Uses for Boys
By Erica Lorraine Scheidt
Release Date: January 15, 2013
Source: PublisherAnna 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.
It seems like Anna will always be alone; her mother doesn't care and is barely home, always off with her latest perfect boyfriend. The only way Anna feels she can fill this empty void is through boys, right around when the first boy approaches her on the bus. From then on, Anna has to deal with life in her own way. She drops out of school right after freshman year starts, moves to Portland, and tries to live the life of the girl she wants to be, someone like her only friend Toy. She wants to be confident, pretty, and loved. But can using one boy after another really make her feel whole?
Like I said, this was definitely not what I was expecting. There is a lot of mature content and it all starts when Anna is at a very young age. And the entire story seemed like Anna just talking about her life with no real substance or action (other than sex) going on. I wanted this to feel more like a story, not the analysis of some lonely girl's life. The part I liked most about this book were Anna and Toy's shopping trips to thrift stores and their awesome wardrobe. They would wear dresses of all colors and always knew how to dress to feel confident. But that's where the confidence ends. Anna whines the whole time about not being as good as Toy and tries to find solace in sleeping with random guys. When she's only sixteen. I also wasn't a fan of how Anna's promiscuity started. She just lets guys use her and doesn't utter a word. Even when it's on the bus and in front of other kids from her school. I just didn't get it.
Even though I wasn't that big of a fan of this book, I just couldn't stop reading until I was done. I wanted to see if the story would change or Anna or her mom would change. I was kind of disappointed how the story just ends (but I won't tell you how) and I didn't really know what to think when it was all over. This book was just too raw and gritty for my taste. Maybe if you're a fan of mature content, serious books that deal with serious issues, you'd like this one. But coming from a girl who loves cliche romances, I wasn't a big fan of this one.