Monday, June 17, 2013

Review: Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky

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Anatomy of a Boyfriend
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.

9 comments:

  1. The honesty of this book sound really well done

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  2. Agreed. The honesty is what makes this series stand out so much from anything else I've read. Everything is real and awkward and uncomfortable. Loved it, even though there were some weaknesses of writing and character.

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  3. I like the sound of the honesty of the book, but the telling instead of showing aspect is a bit concerning.

    Nice review!

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  4. Great review -- Dom sounds like a fantastic character. I had NO idea what this book was about, except that the cover gave me flashbacks to my childhood Ken doll…
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

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  5. I've heard so many great things about this book already Taylor, so I'm glad that it left such a great impression with you. I'm always on the lookout for something different in the New Adult category and I think this may finally be it. Wonderful review!

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  6. Very good review. I like the sound of these books. Just received Single girl and can't wait to read it.

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  7. I would never have picked up this book from the cover, but it actually sounds very funny. Dom sounds like someone I can easily relate to. Thanks for the lovely review :)

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  8. BAHAHA the cover of this book is priceless! It seems super interesting and cool, I'm not a huge fan of New Adult novels, but when I feel like one I'll definitely pick this up, after reading your glowing review. Lovely review, Taylor! <3

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  9. It's great to know that you found Dom a believable character. I'm going to add this one to my read-list. Thanks!

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