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A Reader of Fictions: Review: Anatomy of a Single Girl

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Friday, April 5, 2013

Review: Anatomy of a Single Girl

Anatomy of a Single Girl
Anatomy, Book 2

Author: Daria Snadowsky
Pages: 240
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Source: For review from YA Books Central

Description from Goodreads:
With Judy Blume-like honesty and insight, this sequel to Anatomy of a Boyfriend is about life after first love--romance, sex, friendship, family, and the ups and downs of life as a single girl.

After everything that happened—my first boyfriend, my first time, my first breakup—jumping back into the dating game seemed like the least healthy thing I could do. It’s not that I didn’t want to fall in love again, since that’s about the best feeling ever. But as a busy college premed still raw from heartbreak, which is the worst feeling ever, I figured I’d lie low for a while. Of course, as soon as I stopped looking for someone, an impossibly amazing—and devastatingly cute—guy came along, and I learned that having a new boyfriend is the quickest way to recover from losing your old one.

The moment we got together, all my preconceptions about romance and sex were turned upside down. I discovered physical and emotional firsts I never knew existed. I learned to let go of my past by living in the present. It was thrilling. It was hot. It was just what the doctor ordered.

But I couldn’t avoid my future forever.

In Daria Snadowsky’s daring follow-up to Anatomy of a Boyfriend, eighteen-year-old Dominique explores the relationship between love and lust, and the friendships that see us through.

Prior Book in Series:
1: Anatomy of a Boyfriend

First Sentence: "The logical thing for me would be to date Calvin Brandon"

Where Anatomy of a Boyfriend tackles first love, first sexual experiences, and first heartbreak, The Anatomy of a Single Girl considers what comes after all that. Snadowsky delves into the mental recovery process and facing life and dating after the end of a relationship you were convinced would be forever, much as logic insists that most first loves don't end in marriage. The much-belated follow-up to Anatomy of a Boyfriend is thematically similar, but very, very different in overall message and frame of mind, yet another wonderful addition to literature for older teens.

Single and depressed, Dom doesn't know what to do with herself. Her parents and friends urge her to date to get over the last vestiges of love for Wes, to move on. At Tulane, her good friend, Calvin, really wants to date her, and she's seriously considering it, but she really struggles with whether she actually has romantic feelings for him. Sometimes she thinks there's something there, but other times not so much. I was SO glad to see this in a novel, because I felt like this SO MANY TIMES in college. When a good friend develops a crush on you, it is really hard distinguish between the love you have for them as a friend and romantic love, especially since you want to make them happy and would like to not be single. That can be a really tough line to draw, and I like that Snadowsky tackled the fine lines between different kinds of love.

The healthy attitude towards sex that I praised so much in the first book continues full steam ahead in Anatomy of a Single Girl. Her first love, Wes, was her only sexual experience, and Dom's not really sure what she's okay with now. She meets a highly attractive frat boy while home for the summer, and they have great chemistry. However, the relationship can only be for the summer. Dom has to decide whether she's okay with a relationship and sex for their own sake, or whether that will make her some kind of person she doesn't want to be. Her experiences with Guy, the frat guy, really open her up to new experiences and broaden her horizons.

Of course, Snadowsky continues to revel in the awkward moments of real life. Though Dom's sex life has dramatically improved, there's still no magic, immediately expert sex. Plus, there's a whole lot of rigamarole to get out of the way beforehand to be safe: getting tested and going on birth control. The description of her trip to the gynecologist was a bit more in depth than I personally would have liked, but it's honest and educational, without coming off like your over-eager health teachers in middle school.

This installment also focuses much less on romance overall, and more on Dom's relationships overall, none of which are especially romantic. Snadowsky dives into various kinds of friendship, like the two with the boys described above. She also gets more in depth into Dom's friendship with Amy, who becomes less of a sidekick now, as she goes through her own relationship problems. Both Amy and Dom turn out not to be quite who the other expected, and their friendship goes through some bumps.

There's also additional focus on Dom's parents, which is both good and bad. On the one hand, I like how involved and supportive her parents are, but the level of their nosiness is a little uncomfortable. They alternate between basically telling her not to get too serious in relationships and that she needs to play the field and telling her she shouldn't be going on dates. I couldn't really figure out their agenda, because they were so inconsistent.

Those that enjoyed Anatomy of a Boyfriend will also speed through Anatomy of a Single Girl. I think it's a bit stronger, with the writing coming across more authentically, and a very satisfying ending, though I do think there's space for more. I will be eagerly anticipating Snadowsky's next project, because writers who can be so open and honest are always a great find.

Rating: 3.5/5

Favorite Quote: "Hugs are really underrated."

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Blogger Jenni said...

I haven't read the first book in this series but I have to say that I want to get into this one now. I like how honest it sounds, like what you said about the sex and how she's no expert. In so many books they go at it and it's like they're porn stars and just great at it, hmm.. that's never been my experience even still! LOL I am also interested to see how this trip to the gynaecologist goes, those are the worst appointments in the world so I think I would be all squirmy reading it, just like I am under your tilted head stare. *runs*

April 5, 2013 at 9:45 AM  
Blogger brandileigh2003 said...

I have heard good things about the first, but haven't picked it up. Good to know that the positive carries over.

April 5, 2013 at 10:22 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

I have the first book in this series, and I really need to read it because I think I'll super like it, too. It doesn't seem like many books are honest about sex and relationships, and I am so happy to hear that this series is!

April 5, 2013 at 10:40 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

They're not perfect, but they're definitely entertaining and worth reading for being so unique in their honesty. BAHAHA, that is so true about all the virginal porn stars in books, and I'm just like *eye roll*

Yeah, it was definitely squirmy. Bleh.

April 5, 2013 at 10:43 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

They're really interesting, and worth checking out.

April 5, 2013 at 10:48 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I think you will like it. Not love it, but it's certainly a great take on everything.

April 5, 2013 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

I am really interested in reading these books after seeing your reviews. I like that they are really honest real books about real and normal situations in life. Awesome review!

April 5, 2013 at 11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this book. I was especially pleased with Snadowsky's portrayal of sex and relationships. It was refreshingly realistic. I think sometimes sex is either portrayed as wrong or it's perfect, and let's face it, sex can be really awkward sometimes. As can relationships. Plus, I found Dom to be down to earth and someone I could relate to. I did agree with you on the parent part, though. To me their relationship was a bit strange and they seemed almost too involved at times.

April 5, 2013 at 11:45 AM  
Blogger Audra said...

I would have loved this book in college. I'm glad to see YA fic that isn't focused on first sex = lifelong soul mate!

April 5, 2013 at 11:48 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

She has a scene where the MC goes to the gyno?! LOL! Was it supposed to be funny or serious? Because I'm pretty certain that if it were supposed to be serious, I'd still laugh. lol

April 5, 2013 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

I like the sound of this one a bit better than the first book - do you think they need to be read in order?

April 5, 2013 at 3:08 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I know Rachel read them out of order and still really liked this one. I don't think it would matter really.

April 5, 2013 at 3:18 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

You should be. They're so unique!

April 5, 2013 at 4:24 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

For real. And I loved that it showed her coming to grips with sex outside of a serious relationship, and her trying to figure out just what she's okay with for herself. Plus, the whole keeping emotions out of it thing. Just very interesting. Her parents needed to stop being so weird!

April 5, 2013 at 4:32 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Please. More of that.

April 5, 2013 at 4:32 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I think it was intended to be awkward funny.

April 5, 2013 at 4:32 PM  
Blogger Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

This sounds like a fun, interesting read on serious topics. Thanks for sharing this one.

April 6, 2013 at 12:36 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Alright, now you've really got me interested. The covers are cringe-worthy, but your review of both these books. I like that the author is frank and honest with themes like sex, friendships, and such. Most authors don't know how to do that, or are uncomfortable with that. I like the secondary characters like Amy get some page time too. I'm definitely going to have to think about reading these books, Christina! :)

Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

April 8, 2013 at 7:41 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Very much so.

April 9, 2013 at 10:11 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Ha, I think the covers are kind of funny, but I totally see what you mean. They fit the books, though, in the way they challenge stereotypes and such. If you do, I'll be curious to hear how you feel about them.

April 9, 2013 at 10:11 AM  

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