Sunday, June 30, 2013

Rachel Rambles About Anatomy of a Boyfriend and Anatomy of a Single Girl

Today I'm rambling about not just one book, but TWO books! Since I read both of these books in a single day (the exact same day they arrived in the mail, actually) I thought it was only appropriate that I ramble about them in a single post.

Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky
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 Single Girl by Daria Snadowsky
From Goodreads:
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.

These books are often compared to books by Judy Blume, and after reading them, I totally understand and agree with the comparison. Anatomy of a Boyfriend and Anatomy of a Single Girl are realistic, honest portrayals of an important time in a young person's life, which is the basic formula for a Judy Blume book.

In Anatomy of a Boyfriend, Dominique experiences a relationship, love, college, and (most importantly) sex for the first time. All of these firsts are treated in a very raw and unfiltered way. Nothing was sugarcoated, and Daria Snadowsky did not hold back. This includes the sex scenes, which I'll admit, were uncomfortable to read at times. But I was so grateful to finally read a book where sex was portrayed as it really is. Few forms of media for teenagers portray sex accurately, but the sex in Anatomy of a Boyfriend is awkward, uncomfortable, and not glamorous. Because of the way this book deals with sex, I think it's one of those books that every teenager (especially teenage girls) should read. I found it so refreshing to read such an honest depiction of a topic that can be so controversial in books. 

Anatomy of a Single Girl is about Dominique's experience as a single girl in college, with all the scary firsts behind her and a future as an adult ahead of her. Like Anatomy of a Boyfriend, this book has a lot of sex. But there's a huge difference in the sex scenes in the two books. The first book has a ton of super-detailed, awkward, uncomfortable scenes, but in Anatomy of a Single Girl, the sex scenes are less graphic and easier to read. The sex scenes start to focus less on what Dominique does, and more on how she feels. In this book, Dominique starts to become a confident and independent young woman, and there is no question that she is a lot more mature than she was in the beginning of Anatomy of a Boyfriend.

Both of these books are incredibly honest and realistic, but they're also really fun to read. The stories are entertaining and they move fast, and since Dominique's experiences as a teenage girl are easy to relate to, the books feel familiar. The Anatomy books are about Dominique growing up and experiencing new things and making mistakes and learning from them, and I felt like I was right there beside Dominique as she went on her journey. I think these books can teach readers a lesson or two, but they're also just fun stories that are easy to get lost in.

I'm so glad I read Anatomy of a Boyfriend and Anatomy of a Single Girl at this time in my life. I'm halfway through high school, with so many firsts and new experiences ahead of me, and it's comforting to know that I'll have these books as a sort of guideline, if I need them. Much like Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume helped many young girls (including me) get through their preteen years, I think the Anatomy books can have a huge impact on teenagers and young adults.

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