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by Daria Snadowsky
Published January 2007 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Source: Received for review from author (Thank you!)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Summary from Goodreads: Before this all happened, the closest I'd ever come to getting physical with a guy was playing the board game Operation. Okay, so maybe that sounds pathetic, but it's not like there were any guys at my high school who I cared to share more than three words with, let alone my body.
Then I met Wes, a track star senior from across town. Maybe it was his soulful blue eyes, or maybe my hormones just started raging. Either way, I was hooked. And after a while, he was too. I couldn't believe how intense my feelings became, or the fact that I was seeing—and touching—parts of the body I'd only read about in my Gray's Anatomy textbook. You could say Wes and I experienced a lot of firsts together that spring. It was scary. It was fun. It was love.
And then came the fall.
Anatomy of a Boyfriend is the first novel I've read that can be categorized as New Adult, but it's not the sexy escape that has become synonymous with the New Adult name. There is sex in Anatomy of a Boyfriend, but it's the realistic, awkward, exploratory, should-I-or-shouldn't-I type of sex. The honesty in which Snadowsky portrays Dom's foray into exploring her sexuality is probably my favorite part of the book.
Dom is a high school senior on the fast track to medical school. She's intelligent, driven, and completely clueless about guys. When she meets a cute track star at the end of her senior year she thinks he could be her first real boyfriend. What follows is the most realistic portrayal of a teenage relationship I've ever read.
Anatomy of a Boyfriend blew me away with its honesty. The book is told from Dom's perspective, and we get a front row seat to all of the highs, lows, crazy thoughts, not so crazy thoughts, and everything else that comes from your first real relationship with a guy. I saw a lot of myself in Dom, and went through a similar situation, so it was wonderful to see her relationship and feelings not romanticized in any way.
The problems I had with Anatomy of a Boyfriend were minor, yet still merit mention. Snadowsky's writing lends itself to much more telling than showing. We learn much about Dom, her family, and her friend Amy because Dom is telling us about them instead of Snadowsky writing them in such a way that we infer these things. Though it didn't bother me, I realize that there are many who become frustrated with that style quickly. The use of now outdated technology was also sometimes distracting. The novel was published in 2007 and Snadowsky undoubtedly began writing it years prior, so the use of AOL messenger and email as primary technological communication is forgivable, if not quite relatable.
Though the love story in Anatomy of a Boyfriend is in no way revolutionary, the way Snadowsky honestly portrays the experience is. I've never related to a character in the same way I related to Dom. Though there were many times I wanted to tell her to pull herself together, I could always relate what she was feeling to a way I've felt in the past. Sometimes it was like Dom was repeating word for word some of the things I've thought to myself.
I definitely recommend this book to anyone who's gone through that first big love, you will probably see a lot of your experience in Dom's.