From the first moment you saw him, you knew he was The One.
He was the One who’d give you your first kiss. The One who’d put his arm around you and not care who saw him do it. He was the One who made your insides shiver, made you break curfew, made romance movies into real life. He was the One who’d put “Mrs.” in front of your name someday.
Unfortunately, he was The One who hurt you the most.
When that happens, there are only two things to do: pretend it’s not that painful, and read “Anatomy of a Single Girl” by Southern Nevada author Daria Snadowsky.
Dominique Baylor couldn’t wait to get away from Tulane University for the summer.
It was the end of freshman year — a year filled with milestones — and though her friend, Calvin, had wanted her to stay at the dorms, Dom needed to go home. Her heart was in Florida, even though that was where it had been broken.
It hadn’t quite been a year since the messy break-up with her ex, and Dom still had a bag full of memories that made her cry. Amy, her best friend since grade school, tried to help Dom get over the ex, but Amy’s whole attitude toward boys was the more, the better and why tie yourself down?
Dom wished she could be more like Amy. But she couldn’t, so she filled her summer with work instead. Two jobs meant there’d be no time to think about boys or love.
And then Dom met The One.
His name was Guy, and he was a physicist, a geek just like Dom. He was cute, funny, sexy and wanted a carefree, unencumbered life. He was happy to have a girlfriend for the summer, and Dom was happy to be that girlfriend. They made plans together. They hung out together whenever they could, including in his frat house bed.
Surprisingly, though, as the season wound to a close, so did Dom’s feelings for Guy. He didn’t want marriage, kids or any of the things Dom wanted, and besides, she’d learned a lot about herself over the summer. But had she learned to live without a boy?
“Anatomy of a Single Girl” is a bit of a surprise. With both feet, it leaps directly into an area I rarely see in YA novels: the characters act responsibly, get tested and have sex. Lots of it.
And yet, this book is not entirely about sex. Snadowsky has plenty of that, yes, but she treats the plotline with care and adds strength, maturity and side-stories in her novel to keep it authentic and interesting. It’s well-written and mostly tastefully done, but I still have to admit that its often-unabashed fearlessness took me somewhat aback.
Use caution when giving this book: due to the grown-up stuff inside, it may be inappropriate for anyone under age 15 or so. Keep that in mind while you’re searching for a decently-penned novel, and “Anatomy of a Single Girl” still could be the one.
Terri Schlichenmeyer’s reviews of books for teens and children appear weekly on View’s website at viewnews.com.