'Anatomy' of a teen romance

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Anatomy of a Boyfriend

YES IT'S TRUE, I WAS BORN WITHOUT NIPPLES. Snadowsky's novel explores the complexities of teenage romance.

Anatomy of a Boyfriend is Daria Snadowsky’s maiden voyage into the world of young adult literature. The novel takes the typical girl-meets-boy plot, made popular by Judy Blume, from the 20th century into the 21st.

Seventeen-year-old Dominique and eighteen-year old Wes are both high school seniors; she at a small private school, he at a large public school. Both can’t wait to graduate high school in order to get their diplomas, which they refer to as their “emancipation papers.”

Dominique plans on studying pre-med at Stanford University, Wes physical education at New York University. Both are sane, rational, shy, sexually inexperienced over-achievers who have excellent relationships with their parents and have never caused anyone a sleepless night " until a fateful football game during winter break when the two meet and fall in love.

E-mails, instant message conversations, and telephone calls between Wes and Dominique reveal the impact first love has on their plans and priorities.

Dominique narrates the story, making readers more aware of the couple’s uncertainty " they feel the doubt alongside Dominique.

Wes and Dominique become obsessed with each other. While Dominique is willing to change her priorities by applying to NYU at the last minute in order to avoid a long-distance relationship, Wes is more content to let the events leading up to their inevitable separation unfold. At this point, the storyline is like watching a train wreck " the reader knows what is going to happen, but cannot look away.

Snadowsky describes the emotional experiences of first love as poignantly as she graphically details Wes and Dominique’s sexual experiences " from first kiss to first attempt at intimacy.

As Dominique and Wes leave for their respective colleges, their relationship changes and ultimately fades.

Working through the pain and grief of a failed romance is every bit as important to this story as the details of their physical encounters. The inevitable demise of Dominique and Wes’s relationship in Anatomy of a Boyfriend makes the reader wonder if it was really worth it.

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