Anatomy of 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.
I love Dom - she is such a fun character. She is so awkward at times, funny at others, and really just truly great person. She brings her medical brain mentality to every situation and at some times, it is a bit funny. Her and her other half, Amy, are such a great pair - I love that even though they are going to school across the country from one another, they can remain best friends.
While Anatomy of a Boyfriend is what I would call an excellent read for teens, I think Anatomy of a Single Girl is equally as important. In addition to being just as honest, Anatomy of a Single Girl puts more of a stress on the importance of both friendship and family, which I thought was great.
In a sequel that I enjoyed more than the first, Daria Snadowsky has written an important tale showing many of the ups and downs of a college student's first year. While everyone has a different experience, Dom's story is one that most people would be able to relate to.
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.
What Left Me Wanting More:
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.
The Final Verdict:
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.
This time around Dom is moving on. She's on that dangerous precipice of 'a rebound' but she blows through it. She realizes new things about herself along the way, too.
The plot is a lot like the first book. There is a whole lot of sex and a few insights. However, I think in the end she does finally realize what it means to be comfortable in your skin and move on. Dom had a lot of anger left over from her break up with her ex. That anger lead to some weird feelings, but she got it all sorted out.
I really liked her new boy-toy. He was a nerdy, hot sort of character. I wish he had lasting presence though. I'm a bit sad to see that Dom used him up for a summer fling and then left. Hopefully, he will come back in another book to some capacity. The banter between the two of them was rather endearing, when it wasn't smothered in sex.
I like the storylines in the books, but the amount of physical activity is starting to detract. It just seems like more emphasis is placed on a sexual awakening instead of the emotional growth needed to mature into an adult. Anatomy of a Single Girl had a bit more grit than the first book, so I hope as the series continues the story will become more than just a romp between the sheets.
This is the book that looks at what happens after all of those firsts that she had in the previous novel. We get to see another side of Dom, where she isn't struggling over trying to make someone happy and saying the right thing. She's just living in the moment and enjoying her life.
For the most part I really enjoyed the characters in this book as well. Dom has really matured and she now realizes that she doesn't need a man and can still have fun even while single. Amy, her best friend, is still just as wild and hilarious as well. She's still extremely carefree and some of the best scenes have her in them. I wasn't that big of a fan of Guy. Sure he was attractive and intelligent but at times I thought he was a complete jerk. It seemed like he wasn't willing to put the time in after the summer with Dom so he'd just let her go. I absolutely loved Calvin, he's Dom's friend from Toulane and he's the biggest sweetheart. I admit I was hoping they would end up together but I am kind of glad that they didn't just jump into a relationship.
This is a great sequel and I definitely recommend that every girl checks out this series. It's honest and real but it's also funny at the same time. This is a book that I will definitely be re-reading in the future and I will be keeping an eye out for Daria Snadowsky's future works.
This copy was received from the author for review purposes and did not effect my opinions in any way. The opinions expressed in this review were mine alone.