Allison and I were contacted by the author of Anatomy of a Boyfriend to see if we'd like to receive a copy of her book to review on the blog. We were very excited and of course said yes! I received the book in the mail last week and dived in yesterday.
It is a very candid account of a high school girl's first real relationship with a boy and the highs and lows of dealing with that. The main character, Dominique (Dom) is seventeen and very focused on her college applications, planning to be premed, and hanging out with her best friend, Amy.While hanging out with Amy at a football game, Dom meets Wes and almost immediately becomes completely preoccupied with him. The relationship moves along quickly. Dom and Wes become consumed with each other spending the last spring of high school together and the summer before college. Then off they go to separate colleges and their perfect relationship takes an inevitable turn.
I received a bookmark along with the book, which says, "An unflinching account of teen love, sex and heartbreak". I think the sex part should be first there. The first half of the novel was filled with a lot of description about Dom and Wes's sexual relationship. Actually, the experiences leading up to the eventual "deed", on prom night no less. As I was reading, I kept thinking to myself, "Is this what the whole book is going to be like?" It was very honest and Snadowsky did not hold back with the details. I was actually a little disappointed in the first half of the book because I was looking for more story and it seemed to me I was just reading about the characters going at it. However, around page 137 or so the story turns when Dom receives her college acceptance letters. The second half of the book is much more story driven and details the feelings of going off to college and leaving your best friend and boyfriend and trying to maintain long distance relationships.
I thought Snadowsky's book was quite accurate to many people's experiences senior year of high school and going off to college. She captures the first semester of college quite well from the shock of a bad test grade, to trying to have a relationship with a guy who is hundreds of miles away, while meeting new people who seem interesting. I also thought Snadowsky portrayed parents in the book well from a teenager's point of view. They seemed kind of lame but caring. They tried to be understanding and there for Dom if she needed them.
The bookmark I mentioned above also says "For ages 14 and up". I think I would put this at more like age 16 and up. Not that I'm naive, I know there are kids younger out there having sex. But I felt like this was almost a "how-to" book and I'm not sure I would want my daughters reading this at age 14. I'm hoping they have no clue about this stuff at age 14. :-) On another parental sidenote (sorry, I am a parent, it's hard to separate from that): I did like how Dom was portrayed in the sexual relationship. She took responsibility for herself about being safe so they would not be unprepared for the moment. I also thought it was interesting that Snadowsky portrayed Wes as the one who was holding back in the beginning. It's not often you think about the boy being nervous and holding back. The author also portrays the best friend as being sexual, but in an "anything BUT" kind of way. Amy has a goal of waiting until college. I think it was great to portray her with a goal and sticking to it. Overall, Snadowsky treats the topic of sex very responsibly in the book.
If you're looking for an honest account of an adolescent relationship, this is the book for you. Published in hardcover in 2007, you can find Anatomy of a Boyfriend in paperback in a few weeks! You can learn more about Daria Snadowsky here.