REVIEW: Anatomy of a Single Girl by Daria Snadowsky
Dear Ms. Snadowsky:
I was intrigued by this book because the cover is clever, I’m a fan of the New Adult movement, and this book seemed to be right within those parameters. The tagline reads “eighteen-year-old Dominique explores the relationship between love and lust, and the friendships that see us through.” To be fair, the book lives up exactly to that tagline. Throughout the course of the novel, Dom tries to figure out what she wants in a guy. We see her work through this issue by thinking about her friend, Calvin; her failed relationship with Wes; and her hookup Guy.
Bookending the story is the news of one of her friend’s engagements (who says she doesn’t want any one to be dateless at her wedding) and the friend’s marriage. The story traces Dom’s path through her hook up, her friend Amy’s tumultuous relationship (and Amy goes off on a weird rant about her boyfriend’s uncircumcised penis which was kind of offputting such as how it was disgusting looking and unhealthy because it caused a yeast infection).
This book is a sequel to Anatomy of a Boyfriend published in 2008. From the reviews in 2008, it appeared to be a much anticipated and longed for sequel, yet, I’m not sure if readers quite got what they had been waiting for. SPOILERS FOR ANATOMY AHOY.
At the end of Anatomy of a Boyfriend, Dominique has broken up with her first real boyfriend, Wes. At the start of Anatomy of a Single Girl, she is now in college and has somewhat resigned herself to not falling in love with anyone again. At the Lee County Hospital where Dom works as an intern for the summer, she meets Guy Davies who incites those familiar and exciting feelings of attraction. They embark on a casual sex only relationship wherein Dom experiences her first orgasm.
Dom’s voice if frank and fun. Her approach to her encounters with Guy are casual, more so than he might even care for. But their witty exchanges seemed forced. After Guy kisses Dom for the first time, he says
“Sorry, Dom. I wasn’t planning on doing that here. You’re just so freakin’ pretty, and under the moon, your hair’s, like, on fire.”
“Oh — No — It’s – I’m — Don’t worry about it.”
“We’d better stop, though. I feel nervous mackin’ on you with your parents inside. I don’t want to risk them catching us.”
Maybe that’s how kids talk these days but it seemed artificial. Dom is trying to figure out more about herself, particularly her feelings about love and connections. Her best friend Amy is getting married and everyone around her seems to be pairing up.
I think it would have been better conveyed had Dom not spent the entire time with Guy, having sex with him. While I appreciate the message that good sex isn’t equal to love, I felt like I spent the whole time spinning my wheels. Or going in one big circle. It may have been interesting had she been describing different hook ups but instead, she has one just long ongoing hookup with a guy she’s not really into.
I really think the crux of the problem with this book was the age old “it’s not you, it’s me” yarn. As Dom explores relationship ideas, everything seems revelatory to her. I just felt old. I get the sense that there will be a book 3 or more in this series, but I never found Dom interesting as a person. Her narration was dull and her encounters ordinary and the writing didn’t elevate these into interesting. C-
I don’t know a single teenager (and I’m not that old either) that uses the word “mackin’.”