Author Interview | Jenn Bennett ft. The Anatomical Shape of a Heart + Giveaway

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Let’s start on November with an Interview with Author Jenn Bennet for her upcoming book, The Anatomical Shape of a Heart!

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Tell us about your book, The Anatomical Shape of A Heart, in one sentence.
Two wildly different artistic teens meet on a night bus in San Francisco, change each others’ lives, and fall in love.
Aside from the plot, I’m also very curious about the book’s title. How did you come up with it? (Both US: TASOAH and UK: Night Owls titles)
My original title was Night Owls, the UK and international title, is a nod to the late-night Owl buses in San Francisco. Beatrix and Jack are both sneaking around at night for the sake of their artwork: She loves anatomy and wants to draw cadavers in the university hospital’s Willed Body lab, and Jack is a graffiti artist. My U.S. publisher decided to change the title to reflect Beatrix’s art; my editor came up with it. I like both titles!
Since TASOAH is your debut novel in the YA demographic, what were the changes you’ve experienced in its writing process compared to writing your prior books?
It actually started as a much different book, a story set in a futuristic San Francisco. But I wrote one chapter—a quiet scene in a museum cafe with the protagonist, her mother, and her brother—and everything shifted inside my head. My literary agent had been encouraging me to try my hand at YA contemporary, because she thought I had the voice for it, but I wasn’t confident enough until I wrote that scene. After that, the book was a complete joy to write. It felt so right…almost too right, actually, so naturally I was suspicious that I’d screwed it all up. I guess I hadn’t!
Introduce Beatrix and Jack to the readers.
Beatrix—known to her friends and family as Bex—is intensely focused, has a dry wit, and is artistically talented. Her obsession is anatomy: She loves bones, muscles, veins, and eyeballs. She’s a little odd, and sort of a loner. Her mom, Katherine the Great, is a night-shift nurse, and they live in a tiny Edwardian row house with Bex’s college-dropout gay brother Heath. Bex meets Jack one night on her way home from the hospital where Bex’s mom works. Jack is charming and swoony and handsome (duh), and he’s wanted by the police for spray-painting gold words across San Francisco. But Bex discovers other wonderful things about him that completely contradict his criminal leanings. You’ll need to read to discover what those things are…
Name a character from TASOAH that you can relate to the most and tell us how you are similar to that character.
Probably Bex. Though I’m not scientifically inclined like she is, I’ve got her drive and focus. Bex feels like her world has gone a little dark since her father exited the picture, but she keeps moving ahead, eyes trained on her goal. Having a writing career often can feel that way. Success is elusive, and you never know if your next book will fail or succeed. It’s all a huge risk, and all you can do is believe in yourself and keep trying. So in that way, I understand Bex completely.
Who/what inspired you to write a story like TASOAH?
No person in particular. As I’d said previously, this book started out as a very different story. But once I made the decision to write it as contemporary romance, I just naturally gravitated toward writing about two artists. (I’m an artist, so write what you know!)
What is something you’ve learned in writing your debut YA novel?
That YA readers are some of the kindest, most enthusiastic readers on the planet. My book was released in the U.K./Australia first, so I’ve already gotten fan mail, tweets, comments, photos, and even reader art (my favorite!) about the book. And all of it has brought me to tears—happy ones! I’m overwhelmed and humbled by reader response to Jack and Bex’s story.
What are you most excited about in your book’s (North American Edition) release day?
It’s taken two years for this book to be released in North America, which is a seriously bleepity-bleep long time to wait. So mostly I’ll just be relieved that it’s finally out. In fact, if you listen really hard on November 3rd, you might hear me shout, “HOLY CRAP, IT’S REALLY OUT. THANK YOU, SWEET BABY THOR!”

abouttheauthor

JENNBENJenn Bennett is the author of The Arcadia Bell urban fantasy series with Pocket and The Roaring 20’s Historical paranormal romance series with Berkeley. She lives near Atlanta with one husband and two pugs.

www.jennbennett.net
Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads | Tumblr | Pinterest


23310763Artist Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she’s spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow in Da Vinci’s footsteps, she’s ready to tackle the one thing that will give her an advantage in a museum-sponsored scholarship contest: drawing actual cadavers. But when she tries to sneak her way into the hospital’s Willed Body program and misses the last metro train home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside down.

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart

Purchase links for The Anatomical Shape of a Heart:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | IndieBound | iTunes

Giveaway!
Win 1 of 10 copies of THE ANATOMICAL SHAPE OF A HEART by Jenn Bennett
Open to US residents only!

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Most Anticipated Reads | November 2015

november2015I can’t believe it’s November already and I’m here yet again to share the list of awesome books to be released this month that I’m dying to read!

Consent by Nancy Ohlin
Publication: November 10th 2015 by Simon Pulse

24853763Bea has a secret.

Actually, she has more than one. There’s her dream for the future that she can’t tell anyone—not her father and not even her best friend, Plum.

And now there’s Dane Rossi. Dane is hot, he shares Bea’s love of piano, and he believes in her.

He’s also Bea’s teacher.

When their passion for music crosses into passion for each other, Bea finds herself falling completely for Dane. She’s never felt so wanted, so understood, so known to her core. But the risk of discovery carries unexpected surprises that could shake Bea entirely. Bea must piece together what is and isn’t true about Dane, herself, and the most intense relationship she’s ever experienced.


The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennet
Publication:  November 3rd 2015 by Feiwel & Friends

23310763Artist Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she’s spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow in Leonardo da Vinci’s footsteps, she’s ready to tackle the one thing that will give her an advantage in a museum-sponsored scholarship contest: drawing actual cadavers. But when she tries to sneak her way into the hospital’s Willed Body program and misses the last metro train home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside down.

Jack is charming, wildly attractive . . . and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists. On midnight buses and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who Jack really is—and tries to uncover what he’s hiding that leaves him so wounded. But will these secrets come back to haunt him? Or will the skeletons in Beatrix’s own family’s closet tear them apart?


All the Major Constellations by Pratima Cranse
Publication: November 10th 2015 by Viking Books for Young Readers

24612035Laura Lettel is the most beautiful girl in the world. . . and Andrew’s not-so-secret infatuation.

Now he’s leaving high school behind and looking ahead to a fresh start at college and distance from his obsessive crush. But when a terrible accident leaves him without the companionship of his two best friends, Andrew is cast adrift and alone—until Laura unexpectedly offers him comfort, friendship, and the support of a youth group of true believers, fundamentalist Christians with problems and secrets of their own. Andrew is curiously drawn to their consuming beliefs, but why? Is it only to get closer to Laura? And is Laura genuinely interested in Andrew, or is she just trying to convert him?


Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler
Publication: November 17th 2015 by Spencer Hill Contemporary

25223115Reagan Forrester wants out—out of her trailer park, out of reach of her freeloading mother, and out of the shadow of the relationship that made her the pariah of Charytan, Kansas.

Victoria Reyes wants in—in to a fashion design program, in to the arms of a cute guy who doesn’t go to Charytan High, and in to a city where she won’t stand out for being Mexican.

One thing the polar-opposite best friends do agree on is that wherever they go, they’re staying together. But when they set off on a series of college visits at the start of their senior year, they quickly see that the future doesn’t look quite like they expected. After two years of near-solitude following the betrayal of the ex-boyfriend who broke her heart, Reagan falls hard and fast for a Battlestar Galactica-loving, brilliant smile-sporting pre-med prospective… only to learn she’s set herself up for heartbreak all over again. Meanwhile, Victoria runs full-speed toward all the things she thinks she wants… only to realize everything she’s looking for might be in the very place they’ve sworn to leave.

As both Reagan and Victoria struggle to learn who they are and what they want in the present, they discover just how much they don’t know about each other’s pasts. And when each learns what the other’s been hiding, they’ll have to decide whether their friendship has a future.


Hello? by Liza M. Wiemer
Publication: November 10th 2015 by Spencer Hill Contemporary

22663633One HELLO? can change a life. One HELLO? can save a life.

Tricia: A girl struggling to find her way after her beloved grandma’s death.
Emerson: A guy who lives his life to fulfill promises, real and hypothetical.
Angie: A girl with secrets she can only express through poetry.
Brenda: An actress and screenplay writer afraid to confront her past.
Brian: A potter who sets aside his life for Tricia, to the detriment of both.

Linked and transformed by one phone call, Hello? weaves together these five Wisconsin teens’ stories into a compelling narrative of friendship and family, loss and love, heartbreak and healing, serendipity, and ultimately hope.

Told from all five viewpoints: narration (Tricia), narration (Emerson), free verse poetry (Angie), screenplay format (Brenda), narration and drawings (Brian).


The Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens
Publication: November 3rd 2015 by HarperTeen

24892774Sadie Kingston, is a girl living in the aftermath. A year after surviving a car accident that killed her friend Trent and left her body and face scarred, she can’t move forward. The only person who seems to understand her is Trent’s brother, Max.

As Sadie begins to fall for Max, she’s unsure if she is truly healed enough to be with him — even if Max is able to look at her scars and not shy away. But when the truth about the accident and subsequent events comes to light, Sadie has to decide if she can embrace the future or if she’ll always be trapped in the past.


For The Record by Charlotte Huang
Publication:  November 10th 2015 by Delacorte Press

25241527Chelsea thought she knew what being a rock star was like . . . until she became one. After losing a TV talent show, she slid back into small-town anonymity. But one phone call changed everything

Now she’s the lead singer of the band Melbourne, performing in sold-out clubs every night and living on a bus with three gorgeous and talented guys. The bummer is that the band barely tolerates her. And when teen hearthrob Lucas Rivers take an interest in her, Chelsea is suddenly famous, bringing Melbourne to the next level—not that they’re happy about that. Her feelings for Beckett, Melbourne’s bassist, are making life even more complicated.

Chelsea only has the summer tour to make the band—and their fans—love her. If she doesn’t, she’ll be back in Michigan for senior year, dying a slow death. The paparazzi, the haters, the grueling schedule . . . Chelsea believed she could handle it. But what if she can’t?


Until We Meet Again by Renee Collins
Publication: November 3rd 2015 by Sourcebooks Fire

23277959Cassandra craves drama and adventure, so the last thing she wants is to spend her summer marooned with her mother and stepfather in a snooty Massachusetts shore town. But when a dreamy stranger shows up on their private beach claiming it’s his own—and that the year is 1925—she is swept into a mystery a hundred years in the making.

As she searches for answers in the present, Cassandra discovers a truth that puts their growing love—and Lawrence’s life—into jeopardy. Desperate to save him, Cassandra must find a way to change history…or risk losing Lawrence forever.


Rules for 50/50 Chances by Kate McGovern
Publication: November 24th 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

23296348Seventeen-year-old Rose Levenson has a decision to make: Does she want to know how she’s going to die? Because when Rose turns eighteen, she can take the test that will tell her if she carries the genetic mutation for Huntington’s disease, the degenerative condition that is slowly killing her mother. With a fifty-fifty shot at inheriting her family’s genetic curse, Rose is skeptical about pursuing anything that presumes she’ll live to be a healthy adult—including going to ballet school and the possibility of falling in love. But when she meets a boy from a similarly flawed genetic pool, and gets an audition for a dance scholarship in California, Rose begins to question her carefully-laid rules.

Undeniable by Liz Bankes
Publication: November 24th 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

23847994After Gabi’s relationship with her long-time boyfriend Max falls apart, she just needs to get away—and she finds the perfect escape in a summer internship for her favorite TV show in London. All the gorgeous actors in the cast will more than distract her from the Break-Up.

Then she meets Spencer Black: student, show extra, expert flirt. Spending time with him is fun, intoxicating, and uncertain. Their relationship is heating up when he lands a featured role on the show. Will his newly found fame break them apart, or is Spencer the one?


How to Be Brave by E. Katherine Kottaras
Publication: November 3rd 2015 by St. Martin’s Press

23368740Reeling from her mother’s death, Georgia has a choice: become lost in her own pain, or enjoy life right now, while she still can. She decides to start really living for the first time and makes a list of fifteen ways to be brave – all the things she’s wanted to do but never had the courage to try. As she begins doing the things she’s always been afraid to do – including pursuing her secret crush, she discovers that life doesn’t always go according to plan. Sometimes friendships fall apart and love breaks your heart. But once in a while, the right person shows up just when you need them most – and you learn that you’re stronger and braver than you ever imagined.

The Girl with the Wrong Name by Barnabas Miller
Publication: November 3rd 2015 by Soho Teen

24972562Seventeen-year-old Theo Lane has been hiding half of her face from the public ever since “The Night In Question,” a night that left her with a long, disfiguring scar, an unquiet mind, and no memory of what happened. An aspiring documentary maker, she uses her camera to keep the world at a safe distance, shooting hours of secret footage with a hidden button cam on her jacket collar. But when Andy Reese, a forlorn and mysterious “Lost Boy,” wanders into her frame, he becomes the unknowing star of her latest project. Her unhealthy obsession with him tears her from that sheltered life behind the camera, pulling her into a perilous, mind-bending journey through Andy’s world. But is it really Andy’s world she’s investigating? Or is it her own?

Everything But the Truth (If Only… #6) by Mandy Hubbard
Publication: November 17th 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

23848186Holly Mathews’ mom is the new manager of a ritzy retirement home, and they just moved in. But having super-rich retirees as her only neighbors isn’t a total bust, because the gorgeous, notorious Malik Buchannan is the grandson of a resident. Just one problem: when they meet, Malik assumes Holly is there to visit her own rich relative. She doesn’t correct him, and it probably doesn’t matter, because their flirtation could never turn into more than a superficial fling . . . right? But the longer she lives in his privileged world, the deeper Holly falls for Malik, and the harder it is to tell the truth . . . because coming clean might mean losing him.

Share your November TBR in the comments!
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Book description and cover images from Goodreads

Blog Tour | The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett [Review + Favorite Quotes + Giveaway]

23310763Title: The Anatomical Shape of a Heart
Author: Jenn Bennett
Publication: November 3rd 2015 by Feiwel & Friends
Format: Advance Reading Copy
Source: Provided by the publisher via NetGalley
ISBN: 9781250066459

Diamonds are Forever


synopsisArtist Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she’s spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow in Leonardo da Vinci’s footsteps, she’s ready to tackle the one thing that will give her an advantage in a museum-sponsored scholarship contest: drawing actual cadavers. But when she tries to sneak her way into the hospital’s Willed Body program and misses the last metro train home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside down.
Jack is charming, wildly attractive . . . and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists. On midnight buses and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who Jack really is—and tries to uncover what he’s hiding that leaves him so wounded. But will these secrets come back to haunt him? Or will the skeletons in Beatrix’s own family’s closet tear them apart?

reviewI received a digital ARC of this book from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group via NetGalley for my participation in the blog tour. By no means have my review been affected and/or influenced.
Beatrix, or Bex, is an artist. She’s into anatomy and drawing cadavers is her ticket to winning a contest for a college scholarship. One night, she comes across Jack, a (super hot) vegetarian buddhist and also an artist. They instantly hit it off, until Bex finds out that Jack is a vandal at large and his art are the infamous golden graffiti around California.
With a very curious title, I really didn’t know what to expect with The Anatomical Shape of a Heart when I decided to go and sign up for this blog tour. But as soon as I turned to page 1, I was instantly drawn into it. And honestly speaking, Jack’s sex appeal played a big role on keeping my eyes and hands hooked on this book (aside from the interesting storyline, that is). Sexy rockability + machismo = OOH LALA JACKSON VINCENT. So, anyway…
The Anatomical Shape of a Heart is not all romance, although I really wouldn’t mind if it is. Seriously, I had to contain my feels while reading this book since I was reading it at work and it would be totally embarrassing to get caught swoon-kicking-the-air every time Jack does something dreamy for Bex but as I was saying, this book is also about art, family, finding what makes you happy.
It was such a relief that this book is written in the 1st person POV and is narrated by Bex. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against 3rd person POV books but I really prefer reading in the 1st person POV for it’s easier to connect with the characters.
Bex is a likeable character, I like her honesty, be it inside her head or vocally. I like how she’s a thinker too, it makes being inside her head fascinating. On the other hand, Jack is… well, he’s pure charisma, he’s sugar and spice and everything nice (he’s a powerpuff girl). I might be in love with him if you haven’t noticed by now.
One of the things that I love about this book is the art the main characters make. It would be even cooler if there were illustrations incorporated in the pages of this book but nonetheless, words were enough for me to see AND feel the art in it especially in the last part. It really triggered my imagination into visualizing Bex’s artwork and it felt beautiful.
For the family aspect, I’m glad that this isn’t one of those books with the non-existent parents. Bex and Jack’s life are very different, much more their parents. I appreciate the way this book showed how great an influence our family is.
For my final words, TASOAH is the definition of Contemporary Romance. It’s a great YA book. So if you’re into that genre (or even if you’re not), definitely grab and read this one. You wouldn’t regret it. But if you’re still in doubt, always remember: OOH LALA JACKSON VINCENT.
Rating:
4

Favorite Quotes
“Just so we’re clear, if we were alone, I’d probably kiss you right now.” … “Just so we’re clear, I’d probably let you.”
“What do I want? I want to call you every five minutes. I want to text you good night every night. I want to make you laugh. And I want you to look at me like you did that first night on the bus.”
“I’d say that even good people make bad mistakes.”
“Feeling alive is always worth the risk.”

Giveaway!
Win a signed copy of THE ANATOMICAL SHAPE OF A HEART by Jenn Bennett!
Open to US/Canada residents only.

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abouttheauthorJENNBENJenn Bennett is an artist and RITA-nominated author of the Arcadia Bell urban fantasy series (Kindling the Moon) and the Roaring Twenties romance series, including Bitter Spirits, which was chosen as one of Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2014 and winner of RT Book Reviews Paranormal Romance Book of the Year, and Grave Phantoms—which was awarded RT’s May Seal of Excellence for 2015. The Anatomical Shape of a Heart, (aka Night Owls in the U.K.) is her first YA contemporary romance. She lives near Atlanta with one husband and two evil pugs. Visit her at www.jennbennett.net.

Follow the Tour!
SHAPE1 (1)
This blog post is part of the The Anatomical Shape of a Heart Blog Tour hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club.
Click the tour banner for the complete tour schedule.

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