Welcome to my stop on the Uses for Boys Blog Tour, hosted by Shane @ Itching for Books.
Title: Uses for Boys [Goodreads][Amazon]
Author: Erica Lorraine Scheidt
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: January 15, 2013
In My Opinion: Worth a try!
One Line: It’s different, realistic and a very quick and easy read.
About the Book: 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.
I didn’t know what to think going into this, but I was intrigued by the synopsis. I thought it was going to be like any other “troubled teen” story where the boys saves the girl or they save each other. But Uses for Boys is not like that at all. Overall, the book is very easy to read and relate to. You can see why and how Anna becomes the way that she is and you really feel for the girl. The pacing was also very quick and even though there were a few pointless moments, it didn’t bother me that much. The whole thing was a lot “darker” than I thought it would be and there are some pretty intense stuff that happens that I was surprised to see.
Uses for Boys tells the story of an impressionable young girl without much of a family. Living with a single mother who is constantly looking for a man to fill her life, she leaves Anna to basically grow up by herself. Because of this, she faces some pretty raw and mature things at a very young age that kind of shocked me. I just wanted to reach out and hug her, show her there’s a better life, and I wanted to slap her mom’s face for her daughter. Anna grows up pretty troubled and damaged until she meets Sam and his family, who, for all intents and purposes, are a nice and normal, loving family.
Anna’s childhood and young adolescent years fly by in a blur and there aren’t really chapters in this book, more like certain points in Anna’s life as she learns to survive and grow. You kind of just see everything laid out there for you, although without much depth or detail. It’s very different from what I usually read, but I see why Erica did it, because I could picture this actually being a teenager’s life and how she would tell it.
I’ll admit, I was bored at the times when the story just went off on tangents and it if it wasn’t for the fact that it flowed very quickly and breezed right through it, I probably wouldn’t have liked it. Thankfully though, the shocking realness of some of Anna’s tougher times was what kept me interested. However, I didn’t like the ending because I thought it was too abrupt and didn’t really close out anything, but maybe Erica was going for an open ending. Either way, it was more of a “meh” read for me, but at least I didn’t hate it.
About the Author