Anatomy of a Single Girl by Daria Snadowsky Review

Monday, September 23, 2013

Title: Anatomy of a Single Girl
Author: Daria Snadowsky (Twitter)
Publisher: Delacorte BYR
Publish Date: January 8, 2013
Genre: YA/NA, Contemporary
Pages: 277
Source: Author

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.
After a brief, hot, fantastic and fleeting relationship with her very first boyfriend, Dominique is now single (and ready to mingle). But it's so much easier said than done. Now that she's had a taste of first love, that rush and all the fun and excitement that comes with it, Dom is hooked and she wants more. To complicate things, Dom is now a pre-med student, and her life is busy, but Dom finds the perfect solution with Guy, a studious guy who, like herself, is looking for all the fun but none of the hassle. But a no-strings-attached relationship isn't as cut and dried as she might hope. Complications abound and, well, being single is often just as tricky as being in a relationship.

In the interest of full disclosure, I feel it's necessary to state that I did not actually read the first book in this series, as the author informed me that the books can read well as stand-alone novels. Anatomy of a Single Girl is a witty, humourous and engaging take on the rebound from a failed first love. Author, Daria Snadowsky, has crafted a novel that is sure to ring true, giving many a reader a chuckle reminiscing about their youth, their naivety and that overwhelming desire to find "the one." Often times heartfelt and sweet, other times serious and true, Anatomy of a Single Girl has a little bit of something for everyone.

I have to admit that I'm not entirely certain where I stand on Anatomy of a Single Girl though. There were a good many times in the novel that I found myself making note of Ms. Snadowsky's exemplary ability to paint a realistic and somewhat educational take on intimate relationships. Then, however, I would have pause, remembering that this is an actual novel - not a textbook. In the same breath though, I love that the book is written clearly and decisively with fully-fleshed out characters with whom you can empathize and relate. It seems to me that there were two stark contrasts in this novel. One the one hand, we're given a sweet and engaging tale of a girl navigating a series of firsts in her relationship and finding a guy (no pun intended) who is willing to share in these experiences and teach her along the way. On the other hand though, there was a part of me that couldn't help but think that this novel was erring on the side of a safe-sex handbook. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy the laugh-out-loud moments in which Dom interacted with her parents, the shedding of the black-and-white images of relationships today and the super sexy Guy that we get to see as Dom's rebound. I guess I'd simply gone into the novel expecting more of a syrupy sweet story of a girl looking to overcome being single again and find a guy who is willing to be more than just a friend with benefits. Colour me a prude, but I  feel as though the sexual situations were just too frank in this novel, and it almost marred the fact that this is actually a sweet, realistic and believable coming-of-age tale. In truth, with a host of great characters, an accessible writing style and a great premise, this book should have been a slam-dunk for me, but I was left a bit...well, wanting.

Overall, Anatomy of a Single Girl wasn't a bad book, but it wasn't exactly what I was expecting either. Though it's marketing to a fairly YA audience, I don't think it's necessarily appropriate as such. I would say this is much more of an upper YA and NA tale. I give it a 3 out of 5 for the engaging writing, and I recommend it to the aforementioned age markets and those who enjoy contemporary stories.

I received this book free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.


  1. I have seen this series quite a lot around the blogosphere and I am really not a fan of that cover- I wouldn't pick it up if it weren't for the reviews.

    Fab review as usual! <33

    1. You know, I can deal with the cover as it's so different and unique. However, I'm just not sure the content worked well enough for me. The sexual situations are tasteful and frank, but they totally read educational.

  2. I've heard this duology described to be unusually realistic, so it's interesting that you compared it to a textbook at times! I definitely think I'll be checking this out, only because so many of my friends have loved it and I'm glad to see you enjoyed it as well. Great review, Melissa!

    1. I think that it's a well-written and frank take on it all, Keertana, and you might definitely enjoy it! I had a few issues with it, but it was definitely a thoughtful novel that I'd recommend :)

  3. Interesting. I've been reading more NA lately, and I'm always looking for new ones. Thanks for the review!

  4. I absolutely get what you're saying Melissa! I read an adult romance recently where the love scenes read very matter of fact and had a very textbook like feel, and that was definitely off putting for me. Given this is YA it's a little different, as like you said I can appreciate approaching sex in a more frank way for a teenage audience (albeit an older one), but it does yank you out of the story a bit and make you remember you're reading. I think I'll pass on this one, but brilliant review as always!

  5. I saw this book a couple of times before and I thought of picking up.. Well lucky I didn't because I'm only 15 and I had NO IDEA it deals with these subjects. Thanks for warning me :P

    Great review BTW :)

    Sapir @ Diary of a Wimpy Teen Girl

  6. I've only read Anatomy of a Boyfriend so far, although I have them both, and I adored the honesty of it all. It is an extremely realistic portrayal of a firts relationship, so I pretty much know what to expect here too. I know what you mean about it being TOO open at times, but it creates a nice ballance with the rest of YA lit, or the vast majority of it that just skips right over the intimate moments.
    While it can be a burden for the narrative, I think this kind of honesty is pretty healthy.
    Wonderful review!

  7. Do you think the sex was more blatant than in many NA novels? I haven't read much NA and think it would be an adjustment to get used to the differences.

  8. That's too bad that the textbook-aspect dragged the actual story down a little bit...but, it sounds like a good book to get from the library.

    Nice review :)

  9. I can do frank if it's a hot mess frank - like J R Ward or J Lynn, but the 'textbook' feel is not me. Awesome review honey, glad you enjoyed some aspects of this one, thanks for the helpful guidance. :-)


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