Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers…the site that loves to read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read….and read some more….all the live long day. Too bad I’ve got to keep my day (and night) job though because honestly, imagine the reading time!
Today, we’re heading back to the land of Young Adult literature with a dual book review of what I can only call an “edgy” series. Why that particular adjective? Well, it’s a content thing…you’ll see, but before we dissect things too closely, let’s meet and greet these titles properly. Since the beginning is usually the best place to start in any situation, let’s jump right into the first story…
Okay, okay. I know what you’re thinking. How could I have POSSIBLY even thought this series would be anything other than edgy with a Barbie-Man doll on the front cover with only a title sticker strategically placed to cover, well…I’m pleading the fifth on that one. No, really…the description of the book drew me in. It sounded like a fun YA romp through a teenage “wonderland” and it was…just a LOT more sexually oriented than I imagined. I’m not saying it was bad. I’m not saying it was over the top. I AM saying that I would recommend it be read by the elder teens in the target YA audience as opposed to those just claiming the teen moniker as their own as it’s a bit explicit.
Meet Dom (short for Dominique). She’s a high school student ready to shed her skin and experience all that being a teen has to offer. Some are on the straight and narrow, like expanding her circle of friends, going to a party or two, and maybe breaking a curfew by a few minutes tops. Others are a bit more in the shades of grey area, like meeting boys, dating boys, and well, I think you see where my train of thought may be leading here. *ahem* Not judging any of those that test their limits at that age, just saying…be careful, be safe. Anyway…
Our girl Dom doesn’t go all “red light special” on us or anything, but she does try to catch up to the status quo, even perhaps surpassing it in some cases. It was interesting to read as she and her chosen mark of affection, Wes, experienced many firsts and attempts at firsts. Honestly, the outcome here was not fun for all and yet expected to some degree if you paid attention to the situation at hand, though I could have sworn it was heading in another direction. Something along the lines of closets being opened and all (hey, it could still happen…book two doesn’t really cement anything for us)…but I digress.
By this story’s end, Dom has learned a lot from personal experience as well as her friend Amy (more on her in book two) and is ready to cut ties and head off to the BIG HOUSE…as in college (where did YOU think I meant?). Which is just where we’re heading as well…
TADA! We’ve landed in college. The land where futures grow on trees and success is there for the taking…right? Umm…right, sure. *ahem* Truth be told, things aren’t that hot for our leading lady, but she’s got her head on straight and is determined to take the academic world by storm…or at least get her studies back together again; she was an A+ student after all….anything less, hurts! She’s also not letting her head be turned by any handsome faces this year. Enough is enough. Time to work on herself, get ahead, and allow her newly claimed good name to carry her to the heights of the medical elite.
Only, it’s college…and it’s about to be summer. Does anyone else remember the Legally Blonde Musical where Elle Woods is studying through Spring Break (etc) to get her 174 LSAT score and the cute guys keep barging in to distract her? (Not that I remember it…at all….WHAT?! No judging….) Yeah, well that’s sorta what’s in store for Dom and while she manages to keep her head around Calvin (the RA that wants to be more than friends), Guy is not as easy to ignore. What kind of name is Guy exactly? A perfect one for this dude in fact. He seems nice enough, sensitive enough, smart enough…and yet the boy is a commitment phobe (okay, not exactly….he just doesn’t want to be tied down in a relationship at the moment), much like his name. Sorry! I know, I’m harsh….but I’m split on my decision to totally side with Dom’s initial reactions or adopt that “live in the moment” philosophy. Whichever way you vote, it’s still fun to follow Dom along as she finds herself in more ways than one. *ahem*
Now, even though Dom is the one we’ve spoken of most often here, I also have to give props to her BFF Amy. True, they grow apart a bit in this story. True, Amy discovers both the joys and sorrows that come along with being attached. True, we get to know her a bit better, or rather another side of her, and can’t help but like her all the more for it. She’s not merely a flavor of the day sorta girl anymore; she’s developed substance. I like how it wasn’t instantaneous nor was it completely expected of this character but it felt real. The author seems to have a knack for that.
When all the story is said and done, the drama played out, the challenges met, learned from and/or dealt with, things draw to a close with a brush from the past and a reconnection of hearts. It wasn’t the ending I was hoping for (nor the one you might be assuming from what I just said…don’t assume, READ!), but you know what…it made sense. It worked for the characters, both where they were at personally as well as their personalities. It worked for the story, falling in line with everything that transpired as well as all that still could. It worked for the author’s writing style, promising us a good read not necessarily the happiest of happy endings.
|Author Daria Snadowsky|
In conclusion, a two part series that takes the world of teens by the hormones, shakes things up a bit for the sake of first time experiments and leaves you with the results to measure and weigh in your own time. With characters you grow to love and stories you’ll want to share in (as well as a few you’d wish to forget), you’re left with an overall feeling that despite what life looks like at the moment, things can still be changed for the better. In short, it’s not a read for every one, but for those that are open to the option, it’s definitely one you’ll not want to miss.
Review copies received courtesy of author Daria Snadowsky. (THANKS!) For more information on these titles as well as her current goings ons, be sure to visit her online or stop by the publisher’s official page for the “anatomy” series. These titles are both available now via Delacorte Press, a division of Random House, so be on the lookout for them on a bookstore shelf near you.
Until next time…happy reading!