Saturday, 21 December 2013
Review: Anatomy of a Single Girl by Daria Snadowsky
Format: Hardcover / Paperback
Released: January 8th, 2013
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.
I read Daria Snadowsky's first book, Anatomy of a Boyfriend, in 2007, before I'd even started blogging or knew that book review blogs existed. I remember reading it quickly and enjoying it, and I remember liking how realistic it was in its portrayal of teenagers and sex. Snadowsky's books have been likened to Forever by Judy Blume which, I think, is one of the most accurate comparisons out there. These books are a no-holds-barred insight into a teenager's mind, and they're not even slightly afraid to tell all.
Anatomy of a Single Girl is a sequel of sorts, continuing Dominique's story and letting us glimpse into her first year at college as a pre-med student. Dom is now eighteen and still getting over a bad break-up, one that's chronicled in Anatomy of a Boyfriend. Although this is a sequel, it's one that can be read by itself without any prior knowledge of characters or previous books. Past events are referred to vaguely, allowing Anatomy of a Single Girl to stand on it's own feet and not be hampered by a need to seek out the first book.
Dom's first summer break is the basis for Anatomy of a Single Girl, as she makes her way back home to her parent's house and an internship at a hospital. There she meets Guy, a boy who quickly becomes more to her than a stranger and opens her eyes to the wonders of casual sex and short-term relationships. Dom experiences new things, new situations and new people, while figuring out if this lifestyle is for her. She's still super mature and has a tendency to over think everything, though that's her and that's how she operates. She's methodical rather than spontaneous, but all that is about to change.
I really appreciate the candid honesty of Snadowsky's books and I think more YA authors should follow in her footsteps. There can never be too much emphasis on a young adult's awakening and exploration, as this stuff happens and it's part of real life. I didn't have a problem with any of it aside from a pretty detailed account of one of Dom's medical procedures, which made me feel a bit queasy and almost prompted me to skip a few pages. Ha!
I'm glad these books exist and I'm glad that older teens have a chance to see a fictional side of themselves that is often omitted in YA fiction. There's sexual content, yes, and I'm sure some parents will object to their daughter's reading it, but in the end it's all based around realism and what actually goes on in the life of an eighteen-year-old. Snadowsky writes with a searing honesty, an honesty that I'm sure will help a number of teenagers realise that they're not alone as they approach a scarily adult world.