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The Paly Voice

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Book review: "Anatomy" actually has body

“That wasn’t as terrible as I thought it’d be.” Those were the first words out of my mouth as I read the final page of Daria Snadowsky’s newest novel, “Anatomy of a Single Girl,” and shut the pink hardcover for the last time.

Yes, not only is Snadowsky’s newest literary endeavour “not as terrible as I thought it’d be” — it’s actually, dare I say it, good.

At first, “Anatomy of a Single Girl,” sequel to the earlier “Anatomy of a Boyfriend” (which I skimmed), seems to be yet another sloppily written, cliche, predictable teen romance novel. There’s the shy, awkwardly beautiful main character (in this case, pre-med Dominique, who also happens to be a flaming ginger); the crazy, party-girl best friend (Amy, who, despite having a boyfriend, flirts with every man within a 5 mile radius); and, of course, the heartthrob (a beautiful frat boy by the name of Guy).

Yes, everything seems to be set up for the typical romcom-esque attempt at a novel. That’s where you’ll be surprised. Without giving too much away, I’ll have you know that the ending is not quite what you’re expecting, and Dominique manages to walk away from the situation with much more than some silly old boyfriend (read: newfound self-knowledge, confidence, and independence).

That is the most endearing thing about the novel: it has heart. It has a message. It’s not just an idyllic portrait of teen love, for, unlike almost any other book in its genre, “Anatomy of a Single Girl” actually has a fair amount of substance. In addition to exploring the classic boyfriend-girlfriend kind of love, Snadowsky examines self-love, something many teen girls are sorely missing. Through Dominique’s experience of getting over an old boyfriend, riding out the unwanted romantic feelings of a close male friend and living it up through her own wild, summer fling, she, as well as the reader, learns that, yeah, boys are great, but a smart, independent woman doesn’t need a man to make her complete.

And it’s about time someone said it, because I can’t remember the last time I logged onto any social media site without coming across some poor, teen girl lamenting her single-ness. You know who you are. And you should probably read this book.

A word of caution: “Anatomy of a Single Girl” may not quite be “50 Shades of Grey” level, but it’s pretty racy nonetheless. Lots of sex takes place. Not to mention a very awkward visit with a male gynecologist. You have been warned.

“Anatomy of a Single Girl” is not for everyone. The writing isn’t exactly poetry and, to be honest, I didn’t actually like any of the characters all that much. But, despite that, I commend Snadowsky for doing the near-impossible: creating an empowering teen novel. Snaps for you, girlfriend!

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