"If it matters at all, it must matter completely."
I bought this book in Oswego, New York at a dollar store. I am always drawn to the book section in stores but it isn't often that the dollar store has books I want to read. This book caught my eye initially because of the title. At the time, my friend was struggling with her anatomy class and I thought the book would be something great to give her. But this book is not really about anatomy school. The title seems to point more to what happens at an anatomy school that changes the main character Martin in the end.
The first 2/3 of this book were good for me. I didn't love it but I found it engaging. I had read some reviews of the book on goodreads.com and saw a lot of people had stopped reading after 60 pages because they were bored but I was never bored while reading The Anatomy School. One thing I loved about the book was how peaceful it was. It consisted of everyday nights where you have trouble falling to sleep and everyday school days with your friends. This peacefulness helped me connect greatly to the main character. I also really liked Martin for most of the book because I related greatly to him. His experience in school, the emotional aspect, I could relate to very well. That feeling of being accepted and being scared to speak out and being afraid to have your own opinion about something. That being said, the last 1/3 of the book was a real let down for me. For one, the book randomly jumped a few years forward and confused me for a good fifteen pages. It also did not fully address what the result was of the first 2/3 of the story. I mean, sure it addressed it in a subtle way that wasn't overly obvious but the story was building up and, in my opinion, deserved a better reveal of the outcome of the boys struggle from the first part of the book.
Overall, the book seemed to be saying that you don't need religion which I agree with but it also said you don't need God at all. You need to rely on yourself. My favorite part of the book though is a quote from Kavanagh in part two when he talks about his girlfriend. He says, "Her Christianity is so important. It's not a superficial thing - like music or how you wear your hair. It's her whole life...I have to promise I'll try to...believe more. It's no good just living a life of correctness. She says it has to come from [my heart]...she wants me to accept the Lord as my Savior. I have to accept I'm a sinner." This is where I was hoping the book would go and it didn't at all. Martin was instead left as a guy who was cocky and just a glass half-empty sort of guy and he developed as a character but seemed to move backwards instead of forwards. I will give this book 3 out of 5 stars. I liked the first part a good deal but the second part/ending was a huge letdown and the book did not seem to go much anywhere.