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Anatomy of a Single Girl by Daria Snadowsky
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Anatomy of a Single Girl

by Daria Snadowsky

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There are some books in life that you know your life is better because of. This isn't one of those books. To be honest, I probably wouldn't have read this book if I hadn't checked it out at the same time as I checked out the first book in the series. I didn't like that book and I didn't like the continuation of the neurotic drama that is Dominique Baylor's sex life.

Like with the first book, everything was clinical. I know that Dom wants to be a doctor, but it almost felt like the author was trying to give the readers a sexual health lesson. It also had the tone of "we're going to explore casual sexual relationships, but if you have them, then your life may be vapid/meaningless".

Another repeating theme was the obsession with appearance. I know that Dom is 18 and that is a big emotional thing for an eighteen year old girl, so maybe it could get a bit of a pass. The big exception I have with giving it that pass is that it seemed to imply that because Dom was now at a lower weight than she was before that she was smarter and more worthy of praise than she was at the higher weight. It might give readers the idea that people who are bigger are less intelligent or less deserving of respect. It focuses on judging a person based upon their body alone and that's a very dangerous path for thoughts to take.

The characters within the book are annoying. Well, there aren't really any other characters than Dom. Sure, she's staying at her parents' apartment, she's with Guy, she talks about Cal, and she has conversations with Amy, but it feels like everything has to center on pleasing Dom. With her very neurotic personality, it's impossible to please her, so there are around 225 pages of Dom just whining. She's a horrible friend. She's extremely judgmental of anyone who doesn't bend to her ideas. She regularly disparages Amy's sex life (again) and continues on her sex-negativity even as she uses Guy as a sex toy for the Summer. She would actually judge Amy for simply talking to or flirting with a guy because (to Dom) this behavior is something that should happen between two people who are working towards getting married and having lots of babies one day. And when she realizes that this outcome isn't going to happen with Guy, what does she do? She doesn't stay away from him. She uses him to get off. He doesn't sacrifice the cutesy stuff in the relationship to have sex, she does. And when he wants to do other stuff, she's controlling and manipulative. It's really like she becomes this huge train-wreck of a character.

The writing in this book wasn't horrible, but it was worse than the first book. There was little actual insight and there was no real entertainment value. Because it wasn't a complete suckfest, I'm still going to go with two stars, but it just barely earned that second star. ( )
  janersm | Nov 6, 2014 |
A wonderful coming of age story that explores first love, first heartbreak, and the first steps into adulthood. If you're young, and just coming of age, you'll relate to the events your going through in life. If you're older, it'll bring back your own youth. Overall, a great quick read that is just about sure to stir something in any female reader.

*I received this book in exchange for an honest review.* ( )
  Amy_J | Jul 10, 2014 |
Originally reviewed at: RJ Does Books!

Anatomy of a Single Girl is the sequel to Anatomy of a Boyfriend (2008) and finds Dom, now in college, heading home for a break. The book picks up a short while after the ending of the first book and continues with the exploration and metamorphosis of a single girl with a broken heart.

Right of the bat it’s safe to say that didn’t quite love the first novel, but I still enjoyed it. It was blunt, it was interesting, and yes—it was sexy in some parts. The sequel is very much the same though I can say I enjoyed this one a bit more. There were some parts where Dom irritated me a bit and others that had me agreeing or relating to how she acted. I think what detracted from the story here, for me at least, was that I was waiting for Dom to go all out and have fun. For the most part she stayed in a singular repeated setting, never doing anything exciting until just before the end. I understand heartbreak to the fullest extent, however after reading more than enough pages of her sulking around about her ex, it got a little irritating. I would have liked her to have forgotten that loser early on and had fun, or explore the cute as heck thing going on at the beginning of the book with Calvin that was pretty much abandoned for another storyline with Guy that fell flat.

While reading I also discovered some things to be over-detailed and others to be under-detailed. Perhaps I’ve been spoiled over the past few months with other novels, but I feel like the sex scenes were a little too abrupt and didn’t quite have enough passion—then again it shows how realistic this book is by showing a more practical approach to sex. (Hey, not everyone gets the rose petals, candles, and sensual R&B music playing in the background.) But then there were other things that provided too-much detail, such as what I can only imagine to be an accurate account of a pap smear procedure, nearly step-by-step.

It is incredibly evident that the author is not one to shy away from saying what needs to be said, being as brutally honest as possible, and really giving it to you straight to paint a realistic story. This is definitely worth commending as it is an incredible challenge to be so dauntless. There is such detail behind Dom’s field and obvious love and dedication behind the creation and execution of each character.

(Minor Spoiler Ahead)

If only this book revolved around Calvin and Dom’s story I may have ended up liking it a lot more than I did. Or maybe it’s because after reading the first, I really wanted Dom to finally end up with someone who was worth it.

If you are looking for a realistic novel of firsts, seconds, and what comes after then this series may be right up your alley. However, if you’re a bit more like me and like those happily ever afters, then you may be a tad bit disappointed here.
READ MY REVIEW OF ‘ANATOMY OF A BOYFRIEND’ HERE

*I would like to thank Daria Snadowsky for sending me a finished copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review! ( )
  RJGonzales | Sep 10, 2013 |
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.

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.

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. ( )
1 vote A_Reader_of_Fictions | Apr 1, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 038573798X, Hardcover)

With Judy Blume-like honesty and insight, this sequel to Anatomy of a Boyfriend is about life after first love--romance, sex, friendship, family, and the ups and downs of life as 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.
 

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:35 -0400)

"Sequel to Anatomy of a Boyfriend, in which college pre-med Dominique explores love and lust"--Provided by publisher.

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