Rating: 4.5 stars
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 was a spectacular debut. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to reading more from Erica Lorraine Scheidt in the future. I was not sure what I would think of this one – at first, the name scared me off a bit. Contemporaries lately have been so hit or miss for me, so I have been faring towards the side of shying away. I am so happy I took the chance and read this one, since it was a great read.
Uses for Boys is not what I was expecting based on the title. It’s deep, fluid, and almost poetic in the way it reads. There are so many wrong paths Anna goes down throughout the book, but then there also is the element of hope and the light at the end of the tunnel that shows Anna the way life can really be.
I loved Erica Lorraine Scheidt’s unique writing style. She features shorter, choppy sentences interspersed among longer more fluid sentences. It’s a style that usually I am not a fan of, but in this book it just worked. There are also very short chapters, another element that much of the time drives me nuts, but with Uses for Boys, it really worked.
Uses for Boys follows Anna’s life from a young age to her teenage years and it was a fun progression. I loved how the style of the book really works its way into the plot. I liked the plot, yet I wanted more. More backstory and more development. I was instantly sucked into the story on page one, something that doesn”t happen very often for me, and I stayed that way throughout the entirety of the book. I read Uses for Boys in one sitting. But when I finished, I was left wanting more from everything that had happened.
Uses for Boys was a book I quite enjoyed. It was unique, different, and quite fast paced. I loved the character growth in Anna throughout the novel and the character she has become by the book’s end.