July 11, 2013

Latest Read: Anatomy of a Boyfriend

Here are the basics ...
Anatomy of a Boyfriend (Anatomy, #1) by Daria Snadowsky
Publication date: January 9, 2007
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: Received from author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

Summary: 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. (Adapted goodreads.com)
My thoughts…
The good: When I think about Anatomy of a Boyfriend, the first word that comes to mind is candid. Uncomfortably, hilariously and realistically candid. It actually reminded me of how I felt when I read Fifteen by Judy Blume in middle school. Except that book I needed to hide from my mom when I realized it dealt with teenagers having sex (true story: she found the book in my room anyway and told me to return it to the library pronto, not knowing that I had finished it already).

Dominique is your girl-next-door type. Nice, smart, good relationship with her parents, best friend, already knows she wants to be a doctor. She's on the "right path" and while she definitely thinks about guys a lot, no one's ever really held her interest. Until she meets Wes at her best friend, Amy's, high school track meet. And like many girls falling in love for the first time, her days quickly start to revolve around Wes. Will he email/IM/call me today? Does he like me? When is he going to kiss me? When are we going to do more? What I loved about the author's portrayal of Dominique was that it felt effortlessly real. She wasn't trying to make Dominique cool or mature for her age. She was just Dom - awkward, occasionally crazy, over-analytical, and neurotic about her first love and all the things that come with that feeling. We may not want to admit we've done or acted the same way as Dom out loud but let's face it, we all have at some point.

But I really give kudos to the author on her portrayal of Dom's first time with Wes. I don't think it's a spoiler to say things head in that direction. And usually when there are "sexy times" in a book, it's meant to be that. Sexy and swoon-inducing. Not here though. And that's good thing. It (and many, many other moments) made me laugh out loud because it was so awkward! Refreshingly so. It captured all the uncertainty and fumbling of two teenagers having sex for the first time and exploring their sexuality. They just know they want to be together and are caught up in that feeling of loving each other. We get to follow the whole trajectory of Dom and Wes's relationship (with appearances by Dom's best friend and parents) and I enjoyed every second of it.

(Potential) reservations: It's a very sexual book and extremely straightforward. If that type of content makes you uncomfortable, this might not be for you. But I urge you to try reading this anyway.

Do I recommend?: Yes! I've been wanting to read this book for some time now and I'm so glad I finally got around to it. It's funny and I especially think any girl in high school should read this.

Happy reading!

4 comments:

  1. Great review! I really enjoyed this book as well and I totally agree --- I loved how realistic this book was. It was totally how I felt in high school with the phone calls/emails/IMs.
    I loved that the sex was portrayed more realistically instead of making it glamorous. Everything about this book felt -- yes, perfect word! -- candid and I felt like I really got to know Dom! :)

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  2. I cannot wait to read this series! I just received the first and second novels in the mail with the request to review them, and I've read nothing but wonderful things about how candid and realistic they are thus far. I love that Snadowsky seems unafraid of examining the tough subjects and doesn't sugar-coat them for her audience. Great review, Rachel! You've now made me all the more excited to read this book myself.

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  3. I'm so excited to pick up this book! Though lately it's been getting better, it's so hard to find realistic portrayals of romance and sex in YA, and it seems like this is exactly what this book offers. It's good to hear that it's funny as well—I can imagine that a sense of humor would make the realism Snadowsky offers even better!

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  4. YAY! This book was one I read in my early blogging days and really liked, mostly because I thought it was funny and real and smartly written. The author manages to make Dom so relatable, particularly in her awkwardness and her mixed emotions for the duration of the story. Reading about Dom + Wes brought me back to my own high school days (with non-relationships though, lol).

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