Cover image for Girl anatomy : a novel
Girl anatomy : a novel
Bloom, Rebecca, 1975-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : William Morrow, [2002]

Physical Description:
263 pages ; 22 cm
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For every woman-in-progress, here is a sparkling and wickedly funny debut novel of yearning and transformation.

When Lilly's best friend, Maya, gets engaged, the tenuous peace she thought she had finally established with her perennially single self turns out to be as long lasting as shoulder pads and frozen yogurt. Wavering wildly between ecstasy ("I'm SO happy for you!") and envy ("How did SHE become a wife-to-be? Why aren't I?"), serial dater and retail-therapy shopper Lilly vows to get her life together.

While sipping lattes from the Coffee Bean and planning forever with Maya, Lilly embarks on an uproariously comical and strikingly poignant ride of transformation as told through a series of delightfully engaging interior monologues. Traveling the byways of her own past, Lilly learns to be optimistic about her future and relish her newfound chicdom. In a voice that grows stronger, louder, and more articulate than she ever imagined, Lilly comes to embrace her on-the-verge-of-womanhood status in all its uncertain, yet exciting, glory.

Depicting the comic adventures of being a grown-up still coming of age, Rebecca Bloom's Girl Anatomy evocatively and enthusiastically reveals tender truths about friendship and true love.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Lilly, the heroine of Bloom's debut novel, has never had it easy with guys. She falls hard and then ends up getting hurt. Propelled by her romantic nature, she finds herself idealizing guys who might not be as great as she imagines them. A multitude of flashbacks allows the reader to see Lilly's past, from her first love, Sam, to Jonah, the sexy musician who ended their budding relationship just as they were starting to get close. Lilly is happy when her best friend, Maya, gets engaged but can't help the feelings of jealousy that rise to the surface. When she bumps into Jonah at a restaurant, she finds her old feelings for him resurfacing. And when he calls her, she must decide whether she should rekindle their old flame. In the meantime, she navigates clothing crises, hip clubs, and ill-advised hookups. The loose plot is disjointed by a few too many flashbacks, which leaves the present story a little thin, but readers will find Lilly's witty, straightforward voice appealing. --Kristine Huntley

Publisher's Weekly Review

Bloom's debut is an uninspired belated-coming-of-age story in which Lilly, 24, straddles the post-college, early-adult years in L.A. She's an "assistant, assistant, assistant editor" at Chick magazine who is surprised to find envy lurking beneath her joyous facade when she receives news of her best friend's engagement. This provokes her to reexamine her romantic history so far, which consists of college hijinks and some insensitive ex-boyfriends. For a supposedly hip chick, Lilly resorts to outdated adolescent argot ("Do you think I would be able to deal with this scene sober? Not!") and has a "life-altering experience" at the all-girl alternative rock fest Lilith Fair, upon which she expounds for 10 pages. Bloom takes some promising chances, but fails to follow through on the opportunity to say something interesting about single 20-something women and the contemporary social whirl. Her clunky prose doesn't help: she describes the differences between men's relationships and women's relationships with, "There's a language that vaginas speak with a distinct accent that penises just can't nail down." Bloom's style may appeal more to teens (at one point, Lilly parenthetically refers to someone as a "Cheese ball!!"). Those 20-somethings still interested in reading about a party girl who loves shopping, is a little overweight, makes mistakes that she learns to laugh about later and pines over the perfect man who got away may find this a passable supplement to Cosmo. (Sept. 1) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



Girl Anatomy A Novel Chapter One Two For the Price of One Sometimes I think I am schizophrenic. Well, maybe not schizophrenic. Casually assuming the moniker without proper medical diagnoses is slightly melodramatic and disrespectful of true sufferers of the disease. But I do sometimes feel like Sybil with two versions of me rattling and banging around in my brain, arm wrestling each other for dominance. There is the "Wannadoer" and the "Wishidinter": carefully thought out nicknames for my alter egos. The "Wannadoer" stares and watches the world with eager fascination, jonesing for a taste of the high life. The life of dark bars, dark-haired men, and leather-panted experiences worthy of a Playboy spread. The "Wishidinter" tosses and turns in bed, spitting out the taste of sour snogs and reddening at the memory of my ill-prepared ass trying to strut beautifully dyed cowhide around town. The "Wannadoer" leaps into escapades, falls head over heels in love at a simple hello, ignores rational thought in favor of high-relief fantasy, and has a gold neon naive sign flashing on her brow in broad daylight. The "Wishidinter" scolds herself for childish romance, tries to prevent an immature heart from beating the tom-tom for the wrong guy, picks up the scattered pieces after the inevitable fall, and attempts to assimilate the failure into growth. Both creatures seem very normal, very human. What person does not have both the sage and the sucker lurking within? However, mine exist at the same time, all the time, and most of the time, they initiate conversation or argument with each other no matter the circumstance. In simple terms, I talk to myself, a lot, everywhere. I talk myself into things, out of things, around things, and through things. A perfect example of this happened just the other night. It started out innocently enough, at dinner with Max, my older and sometimes wiser brother; Robert, Max's friend; and Josh, a friend of mine. We were celebrating Robert's new show of paintings at Gallery Downtown. Afterward, we hit a few bars, feeding off one another's good news and good vibes. At the pinnacle of our excitement, we ran into my good friend Danielle and a group of her friends from work. Amid the crowd of becoming familiar faces, a cute, skinny guy, with a black bar-code tattoo on the inside of his left wrist, an artsy computer-designer job, and vintage dark green glasses, caught my slightly buzzing eye. He was a friend of a friend, of a friend, and his name was Justin. At midnight we began talking. "Those are great glasses." Smiling at him. "Where did you get them?" Looking closer. "Thanks." Touching the frame. "There's this cool place in Pasadena that only sells unused vintage frames. They have the biggest collections of unique lenses." "I think I know the place. I have been meaning to check it out." Smiling again. "Do you wear glasses?" "Only at night, in the movies, and when I really want to see." Smiling again and again. "So, tonight you want to be a little blind?" "Well, as my brother says, sometimes it's nice to see things a little blurry. All those sharp edges can get in the way of a true aesthetic." Here is where my inner voice, the "Wishidinter," piped in. "Uh, Lilly." (That's me.) "Yeah?" "What the hell are you talking about?" "I thought I was being clever. It's always good to throw 'aesthetic' into the conversation. It's one of those hot words that make guys think you are brilliant." "Yes, but one has to use it in an intelligent way to demonstrate brilliance. Sharp edges getting in the way? Please." "Go away. You're distracting me from being witty." "Fine! Wouldn't want to do that. You need all the help you can get!" I took a big drink of my vanilla Stoli and Coke, and tried to return to this cute boy, still grinning at me. Just for the record, no one else can hear the "Wish-I." Obviously no one else can hear my inner monologue, but whatever. I swallowed again, recouped, and continued with my version of peppy bar-talk minus, however, the employment of SAT words I apparently do not know how to properly use. We got to know each other a bit more, and by two when the lights glared, I thought my string of bad luck might have finally ended because I still thought he was cute despite increased illumination. In addition, we had begun the hand fondle thing. You know, squeezing and stroking palms, simulating what we want to do to each other's private parts. It's usually the precursor to the kiss. We extricated from the larger group and I heard myself saying, "Are you tired?" "Not really." Eyeing me. "You?" "Nope." Eyeing him. "Want to come over and hang?" Eyeing me lower. "I can play you that CD we were talking about." "Sure." "Cool. Follow me?" "My car's just here." I got in my car, started her up, and flipped on the radio. My cheeks burned at my brazenness, and as I pulled out, my stomach began to burn a bit too. By the time I got to the corner, and he was in front of me, waving through the rearview mirror, I was on fire. "What on earth do you think you are doing?" Oh no, here she is again. "Nothing." "Nothing, huh? " "He's cute." "Yeah, in a potential serial killer way. You don't even know him." "He's a friend of a friend of a friend." "Whose name is?" "Justin, I think." "Justin what?" "Fuck off. I just wanna smooch!" "But one thing leads to another and who knows what could happen." "You only live once. And you know my things don't lead to others." "Yeah, but come on. Look, I know it's been awhile and you are in need of affection, but this guy could be some psycho. Is that really how you want to go out?" "You are such a drama queen! Chill out." "Just turn." "What?" "Turn!" And with that, before I could stop the "Wishidinter," I turned right onto a side street. I sped up a la Speed Racer , turned left, turned right again, and lost every trace of him. The "Wannadoer" had no chance, but as you will come to see later, she usually never ever has a chance. That's the inherent problem with Los Angeles. You experience the walk of shame before you even get to do anything. All those questions about the person you are about to let flitter his tongue on your teeth and grope your left breast surface before any initial contact. Sure, great first line of defense, and in this day and age blah, blah, blah, but sometimes it's fun to let go and kiss the frog! In college, it always happened post-hookup... Girl Anatomy A Novel . Copyright © by Rebecca Bloom. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Girl Anatomy: A Novel by Rebecca Bloom All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.