So a while ago, Daria Snadowsky asked me if I'd like a review copy of her book, Anatomy of a Boyfriend (2007, Delacorte Press, 259pp), and I said, "Yes, please!" It came, I read it with enjoyment, and I began to think about the review I'd write.
My first thought was, "This is Forever for the text-messaging generation!" Like Judy Blume's classic 1975 story, the story concerns a teenaged girl (Dominique) achieving her heart's desire--a boyfriend (Wes), with all the, um, "fun" involved. And boy do I feel a little silly being euphemistic here, because, as it is in Forever, the fun is pretty explicitly described, making this book as potentially educational for the naive girl today (if such a thing exists) as Forever was for me....Then I read the promotional literature that came with the book. Surprise! My insight was not unique to me. And then there's the little fact that Anatomy of a Boyfriend is dedicated to Blume. So I put off writing my review, so as to muse some more...
But I left it till to late, because by the time I got around to almost writing my review, Liz, over at a Chair, a Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy, had written her review, and it is a review of such comprehensive insight that there seemed little to add (this is your cue to go over to her place and read her review. Then you can come back). It gave me a feeling akin to what I once felt upon bringing a plate of home made cookies (and my cookies generally have a raffish charm all of their own, which is to say they are not crisp and professional looking) to someone's house, only to find that the party was catered and the deserts gourmet.
So thinking it over some more in the weeks that passed after that, I now offer what I hope is a Unique Insight. In case you did not go to Liz's blog as requested, here's a quote: "I'm not saying Dom isn't emotionally invested in her relationship with Wes; she is. I'm just saying she is emotionally invested in having a relationship, and Wes happened to be the person who was available." Which is why the plastic doll boyfriend is such a perfect cover image. My Insight: the shallow nature of Dom and Wes's actual friendship and understanding is perfectly illustrated by the fact that even after going out with him for a year and a half, she still doesn't get what his dog means to him (spoiler: the dog dies).
"Honestly, Wes, you were the best owner any pet could ever ask for."
Wes sits up and for the first time in our relationship looks at me hatefully.
"Owner? She was family."
So there you have it. In short, Anatomy of a Boyfriend, which is now out in paperback, is a frank, entertaining story that makes the important point that there is more to having a boyfriend then sex.
My husband, incidentally, came with a dog he adored. The first time I went to his house, it bit my nose. "Oh well," I thought, as the blood dripped from my right nostril. "At least I can show him how brave I am...."