herself during classes.

I found myself really relating to Hazel throughout the novel. While it isn't the 19th century anymore and there certainly are women doctors now, as a nurse I am aware of how male dominated the medical field truly is. Unfortunately, women are looked down on often as worse doctors or thought of as being less qualified. It can be so frustrating to want to do something, but not be able to due to your gender. I'm proud of Hazel for going after what she wants and working hard to get there.

Even though I enjoyed the premise of the book, I did feel like it took a while to get going. It was just slow in the beginning. However, the end was action packed, almost too much. I didn't feel as if the conclusion of the story had enough closure for me. It felt a little bit rushed. But, overall I enjoyed the story and thought it was well written.

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Anatomy: A Love Story was sent to me by St. Martin’s and is not a book I would typically be drawn to based on the synopsis. The cover is a phenomenal piece of art and would definitely have drawn my eye. I ended up listening to this on audio and loved it. I found myself totally rooting for Hazel Sinnet and Jack Currer. I liked that the love story was an undercurrent running throughout the story and not the main focus. Hazel is longing to be a female surgeon who discovers the cure for the Roman Fever, despite it being extremely frowned upon for women in this era to even have half a brain. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and am so glad I was just approved for the second book so I can find out what happens next as this one left on a sort of abrupt cliffhanger.
Thank you to St. Martin’s and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Given the premise, I really wanted to love this book. I wanted to love this book so badly. It seemed so wonderfully gothic and perfectly set up to be a creepy ambiance to get me ready for Halloween. But instead, while I enjoyed it, it just didn't deliver in some important ways. Although, this is 1000% a book to buy if you are looking for an aesthetic bookshelf -- I mean, just look at that gorgeousness of a book cover.

Plot:
I loved the plot and the setting of the story. I don't know how much of Edinburgh specifically was really coming through the pages, so much as general Great Britain vibes, but the time period and the medical understandings for that period were fantastic. It is the perfect opportunity to have a very earnest desire to believe these fantastical beliefs about science -- things that we know today to be wrong, but back then were illusions that could reach tangibility if you could figure it out. Using this foundation, I also loved the story of a young woman trying to become a physician or surgeon. That aspect of the story never once wavered, and I think it was developed wonderfully. We see the build to finding education, the obstacles that organically are put in her path, and how she creatively carves her own way to achieving what she wants. It was excellent.

Characters:
Hazel -- Hazel is a rich girl, but incredibly intelligent not just naturally, but through constant and consistent self-education, which I think was a great aspect to her character. We find out how she used to sneak into her dad's study past bedtime to read medical text books, and that tenacity in her pursuant of knowledge is exemplified in her actions throughout the course of the story. She's a bit single-minded when it comes to becoming a physician, but I think that's just par for the course for her. I wouldn't expect anything else, and I think her character was well-developed.

Jack -- No idea who Jack was. There are the basic facts about where he comes from, what drives his actions, and what he looks like, but there weren't enough nuances about personality quirks, deeply emotional reveals, or otherwise extended development of his character. Overall, he was kind of just there to serve a purpose to Hazel? Which, if this were a story solely about Hazel, I would still not like it, but I wouldn't mind it as much. As it is, there is a romance between them, and it just feels like Jack is underdeveloped.

Writing:
Sadly, this is where I think I struggled with the book. The writing overall wasn't bad, but it also was difficult to get through at times because it felt choppy. It wasn't a smooth reading experience. There were moments when the language was flowing really nicely, but it was inconsistent. Because of the evidence that there can be really good passages of writing, I don't know how the book as a whole came to have those choppy parts in them, but it makes me wonder what the entire writing process looked like for the author.

Also, I don't think there was any need for there to be actual fantastical elements to this story. Like, at all. This is my biggest pet peeve with the book and why I only gave it three stars on Goodreads. The fantasy piece was so minimally there, that it was a huge distraction when it came up. This should have remained a historical fiction and that's it. I'm not even going to add a "fantasy" label to this review. Like I said earlier, the great thing about this time period is that science and medicine was still so unknown and exciting it already felt fantastical. To try to mix in actual fantasy with that felt so out of place. I don't think it's impossible to fantasy books written in this time period, but I think the presence of fantasy needed to be much, much stronger in order for it to be properly incorporated into the story.

Thanks for reading!

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While I enjoyed this book, I felt the prose and the plotting were clunky. I would utilize it in class for a critique, It was so hyped and I was so enthusiastic about it but it felt about two edits away from being where I wanted it to be as a reader and an educator.

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The book was great up until the ending. I was thrown so through a loop. The magic was so random! And that she would just accept it? It was really out of character and I just had a hard time accepting that was how the book ended. It felt like the author did know how to end the book and chose an easy way out. Don't think I'll be reading the sequel.

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The premise of this story along with the beautiful cover had me so intrigued! I loved the gothic themes and uniqueness. It reminded me a lot of my experience reading Stalking Jack the Ripper! I wish the feminist take on this historical moment was focused on more, especially in comparison to the romance. For me, the love story title really brought up my hopes on the romance, but I was always more interested in the other plots which was a slight let down overall. I felt like the story felt rushed and jumped around from narratives to try to squeeze in romance, mystery, and gothic intrigue all at once. I enjoyed it but I didn’t love it as much as I hoped to.

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This book started out a little slow, but I really loved the characters by the end! Excited for the sequel!

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Edinburgh, 1817. Hazel Sinnett is a lady who wants to be a surgeon more than she wants to marry.
Jack Currer is a resurrection man who’s just trying to survive in a city where it’s too easy to die.

I loved this story of a young woman who wants to become a surgeon and the boy she meets who helps her. Also the cover of this book is so good! Hazel is left on her own for the summer in her family castle and she is determined to pass the medical exam so that she can enroll in the university, which will not train women for surgery. She meets up with a boy who is a grave robber and soon makes a deal to get some of those bodies so that she can practice on them. There is a mystery, a love story, and it's so atmospheric. This is a gothic love story with a strong feminist character.

I was given a copy of this ebook by the publisher and NetGalley and all opinions are my own.

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I'm going to be honest, I mostly picked Anatomy: A Love Story up because of it's cover, since I'm thoroughly enamored with how they shaped Hazel's gown into an anatomical heart. That aside, I had just finished reading Mary Shelley's Frankenstein for the first time, and thought that this would be a suitable follow up (it was!).

Anatomy follows Hazel, a girl who is desperate to become a physician, even though everyone she meets tells her it's impossible because she's a woman. She ends up making a deal with a famous doctor that if she can pass the Physician's exam on her own, that he'll allow her to study at the medical university. Queue her looking for bodies to dissect and analyze, and enlisting the help of Jack, a resurrection man she recently met. The two team up and steal bodies together, while trying to figure out who's kidnapping people and figuring out where they belong in the world.

Anatomy was exactly the sort of book I'd have fallen in love with as a teen, with a heavy emphasis on romance and a dash of feminism and gore. I loved Hazel's determination and her confidence that she could achieve her dreams even without the support of anyone in her life other than her family's staff. Jack was interesting, I liked how his life and desperation wasn't sugarcoated or brushed off. I did wish he had gotten a bit more development though, because his desperation and intense romantic feelings were most of what we saw of him, rather than any real aspirations or interests. While the novel is dual POV, Schwartz made it clear that the emphasis was supposed to be on Hazel and her life but I think it held back some of Jack's potential. The romance between the two of them was so cute though, and felt very natural from the amount of time spent together.

Plot wise, I guess I should have understood that the story was going to be romance heavy because of the title, but I was still a little surprised about how the kidnapping mystery was kept in the background until the climax. I did guess one of the reveals pretty early on, but I still enjoyed the story anyway (and didn't see that ending coming at all).

If you're looking for a love story between two teens or just want one about a girl and her love of science, definitely try picking Anatomy up! The writing pulled me along, it had some very romantic lines (albeit a bit unbelievable that a teen was saying them but you know what, it was fun so who cares) and Hazel was such a fun, strong heroine.

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*Arc provided by Netgalley and St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review.*

Hazel wants to be a surgeon, Jack digs up bodies for a living, what could go wrong? After Hazel is caught pretending to be a man in a surgical program she has to rely on Jack to help her continue he studies along with private lessons with Dr. Beecham. All this with the backdrop of a city infected with a highly contagious fever, people going missing, and Hazel's impending engagement.

The whole time reading this it felt very reminiscent of Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco. At times that made it incredibly hard to read and become attached to the characters. There are enough differences to technically make it something of it's own, but it just felt too close for me. I also think calling it a love story felt misleading because the real "love story" is not Hazel and Jack, but Hazel's love for medicine. This one just wasn't for me, but I'm sure it could work for a lot of people who like historical fiction.

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This book was fantastic. While it took me a couple chapters to get into it, I really appreciated the pacing after that point. Hazel is a strong female protagonist in a world that doesn’t want to see women as strong. The plot was overall well written and I truly enjoyed to twists and turns.

Thank you NetGalley for the ARC to review.

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Great book! Love the cover so much! Can't wait for a sequel I think the story has so much potential!

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I really enjoyed the book. I loved the main character and definitely related to her a bit, with the wanting to become a physician. I admire her determination and also she just seemed to be good. If I had one critique for the book, it would be that it almost feels unfinished, or just shallow. I wish there was a bit more world building, and that we got to know the characters better. I felt like we weren't really eased into anything. Even the romance felt a little instalove. Every interaction with other characters felt very surface level, and even the "villain" I saw coming from a mile away and there was never good resolution or even confrontation with them. I also feel like the MC kinda becomes stagnant about halfway through the book and nothing interesting ever really changes for her after that. She never really has to deal with society or her conveniently absent parents or conveniently supportive house staff or conveniently absent cousin (even once they're engaged. And no that's not really a spoiler). Despite all these, I still really enjoyed the book. There is a little magic thrown in, but its barely really explored or mentioned and almost seems more like an afterthought or easy way to get around a problem so the author could have the ending she wanted. Again, I think it would have benefitted from more worldbuilding. Overall a 3.5 star read!

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