I read this book two days after reading the first book, Anatomy of a Boyfriend, both in one sitting; they were that amazing (and quick to read as well). I mentioned this in my first review, but I'm going to mention it in this one as well: these books are the reason I want to get back into contemporary fiction. I am a picky contemporary reader, but Anatomy of a Single Girl, hit all the right targets for me. Introspective, intelligent, and slightly ignorant main character: check. Realistic and relatable situations: check. Witty dialogue and eye-opening situations: check mate.
The ultimate strength of this book is to portray a girl's love life and growth as a woman not as a princess in a fairy tale, but as a post-secondary student struggling with school and boys, neither always working out, but there still being that happily-ever-after feeling. That happily-ever-after is just a lot more refreshing because she doesn't skip off into the sunset with her true love after scoring him. Dom picks up a hot guy, has a summer fling, and struggles whether she can just keep it casual and be able to move on. She argues with her new crush, Guy, who is experienced, good-looking, and has similar interests to our leading lady. They both have different expectations about their relationship. Dom has to struggle through how she feels about Guy, and still wrestles with her previous breakup. This is the kind of princess I like reading about.
What I will always love is Dom's often cynical or curious outlook on guys, relationships, and sex (which there is more of in this book, but not overtly explicit). Her medical terminology, used profusely to evaluate her feelings and the situations she finds herself in, is often hilarious. She is definitely a different girl from the first book: she has different expectations, preferences, and experiences, but neither is she the perfect character - she still has a lot of faults that often trip her up. She makes decisions that I wouldn't personally agree with, she's often oblivious to the needs of her friends and family, and she is often pretty selfish, but there are so many times that when you cringe, you feel yourself relating to her on so many levels because of similar things you yourself have felt. I felt I could relate not exactly to Dom's experiences, but to her perception of those experiences and how to navigate the new terrain of adulthood.
I also enjoyed that Dom and her friend Amy don't blush or shy away from talking about sex and guys in sexual terms. There isn't that guilty, blushing reaction to Amy's statements, and Dom is open with her friend about her wants and needs. I think the author really showcases that while relationships are messy, there are some bottom-lines health needs that every girl needs to know and address in these kinds of relationship, including having a friend that you can talk to about everything, and an over-cautious approach to STIs and protection. The latter is something you really can't afford to make mistakes about, which was great! Most sex scenes (explicitly described or alluded to) in YA books don't really address protection or support.
The ending is probably my favourite. I won't include too many details, but I think it puts our character in a great place where she can still learn and grow, but she's learned so much about herself that it makes the reader proud of her decisions.
Definitely check out Anatomy of a Boyfriend and Anatomy of a Single Girl. I'd recommend these to any teenager or new adult. These books aren't about having sex, but about examining a realistic relationship, which usually includes crushes, arguments, and sometimes not-so-great sex, in a positive way. They're definitely a breath of fresh air in the YA genre.show more
by Janita Van Dyk