What I'm Reading: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky

First, big thanks to author of Anatomy of a Boyfriend, Daria Snadowsky for sending me a copy of this one, as well as her companion piece, Anatomy of a Single Girl (I haven't read this one yet). I had seen the book around before Daria approached me about a review, but didn't know much about it (other than the naked man-doll on the front). So when it came in the mail, I was excited to get started.

Here's the summary 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.

I'm going to come out and admit that I did something with this book that I've never done before reading a book. And that's that I got online on Goodreads and read reviews of the book from my other reviewer friends. I did this before agreeing to read the book for review, because I wanted to make sure it was something I thought I could possibly get into. There were a lot of comments online about the inclusion of sex in the book and it making some people uncomfortable. So I wanted to make sure I was braced for that. 

What I Liked: 1) I loved the emotions this book invokes. The rush of first love...and all those other firsts. It's well-written in the sense that it will bring all of those emotions to the forefront, and it is easy to understand and empathize with a lot of what Dom is feeling. It made it very easy to feel like you were a part of the story. 2) Wes - I liked Wes (most of the time). The description of him in the summary is pretty accurate, especially when he is with Dom. He was a little bit of a surprise in some of the things he said and did, but I thought his characterization was great, and author Daria Snadowsky did an excellent job with both of her main characters. 3) I'm going to touch on the sex topic, because it can't be ignored in this book. First of all, I agree with some of what other reviewers have said - there are a lot of teenagers out there having sex, so it's not unrealistic to encounter that in a YA book. Secondly, and more specifically about the inclusion in this book, I felt that it was written as tactfully as possible. I'm one of these people who doesn't read stuff deemed as "erotica" because it makes me squeemy. But I didn't feel uncomfortable with the way it was done in Anatomy of a Boyfriend. Like I said, I thought that it was tactful, and fitting with the course of the story. So kudos to Daria for her ability to discuss that particular topic in the manner that she did!

What I Didn't Like: My chief complaint is about Dom. I liked her for the most part, but there were times when I felt she was a little...shallow. Especially in the beginning, when she's decided that she will have a boyfriend. You have to read it to see what I'm saying, but she's like, oh, boys aren't important to me, but now I've decided it's something I need to do while I'm in high school. She calls it something like an affair, or something. And then, 45 seconds later, she and Wes are going to be in a relationship. A) I wish this is how it worked, and B) The wishy-washy-ness of that whole exchange was both off-putting and out of character for her in the rest of the book.

Overall Thoughts: Anatomy of a Boyfriend is an easy read (I finished it in 2.5 hours) with a fun story line and some great characterization. I loved how the emotions swirling around in the book were able to bring up the own memories of those things, and I felt a lot of nostalgia while reading a long. That was my favorite part about it. I had a little issue with MC Dom in the beginning, but she sinks more into herself as the book goes on, and it did not hinder my enjoyment of the story. I hoped for a little more depth, but overall it was fun and enjoyable.

My Rating: 3.5 shots

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