Sunday, September 28, 2008

Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky


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.

Grade: B

Thanks to Daria for the book! (As an add-on to our conversation, yup, I pretty much finished it the day I received it.)

For those who’ve been living under some sort of an airtight boulder for the past month or so in which this book has been making appearances at possibly every book blog in the immediate blogosphere, I’d just like to say something to you that I can claim “you heard it here first” dibs on:

Wes is a douche.

(That’s the Romeo in this tragedy.)

I liked him and all the first time we see him, when Dominique is bladder-bursting to get to the nearest Port-O-Potty. (Which gives you some keen insight on the kind of background action that suits him.) Afterwards, I begin hating him with intense distaste, and can’t help but wonder what is it about him that makes Dominique crave for him to get her laid.

It’s a question worth good pondering, I assure you.

But moving on. Now that I’ve gotten my rants about Wet-Wes out of the way, let me talk a little about the actual book:

I like that this is a non-smutty graphic book. Because, see, while I enjoy the Gossip Girl series (up until the eighth book, that is) (they’re trashy, but worthwhile to read if you’re in the mood for catty-magazine-like novels (which I occasionally am, yes)! but worthy of solid Ds in literary quality, before anyone smites me) they do absolutely nothing for the girls reading them in terms of better understanding their own sexuality.

Now for a little Steph psychobabble (skip if you’ve not read the novel, or if you’re hoping to remain awake—or alive, depending on how easily bored you are. Go down until the other marker for where you can start reading again. For your health, ya know):

And the thing is, even though I detested Wes, I can see how it was necessary for his character to be the way he is. Because the way I view it, this story was meant to depict a positive first sexual experience. But then it had to turn sour. Not the experience, mind, because it was still positive in its own time; rather, the relationship. It is in my understanding that most YA authors dealing almost-exclusively with sex depict either a horrible first time—or a magical one. So, personally, I view the message here, similar to what I take Forever’s to be (never read the book), is: It’s possible to have an all-consuming moment in time with someone and then have it be spoiled.

If that made any sense whatsoever. I’m not the best at articulation. >.<

So, back to why it was necessary for Wes to be a loser: It wouldn’t be Dominique who’d ruin the “relationship”. (Okay, they viewed it as special; I viewed it as dysfunctional. Another thing this book’s good for: depicting a rather bad relationship that is perceived as a positive for those involved.) Ever. She was always committed to him. Dominique needed to be exactly the way she was for this story to work—slightly bratty, but largely well-meaning and unique in her scientific vernacular. The mature (but only in theory) one of the two.

Thus, her counterpart needed to be someone who, every so often, had the ability to grow a pair (you know, for fornicating), but had no means whatsoever of cultivating...them. Someone with the emotional maturity of a goldfish. Enter Wes.

(If you haven’t read the book and/or wanted to avoid boredom, here's where you can start reading again.)

I liked the book. I do think it’d be good for every girl to pick it up at some time or another, but not for life lessons or anything, just for a little culture. However, be warned that if you’re looking for a wholesome book (with a lot of emotional content, and more than just a relationship), this isn’t it. Like I said, their relationship is all consuming. You are literally reading solely about what they did, who they were, and how it all went to the shitter. The narrow focus may become claustrophobic for anyone expecting any more.

Oh, and for the record, I dislike the shortening of Dominique to Dom. It just rubs me as a sound Jabba the Hutt would make. (Or, at least that’s how I pictured it when Wes saw Dominique topless for the first time—“Dom!” *cringe*)


Kelsey said...

I see your point. But I still really liked the book.

And, omg, I just started laughing when you said Wes was a douche(sp?). that was hilarious. Hialrious review.

Amee said...

I agree with Kelsey, "Wes was a douche" was hilarious.

Great review! I can't wait to read this book! If Daria is reading this, just know that I do plan on reviewing it still! I haven't forgotten (it will just be on the new blog instead of Ravenous). ;)

Anonymous said...

I got this book recently from Harmony when she sent back the books she'd borrowed from me. I'm looking forward to reading it- I've been eyeing this book probably since it first came out, lol.

Great review!

Lenore Appelhans said...

Any review that references Jabba the Hutt gets an A+ from me!

Alea said...

I agree, didn't care for the "Dom" nickname. Sounds kind of like a guy. "Yo Dom! What's up..." Just isn't feminine at all.

Diana Peterfreund said...

I haven't read this book, but Steph, you MUST read Forever. No, really. It's an absolute MUST. I actually only read it for hte first time a few years ago when I was, um, engaged to be married, so well beyond that whole first love thing, but it's such a good book. Different than this because I think it depicts a positive sexual experience in the context of a healthy teenage relationship, and how that's all still possible to have without it being, well, "forever."

Diana Peterfreund said...

I also think Dom for a girl is kinda cute. Count me in the minority.

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Hey! For some reason, this embedded comment form makes most people click twice before the comment is processed and published. It's not you - it's just that it's a new Blogger feature with kinks and all that. (But I adore it and don't wanna get rid of it!) I removed Captcha to make the process easier. You don't have to rewrite the comments twice; just click on SUBMIT twice and it should work. If not, email me. Thanks! -Steph