I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt
on January 15, 2013
Anna remembers a time before boys, when she was little and everything made sense. When she and her mom were a family, just the two of them against the world. But now her mom is gone most of the time, chasing the next marriage, bringing home the next stepfather. Anna is left on her own—until she discovers that she can make boys her family. From Desmond to Joey, Todd to Sam, Anna learns that if you give boys what they want, you can get what you need. But the price is high—the other kids make fun of her; the girls call her a slut. Anna’s new friend, Toy, seems to have found a way around the loneliness, but Toy has her own secrets that even Anna can’t know.
Then comes Sam. When Anna actually meets a boy who is more than just useful, whose family eats dinner together, laughs, and tells stories, the truth about love becomes clear. And she finally learns how it feels to have something to lose—and something to offer. Real, shocking, uplifting, and stunningly lyrical, Uses for Boys is a story of breaking down and growing up.
Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt is going to be a hard book for me to review. I really enjoyed it and I flew through, but it wasn’t really what I was expecting. Maybe I should have read the summary more thoroughly because the clues are definitely there. This book has tough content. Some very touchy issues like teen sex are explored, but Scheidt’s writing is gorgeous and breathtaking. She handles these taboo subjects with raw grace.
I knew girls like Anna when I was teenager. A very good friend in elementary and early middle school ended up like this by 8th grade. So Anna’s logic and actions felt very realistic to me. Anna needs to feel not alone. Her mother is absent most of the time. She’s off finding her next ex husband. So, Anna turns to boys for the love and the attention she isn’t getting at home. You can guess where that leads. That’s really what Uses for Boys is about. Anna struggles with her loneliness and fills that void with different boys. It’s also about Anna growing up and learning to rely on herself instead of boys.
Uses for Boys isn’t going to be for everyone. There’s some very mature situations. Like I said before, I think Erica Lorraine Scheidt handles them with class. I predict that some readers will still have a problem with the mature content, but I don’t think the story would pack the same punch without the details. Some of the scenes will knock the breath out of you because they are so powerful. As the reader you know that Anna is making horrible choices. It’s impossible not to want to sit her down and tell her all the things her mother should have.
The writing is stunning. It’s hard to believe that Scheidt is a debut author. I think Uses for Boys is a beautiful book that shouldn’t go unnoticed. You should definitely give it a chance if it sounds like your kind of story.