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.
Anatomy: A Love Story is on sale everywhere February 22, 2022. Pre-order it NOW from BookSoup to get a signed copy.