"Curious teens will find Snadowsky's honesty refreshing, and like [Judy Blume's] Forever before it, this [book] is sure to be passed from hand to hand."--Booklist
After everything that happened—my first boyfriend, my first time, my first breakup—jumping back into the dating game seemed like the least healthy thing I could do. It’s not that I didn’t want to fall in love again, since that’s about the best feeling ever. But as a busy college premed still raw from heartbreak, which is the worst feeling ever, I figured I’d lie low for a while. Of course, as soon as I stopped looking for someone, an impossibly amazing—and devastatingly cute—guy came along, and I learned that having a new boyfriend is the quickest way to recover from losing your old one.
The moment we got together, all my preconceptions about romance and sex were turned upside down. I discovered physical and emotional firsts I never knew existed. I learned to let go of my past by living in the present. It was thrilling. It was hot. It was just what the doctor ordered.
But I couldn’t avoid my future forever.
In Daria Snadowsky’s daring sequel to Anatomy of a Boyfriend, eighteen-year-old Dominique explores the relationship between love and lust, and the friendships that see us through.
"Dominique is a strong female character who makes informed decisions and demonstrates control over her own body and goals. . . . This book could be popular with girls who are curious and interested in reading about intimate young adult relationships."--VOYA
"Presents a multiplicity of opinions and stories about sex, intimacy and relationships and lets readers come to their own conclusions."--Kirkus Reviews
Release date: January 8, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Print pages: 240
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Anatomy of a Single Girl
The logical thing would be for me to date Calvin Brandon.
For starters, he’s one of the nicest people I know at Tulane (or anywhere else). Unlike most college guys, he doesn’t need Budweiser, ESPN, or an Xbox to survive. We always have fun together and can totally be ourselves around each other. And no matter how frazzled I got by my summer electives, which crammed a semester’s worth of biology into only May and June, he could still make me laugh. On top of all that, Calvin explicitly told me that he’d like me to be his girlfriend.
I’d be the luckiest girl in Louisiana to be his girlfriend. . . .
So why don’t I want to be his girlfriend?
I’m trying not to obsess about it, when a plane taking off suddenly whooshes over the New Orleans airport, where Calvin’s keeping me company on the curbside baggage-check line. The loud rumbling of the engines forces us to stop talking. But while we stand there in silence, staring at each other, the mood turns awkward as we surely have the same thought: what a perfect moment for a first kiss. But as I explicitly told Calvin, I’m not interested in dating anyone right now.
But maybe it’s that I’m not interested in dating him right now.
Or perhaps I’m not interested in dating him ever?
So much for not obsessing about it.
I break the tension by taking out my cell phone and logging on to the university registrar. Once the engine noise lifts, Calvin glances at the display and says, “Professors don’t have to submit grades until sometime in July, you know. There’s no way anything’s posted yet.”
“It never hurts to double-check. I’m going crazy waiting for results.”
“You have nothing to worry about, Coppertone,” he declares, using his favorite new nickname for me. It’s meant to poke fun at my red hair (hence “copper”) as well as the vast amounts of sunblock I go through (to keep my fair, freckle-prone skin from becoming red, too). “I bet you aced everything. You hit the books harder than all of the other freshmen combined--”
“Hold it right there. I’m officially a rising sophomore, Mr. Know-It-All Rising Senior. And those were the toughest finals of my life, so all bets are off.”
“At least you’re a few credits ahead now. And you know what that means. Extra free time to spend with me next year!” He flashes an openmouthed smile.
“Ha ha,” I murmur, ignoring his thinly veiled come-on. Although Calvin has assured me he’s okay with keeping things platonic, he hasn’t stopped dropping suggestive hints. It’s annoying . . . and a little flattering. Who doesn’t like being liked?
Soon we near the front of the line, and as I’m rummaging through my backpack for my ID, he says, “You realize it’s still not too late to forget this Fort Myers madness, don’t you? That’s the biggest perk of being eighteen, Coppertone--you’re no longer obligated to follow your parents’ orders.”
I roll my eyes. “Going home is my choice, Cal. Second-year premed’s supposed to be brutal, and I don’t want to burn out on school before it even starts. Anyway, the deadline to enroll in the last summer session was yesterday.”
“You don’t have to take any more classes here. Just work at Res-Life with me! We could use help in the office manning the phones.”
“Hmm.” I patter my fingers on my chin in feigned contemplation. “As much as I’d love to spend the rest of break fielding drunken calls about lost room keys, I’m sticking with Florida.”
“Fine! Pass up a boring desk job for palm trees and pina coladas. Be that way,” he huffs, which just makes us both break out in giggles.
After my luggage gets checked, Calvin walks me the few steps to the terminal entrance and asks, “So, any exciting plans for the Fourth next weekend, without me?”
I explain how I’ll be with my best friend, Amy, whose mom and stepdad always invite me to their family barbecue. “And how about you, Cal? Chaperoning some lame coed mixer on the Riverwalk?”
“Dunno. I’ll probably just cloister myself in my single, research MBA programs, and explore a life of solitude and self-reflection.”
I roll my eyes again. “Well, despite your immoral support, it was very cool of you to come and help with my bags. I know move-out days are uber-busy for you Res-Lifers, so thank you.”
I’m expecting him to dish out another wiseass remark. Instead, he turns toward me and says solemnly, “Thank you for letting me drag you out of the library once in a while. These last two months have been awesome. I really wish you were staying, Dominique.”
I don’t think I’ve ever been so startled to hear my name before, and I definitely wasn’t prepared for him to lay on the mushiness. In an attempt to deflect it, I answer, “Oh, next semester is just around the corner, and once I’m back, you’ll get sick of me.”
But he doesn’t seem to listen as his piercing brown eyes lock me into their gaze. As I let myself gaze at him, too, I think how Amy is so correct that a good personality can make a guy better-looking. Back in the fall when Calvin was an RA in my dorm, I could barely distinguish him from every other medium-height, middleweight Average Joe roaming the halls. Then again, the more he flirted with me, the more I wrote him off as a drip. It wasn’t until the end of spring term, when we were two of the only undergrads not leaving campus, that I accepted his hail on IM and promptly realized how blind I’d been. We began hanging out, and, like magic, he grew more attractive with every laundry run, gym workout, and team trivia game we did together. And at this moment, with his dimpled cheeks ruddy from the 80 percent humidity and his bushy eyebrows squinty from the afternoon sun, he’s downright adorable. . . .
So why don’t I adore him?
Or am I not letting myself adore him?
Or what if--
Just then, another plane zooms overhead, and engine buzz again drowns out all conversation in the loading zone. Calvin’s still staring me down, and I catch him licking his lips. A few feet away from us, there’s a couple Frenching each other goodbye, sex-ifying the ambience even more. Suddenly some tourist bounding out of her cab accidentally sideswipes my backpack, causing me to fall forward against Calvin’s left shoulder. Instantly, his hands grip my waist, steadying me. It’s like the universe is commanding us, Thou shalt suck face!
But the next thing I know, I’m pushing away from him.
“Sorry,” I say, flustered, when the rumbling subsides. “Lost my balance there for a sec.”
“Oh, no. I’m fine.” I hold up my wristwatch and pretend to check the time. “Wow, I’d really better motor. And you, too. The shuttle back should be leaving any minute.”
Calvin nods sluggishly, clearly disappointed by what just didn’t happen. But he bucks up and nudges my upper arm with his knuckles. “All righty, Coppertone. Have a safe trip and an awesome vacation. You certainly earned a breather from this place.”
“Thanks, Cal. I will.”
“And, hey--I get that it’s easy to lose touch when everyone’s away doing their own thing, and I promise not to pester you. But this is your home now, too, so try not to fall completely off the face of the earth, okay?”
“I won’t, and you don’t pester me.”
“Cool. And beware of strange guys on your plane. They’re just interested in a one-flight stand.”
I grin. “Yeah, ’cause I’m really the mile-high-club type.”
Calvin’s grinning, too, and I sigh in relief that we’ve eased back into our normal repartee. Then I slide my boarding pass into my jeans pocket and say, “Well . . . um . . . see ya.”
“See ya, Coppertone.”
I head toward the sliding glass doors, but I can sense Calvin still standing there watching me, and I know this can’t be the end. Even though we’re just friends, he’s become the most special person to me at school, and he deserves something more than “See ya.” So I do a quick one-eighty, sprint back, and embrace him as tightly as I can. He wraps his arms around me, too, and it feels so comfy and peaceful. Finally we exchange a round of smiles and waves before I go inside for real, this time more than pleased with how we’re leaving things. Hugs are really underrated.
Sure I’m curious what kissing him would be like, and I’ve always wanted to experience one of those romantic airport farewells. But it would’ve been unfair of me to blur the line between us prior to parting for eight weeks, when the kiss would’ve meant more to him than to me. Besides, it was already major progress just deliberately getting that physically close to any guy other than my ex-boyfriend.
There’s no doubt that I won the parents lottery in all the really important respects. And as much as I love college, I still get homesick for our family fishing boat trips, which we’ve taken almost every Sunday for as long as I can remember. Nonetheless, when I find my parents waiting for me at the Fort Myers airport baggage claim that evening, donning matching TULANE MOM and TULANE DAD T-shirts and baseball caps, I want to run in the opposite direction.
“So sue us if we’re proud,” Dad responds to my grimace. “It’s not every day our only child finishes her first year plus extra summer courses at a world-class university.”
“Welcome back, future Dr. Baylor!” Mom proclaims during our group hug. “Goodness me, you’ve really slimmed down since spring break!” Then she taps my hips with both hands and fixes her eyes right on my backside as if this isn’t one of the most embarrassing things she could do to me in public. “Yes, Dommie, you’re just like your old self again!”
“ ‘Old self’?” Dad parrots. “Dom looks better than ever!”
I didn’t expect to get school-sick this soon. I know they mean well, though, so I just grin and bear it until we arrive home to our apartment and Amy drives over. After my parents fuss over her as well for finishing her first year at Amherst College and making the track team, Amy and I take sanctuary in my bedroom, where I bring her up to date.
“So let me get this straight,” she says while helping me unpack. “You’re not in love with Calvin, but you wish you were in love with Calvin?”
“All I mean is that it’d be really convenient if I were, because we’d be a perfect couple!”
“Dom, there’s no such thing,” Amy gripes as I hand her old binders to shelve in my desk hutch. “After the first few months and the honeymoon period fizzles out, even good relationships become dull and routine.”
“Whatever. That’s just another way of saying ‘stable’ and ‘committed,’ which is the whole point of being in a good relationship to begin with.”
“Yeah, yeah.” Amy slumps her shoulders and sighs. “But it’s really no coincidence that ‘monogamy’ sounds just like ‘monotony.’ ”
In the neuroscience course I just took, my textbook said that sex drive is regulated in an area of the brain’s hypothalamus that’s about the size of a cherry. But with Amy Braff, who’s always been able to--and did--hook up with any boy her hormones desired, it’s probably closer to the size of a grapefruit. So no one was more shocked than Amy when she fell hard for fellow fine arts major Joel Wagner during Amherst’s freshman orientation and started dating him exclusively. Considering he’s the only boy Amy’s ever cared for enough to go all the way with, she assumed they could handle a summer apart while he teaches ceramics at his old camp in Kansas and she interns at the Rauschenberg Gallery here in Florida. Summer’s barely half over, though, and Amy’s back to her old ways of lusting after every cute guy who enters her field of vision.
“There’s ‘water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink,’ ” she sings mournfully while we nest my emptied suitcases inside each other.
“It’s just a hunch, Ames, but I don’t think Joel would feel too happy to know you’re talking like this.”
“Joel should feel honored.” Amy squeezes the gold heart locket necklace that he bought her fall semester. “That I’m willing to endure this torment for him proves our love is real.”
I sigh and smile at her classic Amy twisted logic. “Well, whatever works.”
“Anyway, I’m still allowed to look but not touch, like at an art gallery show. And on the subject of boy-watching”--she pulls off her hair band and shakes out her ebony locks--“we’re late for our next engagement!”
After I hug my parents goodbye and remind them I’ll be sleeping over at the Braffs’, Amy drives us to a kegger at a Cape Coral loft that some of the other Rauschenberg interns are subletting together. This is my first Saturday night all summer of not studying, so it’s great just kicking back and meeting everyone Amy’s been talking about for the last two months. I’m not sad once the party ends, though, because it means I get Amy to myself again. We haven’t seen each other since February, when she visited me at school for Mardi Gras.
“Sorry,” Amy says after we get back into her Camry, this time with me in the driver’s seat. “I shouldn’t have asked you to be the DD.”
“Hey, I’m used to it, and I still had fun,” I assure her while pulling out onto the street.
“But then you could’ve let loose more. I just couldn’t resist those Jell-O shots!”
“Well, no judgment, Ames, but Jell-O shots were the least of what you couldn’t ‘resist’ back there.” I raise an eyebrow at her, and Amy scrunches her forehead, genuinely confused, before catching on.
“I was just giving Zack a back rub! Everyone does that for each other at work. You get sore lugging around canvases all day.”
“Okay, but how about that Stefan guy?”
“What? We were dancing!”
“Yeah, but you were all smushed up against him. Have you forgotten your whole ‘look but don’t touch’ rule?”
“Stop! You’re killing my buzz!” Amy clamps her hands over her ears. Then she decrees, “Fine. The rule’s amended: I can ‘touch but not tongue.’ ”
“Yeah, keep telling yourself that,” I say through my laughter.
Back during Mardi Gras while Amy was staying with me, my hall-mates couldn’t figure out how she and I ever became close, since we have virtually nothing in common besides being five foot six. The truth is, it all stems from having alphabetical seating in our tiny sixth-grade class. Our B last names guaranteed that we would always be adjacent and get coupled up for projects, so it was only a matter of time before we bonded. I also appreciated how she never teased me about my mother working as a math teacher at our school. That may have been a return favor for my never making cracks about her mother being a well-known psychotherapist specializing in sex issues. I worried about what would happen in ninth grade, when Amy fled to a big public school and I stayed behind in private, but we continued to think of each other as the sister we’d never had. That was why I didn’t worry at all in twelfth grade when we weren’t interested in any of the same colleges.
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