21 June 2013

Book Review: Anatomy Of A Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky

Title: Anatomy Of A Boyfriend
Author(s): Daria Snadowsky
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher / Date: Delacorte Books for Young Readers / January 9, 2007
Series: Anatomy (Book #1)

Disclosure: I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

"It's like I've discovered the meaning of life---to love and be loved. Sure, my parents and I love eachother, but we have no choice. We're family. Love seems so much more special when it comes from someone who has no obligation to feel it."

Case Study
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. 
(synopsis from Goodreads)

The Game's Afoot
This is a book about sex. Let's talk about sex baby. Let's talk about you and me. Let's talk about all the good things and the bad things... okay, sorry. I just wanted an excuse to hum a few bars of that song. But yeah, Anatomy Of A Boyfriend is totally a sex book. And it's not just about any ol' kind of sex. Oh no. It's about teenage-first-time sex. Awkwaaaaard.

Exactly. So I have a confession. I really didn't know too much about this book before I read it but Daria was kind enough to send me a copy and I thought, "Hey! Cool!" Plus, I saw the naked Ken doll on the cover and had an inkling it would be juicy. And you know what? I love it when I'm right!

Though Anatomy Of A Boyfriend features sex, it's one of those books that's about more than just raunchy foreplay. Rather, it's a coming of age story that explores one girl's tumultuous journey through first love, devastating heartbreak and self discovery. Dom isn't a super hero. She doesn't save the day or have any special powers. She's just your average-bordering-on-goody-goody teenage girl who's got a serious case of the book smarts. And in addition to all her nerdiness, this book features positive female friendships and strong parental relationships which is something that seems to be lacking in many popular YA books. Authors: More of this please! And what made Dom really resonate with me was the fact that she wasn't perfect. She was far from it! But that made her easy to connect with, faults and all. She's naive and vulnerable and inexperienced despite, at times, thinking she's got it all figured out. I mean, isn't that everyone in high school though?

On a side note: Apparently some reviewers were surprised by the sex-stuff, which I really don't get because, hellooo! The book is called ANATOMY Of A Boyfriend. And, well. There's a naked Ken doll on the cover. So yeah. I really don't think Snadowsky could've spelled it out any more literally. But that's beside the point. 

What I really appreciated was how tastefully the sex stuff was written. There is no S&M, 50 Shades shit going on. It's authentic and clumsy and awkward as hell. It'll make you uncomfortable. But let's be real here---isn't that the point? I mean, was your first time this super lengthy, totally orgasmic, glamorously erotic sex fest? I don't think so. This is the real deal, baby, and it'll make you cringe. Snadowsky presents sex (done safely!) and teen relationships in a very honest way and that's something I can and do support. 

I will say this, though. I did get pretty frustrated with Dom  frequently throughout the book. For starters, I really didn't get what she saw in Wes. As a character, I found him kind of blah. So apparently they've got this instant connection and from there she goes from reserved and sensible to being crazy obsessed (or just plain crazy). Eventually, she let's Wes completely dictate her happiness and that drove me nuts. I often found myself with the need to play the older-sister-with-more-wisdom and sit down and talk some sense into the girl. If I could have, I would've given her the following advice: Happiness should be on your OWN terms. You can't expect to make anyone else happy if you can't first be happy with yourself. This isn't it. I know it feels like it is, but it's not. It does get better, TRUST ME on this one.

SPOILER ALERT: Then there's the matter of Dom's broken heart. Honestly, I liked that her and Wes' relationship ended, So many times contemporary books set readers (specifically the younger ones) up for unrealistic expectations when it comes to relationships. But life just isn't that way. Things don't always work out, and when they do fail, it never ends in the way you think/want it to.

But I guess that's why this book was so great, because it evoked such strong emotions out of me. It was relatable on nearly every level. It brought about those "does he, doesn't he like me" memories. It made me think of when I had my heart broken for the first time. And yes, I thought about sex. It's funny reading it now with the hindsight and wisdom of someone who's been through it all before. It makes me wish I had read it as a teenager, if only to see what my reactions would've been back then. Either way, it was an enjoyable read with astoundingly realistic characters in easily relatable situations and I'm happily devouring the sequel as we speak. 

Summary Prognosis
I think Anatomy Of A Boyfriend is the perfect book for young girls because, not only is it teen-worthy, but it teaches so much. Even for us "older" folks, it serves as a great walk down memory lane. This is the type of book that shows no matter how smart you might be, when it comes to emotions and relationships, everyone has the potential to go a little crazy. And it shows us that that's okay because that's what high school is all about. It's about doing and loving and learning and always, always, always growing from those experiences. If I had a younger sister, I'd definitely be giving this book to her!

Rating: ★★★★

Read It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble 
Discuss It: Goodreads | Author's Website 


  1. This is such a "me" book and I really wanted to like it, but I made it through about 100 pages before giving up. I just didn't care for either Dom or Wes and the perfect grammar of their IMs and texts drove me nuts. But reading your review I love the message of the book that you describe and I agree that it's important to show realistic outcomes of teenage relationships.

    1. Aww, I'm sorry to hear that Maggie! I certainly wasn't a fan of Wes but I liked Dom (and LOOOOOOOVED her friend Amy even more). I know the IM's and stuff weren't too natural but I think, in part, that's just the type of girl that Dom is.

      What really made the book have staying power for me was the authenticity of the situations and how relatable the book truly was. Sometimes I did feel a bit frustrated with the story but I can definitely see how it would be perfect for someone a bit younger.

  2. This sounds great and I like that it doesn't portray unrealistic expectations about love and relationships. Fun cover too!

    1. The cover is very fun, indeed! The sequel has the same style cover as well. And yeah, I think the book portrays a strong and very real message which is perfect for younger girls. Sometimes it felt like I was a little too old for this book, but ultimately, the message was a positive one that I wish I'd been given at that age.


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