Cover Image: Anatomy: A Love Story

Anatomy: A Love Story

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Member Reviews

This was a really appropriate, clever reimagining of Frankenstein with a feminist twist—long overdue, with rich romantic tension, wit, and atmosphere! A fun read.
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Anatomy: A Love Story was a delightful gothic murder mystery set amongst the cemeteries and city alleys of Edinburgh, Scotland, in the early nineteenth century. Hazel is a headstrong girl who wants more than anything to be a surgeon, but though her breeding and status open a lot of doors for her, they are still a golden handcuff tying her to the traditional roles of a Lady in British society. She is to marry her cousin Bernard. Though her cousin and her have long been friends in addition to their betrothed status, Bernard seems less and less keen to allow his future wife to do such scandalous things as surgery, despite knowing it is her driving passion. Note: Bernard seems like such a great guy until she actually starts pursuing that passion, then he admits he thinks it was just a flight of fancy for her which left me so bothered. In my opinion, he’s a bit of a wanker who deserves some syphilis. Anyways…

When she does get the opportunity to see a lecture and demonstration by Dr. Beecham, the grandson of the scientist who wrote the veritable anatomist’s bible, she jumps at the chance. But women aren’t allowed through the main doors of the establishment. That’s when she runs into Jack Currer, who is able to sneak her in under the bleachers. Of course Jack knows of this little hidey-hole. He’s a resurrection man. A body snatcher—but not a grave robber. He makes that quite clear. He steals nothing but the bodies (semantics if you ask me—and you kind of did).

When Beecham announces that he will be teaching the newest surgery courses, Hazel feels compelled to find a way to attend and get her license in the surgical arts. By dressing as her deceased brother, George, she is able to disguise herself as a lad long enough to attend these lectures (This is somewhat ironic. Here’s some background: George and Hazel both had the Roman Fever, a highly contagious decease that seems to have reemerged in Edinburgh. George, the heir to their family, died. Hazel did not. This caused obvious distress for her family and her mother and her relationship has been strained ever since. Not only that, but the death triggered two more things. Her younger brother, now being the heir, is basically a helipad to her mother’s helicopter parenting, while Hazel--who has become largely ignored by her mother--is hell bent on finding a cure. The reason I say ironic (maybe ‘poetic’ is a better term?) is that she is ‘resurrecting’ the very person who died and created this passion for surgery in her. Good job on that one, Schwartz.) 

However, when Hazel is caught posing as a lad, she is told she can no longer attend the lectures put on by Beecham or Straine—a practicing surgeon in Edinburgh who knows Hazel from  his associations with her uncle and future father in law. (Do you think that will stop Hazel? Of course not. She’s a girl of means, independence and fortitude.) Instead of giving up, Hazel tracks down Dr. Beecham and strikes a deal with him. She will study and he will allow her to sit for the surgeon’s exam. If she passes, the school will open its doors to other women. If she does not, she will turn away from surgery and into the arms of her betrothed to do as all the other Ladies of means do for the rest of her life. What’s a girl to do? (Are you kidding? She has all of woman kind to think about now—she is the potential harbinger of change. Of course she takes the deal!)

But there’s one problem. She will need to study human corpses. Fortunately, she has a connection: handsome and charming Jack Currer, who lives and works in a recently closed theatre, only closed due to the new spread of Roman Fever. The downside is his partner has recently gone missing as well. Hazel must team up with Jack to not only keep her secrets, but also to help him procure bodies. During her ‘adventures’ with Jack, she finds out that there are people suddenly showing up without body parts in the poor hospitals of London, and some of the bodies they are pulling out of the ground that are marked as deaths due to Roman Fever are decidedly not. 

Not only does Hazel need to study for the most important exam of her life, but she and Jack are now embroiled in what appears to be a murder investigation that no one else knows about. And the conclusion that they come to is something that neither they—nor the reader—will ever expect. 


I really loved the setting. I’ve always wanted to go to Edinburgh and if it’s even half as atmospheric as the author describes, it would be worth every penny. I also adored Hazel. She had a goal and she did everything to pursue that goal while trying so hard not to fall in love with Jack over dead bodies. I’m sure there’s a joke in there, I just can’t sus it out right this second. The villain at the end was truly diabolical and I never expected it. Them, yes. But the why? Never. There were so many suspects and possibilities and the conclusion…just…(insert mind blown emoji here). 

If you’re looking for a gothic fiction book, this is the one that you need to pick up. There’s honestly no better description than that. It’s a gothic love story. Classically done. I’m surprised that fog doesn’t roll out of the pages when you open in, almost equally surprising is that ending. 

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s press for the advance copy in exchange for this honest review.
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Not for me personally but I have a group of students who love this type of vibe. Also since the school is a CTE school this fits well with the health department and would interest those students as well as build a possible project between the library and health lessons. The cover both interest me and makes me uncomfortable.
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*Screaming into the abyss*

Ok, I loved this. 😂 
I'm a big fan of women trying to pave their way in medical settings back when women were not allowed to have thoughts. Just something about smart ladies proving men wrong. This was akin to Stalking Jack the Ripper. A completely different storyline, but with 2 bad ass girls in STEM. I adored this. 
Autopsy, romance, body snatching, what more could you want?!
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This is a truly stunning physical book. The dust cover is beautiful and when you take it off, it reveals the most gorgeous hardcover. How do I know this? Well, it starts with me receiving an eArc to read and a frantic friend who sees that I’ve started to read this on GoodReads and reveals that she had purchased it for my birthday! Since I wanted my own physical copy, I stopped reading it immediately to wait for my birthday present. So, while I was supposed to have this review done much earlier, I waited to have the hardcover in my hands. 

Set in the early 1800s, our main character, Hazel Sinnett, knows what is expected of her – especially seeing as she is an upper class young woman. She is to get married to her cousin to keep her mother’s fortunes. However, Hazel has bigger plans for her own life. She wants to become a surgeon and to try to cure the Roman fever. 

Our other main character is Jack Currer, a poor resurrection man who makes ends meet robbing graves and working at the theatre. He’s just trying to stay alive while his friends and colleagues keep going missing. 

The writing was absolutely beautiful! Dana Schwartz does historical drama so right! (If you haven’t checked out her podcast Noble Blood, it’s a must-listen! Like, drop everything right now and start listening!) I loved the gothic vibes and the Frankenstein feeling. I could have kept reading for 200 more pages, which brings me to my next point.. the pacing felt a off toward the end. But, I feel like that could have been done purposely (?!), could this mean we’re in for a sequel? If so, sign me up, take my money, can’t wait to see the next book!
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I’m a huge fan of anatomy, stories of characters who go into medicine with the odds being against them makes the character really strong in my opinion. With Anatomy A Love Story really had me in my feels, Hazel just wanted to be doctor but society deems it inappropriate. What I found I loved about Hazels character when she was found out, because this girl did her thang and dressed up like a man just so she could attend these lectures/ class on anatomy! What I loved about her was a part in the story, she is found out by the Doctor’s Colleague. He just goes on a self serving sexist rant on why it’s inconceivable for a women to be a Doctor. She holds her tears in, and honestly anyone (I’ve seen grown men cry for less) would have cried in a situation like that. Hazel did the boss thing and said “NAH!” She held it together until she got home. 

This girl RAGED, she cried and threw her fit of despair and then she wiped her self off and said, “Watch me become a doctor!” she didn’t let this old man change her mind. She went through the most to be able to educate herself to be able to pass the Physicians Examination. 

As for the romance, I felt like it was downplayed. The author really captured the time they wrote this book in. And they did something that most books, I don’t think they would. Hazel knew the society didn’t like what she was up to let alone marrying someone who doesn’t have a status in society. So even though she loves Jack, she also knows she will have to marry her cousin (that is a different story on how I feel about that). Jack also knew this, he kept looking for work but wasn’t successful. And anytime they brought up the cousin, you could tell he hated it but didn’t have a right, or he felt like he didn’t have a right to say anything. 

This book gave me academia, Gothic, Betrayal, Love and Anatomy! I really enjoyed this book! And the Cover was gorgeous!
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This one is hard to review for me. There is a lot here that I felt like could be promising, but there was a lot that also didn’t work for me. 

Dialogue between the characters was excellent. It flowed well and felt natural. It made it easy to read which was great as sometimes with gothic books, I do find myself struggling a little bit, but I didn’t have this here. 

The writing in general was great. I’m curious to see the author’s other work and what else she will write. 

Now unfortunately, there was a lot here that didn’t work for me. 

The pacing for this story felt all off. It took a long time for it to get going. The beginning dragged and really had me struggling to get into it even if the vibes were excellent. 

There were some fantasy aspects to this that just didn’t work for me. They were there, but not enough to have me remember them. It was always a shock when it came back out. There just wasn’t enough development for how this works. 

One thing that really bothered me was the romance. I didn’t feel anything between Jack and Hazel. They don’t feel like they were really meant to have romantic feelings towards one another, that it was just shoved in there to make the book more appealing or something. They would be doing something intense and then thinking about kissing one another. It simply didn’t make any sense to me and pulled me out of the story. 

There were moments here that were good, but overall, this book was truly not for me.
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Really enjoyed this book and the medical aspect. I loved Hazel and Jacks relationship and I am so excited to see what happens in the sequel
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Man, this book was a really incredible read! I loved how it danced on the edge of darkness, what with the body snatching and all, but didn't descend! The idea of a woman surgeon, at this point in time, is so far fetched, and Hazel has a lot of obstacles, and I loved how she faced them! 

The way this book was told was pretty great, in 3rd person-we mainly followed Hazel, we had some of Jack's perspectives, and sometimes, we'd get a little something that they didn't see. One case, just because she wasn't looking, but it gave us the reader an idea of what was to come which was really great!

I felt badly for Hazel, what she wants isn't allowed, given that she's a woman, and of noble birth on top of that. Add to that her older brother died of something she survived, and so her mom is obsessed with the health of her youngest child, and her dad's not there. And she's basically expected to marry her cousin. But it does give her some unique opportunities. 

That ending though, that was totally unexpected. I really enjoyed how Hazel solved it, but oh, that the way that things were resolved? That was pretty unexpected and pretty bittersweet. And had me so angry at her now ex-fiancé! 

I had a great time reading this book, and I can't wait to read more by Dana Schwartz!
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In the early 1800s it is improper for a lady to have goals that push the bounds of a career. Especially goals like being a surgeon. Hazel isn't letting that stop her and her lifelong dream to be one. When she finds an invite for a lecture for a prestigious and bounds-pushing surgeon, she stops at nothing to attend. 

Jack works in the theater but finds additional pay being a resurrection man; he digs up the recently dead for whoever pays. 

Dealing with the dead brings these two characters together in a whirlwind of danger, mystery, goodwill and romance. I adored the gothic atmosphere and the underlying sinister plot that slowly unravels. The romance is a low simmering burn that reaches in and just takes you by storm. I love the ones that almost creep up on you and leave you fulfilled in the end. 

Speaking of the end, splendid! The type that will have me rereading this one long down the road picking a part nuances. Everything came together almost perfectly. Excellent narrative, relatable and highly likeable characters and the perfect blend of gothic and romance in 1817 Edinburgh. Even the anatomy aspects held my non-science brain captivated. 

Life has had other plans for me this year and I hate how behind I am with getting amazing books like this one posted. A truly beautiful novel from Dana Schwartz that I even grabbed the audio for so I can relive it all again. For dark gothic loving, young adult readers, you'll want this on your shelf!

Thank you Wednesday Books for the gifted digital copy. All thoughts are my own. True ratimg 4.5/5.
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This was an amazing book that had me hooked from the very first chapter. It was engaging, unique, and interesting. The writing was very great and it was an enjoyable read.
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Hazel wants to be a surgeon more than anything else in the world. But as an upper class young woman in the year 1817, it’s not exactly legal, or even heard of. Luckily, the esteemed Dr. Beecham agrees to let her enroll in medical school IF she manages to pass the physician’s exam, with no teaching at her disposal. Jack Currer is a resurrection man, someone who digs up the bodies of the recently deceased so that students and medical professionals can conduct their research to learn more about the human body. Little do the two know how much they need each other. What begins as an arrangement of convenience – Hazel needs to study, Jack provides the bodies – quickly turns into much more. On all counts. 

So here’s the thing: I really enjoyed this book. I flew through it, it was an easy read, lighthearted, with a bit of romance, and about an interesting and unique topic that is rarely covered in YA. But it’s not at all as advertised. I went in thinking it’d be a dark, slightly gothic, Mary Shelley Frankenstein-esque adaptation. And it was none of those things. It got slightly creepy at moments, but more because I have a vivid imagination than any depth of description. As written, it’s barely gruesome at all. And the characters feel much younger than we’re told they are, and far too young to be dealing so cavalierly with topics that are far more serious than how they’re portrayed.

Hazel’s curiosity and earnestness is adorable and engaging, yet her naivete is almost unbelievable. Jack is sweet and inspiring, but quick to jealousy and easy to doubt. Hazel’s family (the entirety of which could be seen as antagonists in their own right) is a logical obstacle to her scholarly pursuits but depicted so extraordinarily over-the-top that a better fit for their caricatures would be as villains in comic books rather than characters in a novel.

The romance aspect of the story is barely allowed to be a romance. It starts about halfway through the book and is given barely any time or attention on the page. I didn’t miss it much to be honest, but “A Love Story” is explicitly promised in the title and A Love Story we did not receive. Some flirtation, infatuation, and kisses aside, love there is not.

All that being said, I enjoyed this brief ride.

Trigger warning: gore, dissecting bodies/animals.
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This book is SO delightful. Historical Gothic goodness on every page, with notes of Frankenstein and a bit of Burke and Hare
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Anatomy: A Love Story by Dana Scwartz was a fascinating read. The plot of the story is interesting and reading the story reminded me of Stalking Jack the Ripper. If you enjoyed that story, then I believe you will enjoy this one. The characters were well developed and the pacing was executed well too. Overall, this was a nice book to read.
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My Rating: 4.5 stars

Anatomy is told in several different perspectives. The main two are Hazel and Jack both from very different social standings that join together to attempt to do something good.

Hazel is a young woman often left alone. Her mother is still distraught after the death of her older brother to sickness, and she is constantly worried now that her youngest son will also get sick and leave the family with no heir. Hazel's father is off on a ship somewhere for the Navy. This means that Hazel is left alone and allowed to pursue her love of medicine as long as she keeps it private. But she is never encouraged to continue with her love of medicine and is absolutely discouraged and it is refused to her to take classes at the local college to attempt to learn more and take the physicians exam.

Jack is a resurrection man or more commonly known as a body snatcher. He does this in order to get food and a roof over his head as there aren't enough jobs for everyone in the city. This pays good money, and while illegal is a sure way to know that you'll get paid for your work as doctors need the bodies in order to try and do surgeries on them to practice.

The twist and mystery of this book though are how there are people and bodies going missing. While we know why bodies are going missing (body snatchers have been well documented and show how doctors originally learned how to do surgery), we don't know why people are going missing. While the people going missing is being blamed on the sickness that is back, Hazel doesn't think it is this, and once she finds a way to learn how to be a doctor she learns what is happening and is able to put the rest of the pieces together. Jack is just trying to not go missing himself and he is willing to become Hazel's ally in order to get paid and because she's willing to help him get the bodies as well.

Overall I loved this book. It reminded me a lot of the Stalking Jack the Ripper first book in a good way. Both of the main characters loved and wanted to be a part of the medical field, which is what drew me to wanting to read Anatomy in the first place. This book is a lot more focused on becoming a doctor and Hazel treating patients, which I loved and had me reading this book so quickly! Was there some romance? Yes of course there was and it was done so well and didn't take away from what Hazel wanted to do or how she was doing it. Instead, we saw the love interest working with her and encouraging her to keep going and how she was going to change the world. In fact, at times outside of the servants, it seemed like he was the only one who believed in her, because we know her family would be disapproving if they really knew what she was doing.

While I was not expecting the complete and utter surprise of an ending that happened with a certain doctor, it did make the story far more interesting and helped explain so many things that had been happening throughout the book. So many twists and turns and shocks happened all in due time and I loved it!

For fans of Kerri Maniscalco who wanted more about practicing medicine and a little less romance! This would be a great start to reading more gothic mysteries as well as it's not too dark, and is still light enough at times to keep even the romance readers interested.
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The atmosphere of this book made it a very enjoyable read, a perfect mix for people who enjoyed the Stalking Jack the Ripper series.
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Thank you so much to Wednesday Books and Netgalley for letting me read an eARC of Anatomy: A Love Story. I saw that this one was a Reese's YA book club pick thing, before I was able to actually read it (because you know your girl didn't get to Anatomy: A Love Story until mid February, so almost a month after it actually came out), so I had really high hopes for this book, which unfortunately, it didn't really live up to. 
Anatomy: A Love Story 3/5 Stars
Summary from Goodreads: 
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.
When the two of them have a chance encounter outside the Edinburgh Anatomist’s Society, Hazel thinks nothing of it at first. But after she gets kicked out of renowned surgeon Dr. Beecham’s lectures for being the wrong gender, she realizes that her new acquaintance might be more helpful than she first thought. Because Hazel has made a deal with Dr. Beecham: if she can pass the medical examination on her own, the university will allow her to enroll. Without official lessons, though, Hazel will need more than just her books – she’ll need bodies to study, corpses to dissect.
Lucky that she’s made the acquaintance of someone who digs them up for a living, then.
But Jack has his own problems: strange men have been seen skulking around cemeteries, his friends are disappearing off the streets. Hazel and Jack work together to uncover the secrets buried not just in unmarked graves, but in the very heart of Edinburgh society.
A gothic tale full of mystery and romance about a willful female surgeon, a resurrection man who sells bodies for a living, and the buried secrets they must uncover together.
Oh man, y'all. I really, really wanted to love this one! I really enjoy everything medical-y and I think the whole concept behind this book was great, but man, I was so incredibly bored during the whole book. I didn't like any of the main characters- Hazel was so self-centered and Jack was so boring. And I get that Hazel wanted to be a surgeon and that was her biggest driving factor, but at the same time, could we get a little more action please? Like it felt as though nothing happened for the first maybe 60% of the book, and that's such a long time to wait for a book to move. I feel like I can't even really write a real review about this book because I didn't think enough happened for it to have a real review! The only saving grace for this book was the setting (I love Edinburgh). I know a lot of people loved this book, so if you like books that are not as plot driven and are super setting heavy and character development heavy, I would definitely check this one out. Again, overall, this was not my favorite book, but I definitely think there are a lot of people who will love this one if they read it!
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Thank you Netgalley and the publishers for this eARC in exchange for my honest review. 

I was so excited to get an ARC of this book, especially since it has such a gorgeous and intriguing cover. This is a bit of a departure from my usual fantasy reads, but I couldn’t resist the storyline!

Although the book had my interest initially, it quickly waned and completely dissolved by the end.

The Pros: What Worked For Me

- The writing style was quite enjoyable. I enjoyed reading from multiple perspectives and the author has a clear talent for creating a good pace for readers.
- The time period was very interesting to me and the subject matter was a great choice, too.
- Hazel and Jack were both very well-developed characters and I liked them both individually.
- The term love story in this novel refers to more than just the obvious romance, but also to Hazel’s love and passion for medicine; this was a fresh take that I appreciated.

The Cons: What I Didn’t Like

- The romance in the story is lackluster. It is pushed off to the side and does not develop very naturally. I couldn’t feel the chemistry between the love interests so it was quite disappointing.
- There were so many subplots going on that it was hard to know what the point of the story actually was.
- There was this whole mystery in the story but I struggled to even connect with that plotline because it was mentioned in passing for most of the story; it was pushed aside. 
- More of the story is focused on Hazel’s medical journey, which I personally found interesting, but compared to what the blurb says, it was a let-down.
- The ending was so rushed and the immortality secret, whilst unsurprising based on all the hints the author gave to it, was abruptly brought into the story.
- There were far too many plot holes in this story to count, and this added to my frustration.

I struggled when it came to rating this novel. Was it terribly written? Not at all. In fact, it was a pleasant reading experience on the whole. But the way the story ended and the way important plotlines were just swept aside made it impossible for me to truly enjoy this book.

I would still give this author another chance because I can see the talent. But for now, this gets 2/5 stars.
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What an intriguing journey that took me out of my reading comfort zone. I’d say this is a historical fiction novel, with a dash of romance and a bit of fantasy. There are major gothic vibes throughout, which I thought perfectly captured 1800s Edinburgh. I loved Hazel and her determination to become a surgeon despite what society and her family expected of her. It’s a bit of a slow burn, but it kept me coming back for more. I didn’t necessarily love the ending. It felt a little out of left field to me, though I think a sequel could potentially redeem that storyline. I’ll definitely be reading more of Dana Schwartz’ work!
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This is a novel of coming of age and breaking barriers. High society-adjacent Hazel is a smart, caring protagonist and complements street-wise Jack’s jaded and amusing nature.  The mystery is in the background, as much of the novel centers on Hazel’s ambitions to be a surgeon and her future marital ties to her noble cousin. There is not a real love triangle, but Hazel does have romantic moments with Jack. 
Sickness, grief, and the fate of the poor during this historical time in Edinburgh are themes and there is a speculative element.  This is an atmospheric and satisfying read. 

Thanks to Wednesday Books and NetGalley for the e-galley. I read along in parts while mainly listening to the audiobook for this review.  

TW and CW: mentions of blood and surgery throughout with actual scenes with instruments; uncomfortable/forced kiss; death of a family member

Spoiler: The author did slightly hint at a sequel on the audiobook I listened to
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