Review by Valerie
by Jenn Bennett
Age Range: 12 - 18 years
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (November 3, 2015)
Amazon | Goodreads
Artist 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.
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?
Let me tell you a story really quick. My sister and I would buy every single Mary Kate and Ashley movie the day it came out when we were younger. We’d watch it like five times in one day and it was glorious. Winning London came out and we picked it up after my parents got off work, like every other movie, but something was wrong. We hunkered down for utter happiness and… we had accidentally bought the Spanish version.
That’s how this book was for me. I was so excited about it but when I started it, I realized that all the anticipation was for naught. This book, guys. I know that I’m in the minority and that’s cool but this book is not good. *hides*
Bex is an artist who draws medical renderings of the human body, all opened up and gory. Cool, I was all in this. I just attended an event where Meg Wolitzer talked about how reading allows us, as readers, to read through the perspective of people who we are nothing alike. She argued that we shouldn’t try and find ourselves in every single book because then we don’t grow as a person. PREACH. I was so ready to take that and transfer it into this book but I couldn’t.
The main character is nothing like me and she’s involved in something that is so outside of my realm that I was stoked to learn about it. Sweet, let’s do it. Then the trouble starts. Bex is a beautifully complex women who doesn’t realize she’s awesome because she’s lived an average life. BAM. Super sexy Jack enters the picture and wants her. She feels beautiful. He feels sexy. I hate to say it but this, and you can argue it, is instalove. Cringe. And even worse, it wasn’t believable. Jack just decided to pursue her. Like he randomly decided to try Thai food one day. I can understand instantly being attracted to someone but this was just too much. I didn’t buy it for a second.
That’s the problem. I didn’t buy it. Jack is too perfect. Bex is too “shy but secretly awesome and just waiting for the perfect guy to truly see her, ya know”. It’s all a beautiful fairytale but I stopped reading those years ago. I want real. I want progression. I want the chase. I don’t want what this book had to offer.
I did think that the subject matter was incredibly unique and I walked away with knowledge that I didn’t have before reading this book. It teaches a lot about schizophrenia which I enjoyed and I thought it was wonderfully weaved into the story.
I know that a lot of people love it and I’m glad that people do. This particular person just wasn’t a fan.