Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Geek's Guide to Dating by Eric Smith

Title: The Geek's Guide to Dating
Author: Eric Smith
Publisher: Quirk Books
Page Number: 208; Hardcover: First Edition
Release Date: December 3rd, 2013
Rating: 3 stars
+Review copy received from Quirk Books

200 pages of geeky references can be quite exhausting if one doesn’t fully understand all of them. The Geek’s Guide to Dating is a novel that can appear to be written in a different language if one doesn’t understand gaming, comic book, or nerdy movie references.  The novel is written as a how-to guide to help the socially awkward types to make a move on the girl of his dreams. Despite claiming to be applicable to girls, it doesn’t really do such, as everything is referred to in the “male” sense. It also tends to be difficult to relate to, since you play as your own character in a sense, so throughout the whole book, you’re rooting for yourself to win the person of your dreams. However, the problem with this premise is that it leaves the reader detached and apathetic to the book.

            Despite my unenthusiastic start, I had fun with the book. I enjoyed looking at the pictures and charts, which is quite refreshing since I haven’t read a book with pictures in a long time.  I would be cautious with whom I recommend the book to (if I do), because it definitely isn’t for everyone. The book tends to tell the reader what to do, and provides different scenarios on approaching the situation. Although this may seem fun at first; it actually gets really old quickly, because it takes awhile for Smith to get to the point. It rambles on a little too much, and I felt that I was reading a lot of gibberish, since I am not as geeky as the book needs me to be. Be careful when deciding if this book is for you.
            What I appreciate most is how the book handles the first meeting to the possibility of a serious relationship, or a breakup. I believe that it can actually help those in need of dating advice, and it does its job well. I like how Smith addresses the rights and wrongs on the first date, and what is appropriate to discuss at the right time. I understand that there are many of guys who find it difficult to converse with a girl he likes, and the novel actually provides tips on how to find topics to talk about.
            However, I was aloof from the novel the whole time. Seeing as I am not planning to ask someone out on a date, or needing to tell someone I have feelings for them (and if I did, I have my own ways), I didn’t need all these tips; nor do I find them applicable to me. I know how to talk to people, and I know how to make sure I am not stepping on boundaries. For the most part, I doubt I’d actually want to be the one to plan all these steps in a relationship. Sure, I would be a part of them when the time comes, but I doubt I’ll actually be the one to execute them.

            The novel is a cute and quirky read, filled with a vast knowledge of all things geek-like that I couldn’t fully participate in. Make sure that you are the right audience for this type of novel; otherwise you will not enjoy it. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky

Title: Anatomy of a Boyfriend
Author: Daria Snadowsky
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (January 9, 2007)
Page Number: 272 
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Video Review: Anatomy of a Boyfreiend

Before this all happened, the closest I'd ever come to getting physical with a guy was playing the board game Operation. Okay, so maybe that sounds pathetic, but it's not like there were any guys at my high school who I cared to share more than three words with, let alone my body.

Then I met Wes, a track star senior from across town. Maybe it was his soulful blue eyes, or maybe my hormones just started raging. Either way, I was hooked. And after a while, he was too. I couldn't believe how intense my feelings became, or the fact that I was seeing—and touching—parts of the body I'd only read about in my Gray's Anatomy textbook. You could say Wes and I experienced a lot of firsts together that spring. It was scary. It was fun. It was love.

And then came the fall.

When I was asked to review this book on my vlog, it brought me back to my freshman year memories (5 years ago) in Geometry where I first read this book. At the time, I was too immature to handle the novel, and laughed incessantly at the sexual references with a vague understanding. Needless, to say, I did not love it as much then, because I did not really understand it. At the time, I thought it was just about a weird girl who wanted to study her boyfriend's...ahem...anatomy and lose her virginity. Once I read it the second time, I realized that it held much more meaning than a mediocre book with a horny teenage girl. In fact, I realized how honest and raw it was in depicting the intense emotions that a first love brings--from friendship, lust, love and heartache.

It began with a clumsy, anatomy obsessed teenage girl, Dom, whose school life never permitted her to consider the possibility of even having a boyfriend. However, this all changes when she encounters Wes, the male protagonist, who ends up being her first love. 

I found the novel very humorous, snarky, witty, and awkward at the same time. Snadowsky has no problem in blatantly writing about sex in the innocent view of a virginal teenage girl. Dom, whose dream is to become a surgeon, probably knows so much about sex in a medical way, but her innocence and lack of experience shows when she is put in relationship-like circumstances with Wes. 

I really enjoyed Dom's character, because I like her intelligence, neediness, and lustfulness. I loved how she portrayed a lovestruck teenage girl whose world revolved around her boyfriend, because it is so relatable for young adults her age to feel the same way. I find that people can easily connect with this book, because they either feel one of two things: reminiscing about their first love, or anxiously awaiting for the first love to come. 

I also find the progression of the story to be charming, because Snadowsky did not sugarcoat the awkward sides of the relationship. She did not make the first time to be amazing and magical, because 8 times out of 10, not every girl enjoys her first time. Snadowsky wrote the awkward scenes with the purpose of having a realistic portrayal of the trials and errors of first love, because frankly, it really starts off as experimentation. 

My only qualms in this book is Dom's character flaw in making Wes to be the center of her world. I disliked that she aimed the most important decisions of her life with Wes always in mind; forgetting what she truly wanted. Also, Dominque's obsession with anatomy is a little too weird. I am more of a physiology kind of girl, but I would never think about the anatomical parts of a man, and label them in my head in the times of intimacy, I guess she did that to comfort herself in the awkwardness of the situation, but it was still too weird for me.

Anatomy of a Boyfriend is a wonderful read, that will have many readers reminiscing the days of their first loves, and have many awaiting theirs!