Publisher: Ember (Random House)
Series: Anatomy of Boyfriend #1
Age Group: Young Adult/New Adult
Source: From author in exchange for an honest review
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.First off, a round of applause to Daria Snadowsky for the (sometimes funny, sometimes cute, sometimes AWKWARD) way she wrote about sex. It's unflinchingly honest and full of all the shyness and excitedness of being a teenager. Also, kudos to her for writing about a female character who explores her sexuality unabashedly- I mean, how many stories (including many of the classics taught in school) involve a male character figuring out sex. Compare that number to books with girl protagonists. It's stacked much higher in the boy's favor, which is why Anatomy of a Boyfriend is so important.
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.
Dominique is smart. She's safe. And she also likes exploring sex with her boyfriend, and that doesn't make her a "slut" or worth any less as a person. Heck, I'd go as far to say that she becomes empowered. Even her best friend, Amy, who is more freewheeling with boys is never shamed. It's so utterly refreshing.
Also, I have to say that Snadowsky has created one of the most realistic teenage boy characters I've ever read about in Wes. He doesn't say or do all of the right things; he can be awkward and shy and selfish. That doesn't mean is he isn't sweet or cute other times, but let's face it: a lot of high school boys aren't like Noah Shaw or William Herondale or even (I'm sorry, but) Augustus Waters. Wes fits in with how realistic the rest of the novel is and, as I said above, it is really refreshing.
Anatomy of a Boyfriend does something really cool, too, in that it takes place during Dom's transition from high senior to college student. We get to see her at both points in her life and I think it's great that that transition period is showcased, since it so rarely is. (Although with New Adult, maybe we'll see more? And there are these books set in college.)
My only complaint- and it's a pretty small one- is that I was a little confused about the setting. The thing is, this is in no way something that could be fixed. Let me explain: I thought Anatomy had come out sooner, but it turns out it was published in 2007, back when AIM was still mostly popular. But when I was reading the book, I thought it was set closer to 2013. Thus the whole time, I was so confused thinking, what teenagers use AIM and email so much? (Although I love emailing, to be honest.) Just goes to show how much technology has evolved in almost 7 short years!
Despite that (truly insignificant) qualm, Anatomy is a very quick read and a worthwhile one, too! (Just know that it was published in 2007 so you don't scratch your head over AIM, haha!)
For Fans Of: Jersey Angel by Beth Ann Bauman
How do you feel about technology in contemporary books?