Anatomy of a Boyfriend -- Daria Snadowsky
Dominique Baylor is about to begin her last semester of high school. She's never had a boyfriend, never really been kissed (excluding spin-the-bottle type games), but she's always been able to live vicariously through her best friend, Amy, who hasn't Done It, but Done Everything Else*. She isn't particularly upset about her Lack of Boy -- in fact, she chooses to look at it as a blessing -- one less distraction on her way to becoming a doctor.
Until she meets Wesley Gershwin. After a chance encounter at a track meet, she is smitten-and-a-half. Anatomy of a Boyfriend chronicles their relationship in intimate (sometimes excruciatingly embarrassing) detail from its stuttering and awkward beginning to its gushy and passionate (yet still awkward) middle to their first semester of college (and we know how that usually goes).
The fact that Dom was so into science, and specifically, anatomy. The science factoids and her knowledge of technical names of body parts put a different spin on what could have been a stereotypical teen romance.
I also liked Amy a whole lot. I liked that although she was comfortable Getting It On, she didn't pressure Dom about it -- and that she was also big on promoting (ahem) self-pleasure. I did think that her regular use of the phrase "The Big O" was a little odd -- it's such a seventies term. But, heck, what do I know? Maybe someone Brought It Back.
I didn't like (and this is a big one, considering the book is a first-person narrative):
Dominique. She had the classic Only Child ME! ME! ME! mentality, I found her habit of calling babysitting "bratsitting" obnoxious and just... not nice, and her jealousy of Wesley's dog was just... well, crappy. Her reactions to some of the events in the book (there's one I'm thinking of specifically) were selfish and showed an almost astounding lack of empathy. But that isn't to say that she wasn't a realistic character -- Only Child-dom and her First Relationship-dom could easily add up to selfishness and extreme jealousy and clinginess. But I, personally, couldn't connect.
Okay, while I'm at it -- I wasn't all that into Wesley, either. He was just... bland and generic. I didn't get the attraction. Then again, from what I remember, at that age, sometimes it doesn't take much. (Says the girl who had the Kirk Cameron pull-out from Dynamite magazine tacked to her bedroom wall.)
And now for The Sex:
It's explicit enough that it makes The Scene in Looking for Alaska look positively tame. Which is saying something. But it's not titillating in the least -- it's a Cringefest of Awkward, which was, I assume, deliberate. So, I wouldn't be surprised to see it challenged at some point, but it is, in no way, pornographic. It's just very, very detailed and very, very realistic.
*Amy doesn't subscribe to the Oral Counts belief.