January 15, 2013

Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt

Title: Uses for Boys
Author: Erica Lorraine Scheidt
Publisher: St. Martin´s Press
Release date: January 15th 2013
Source: Netgalley
Format: egalley

Rating: 2/5

Buy onAmazon | B&N | BookDepository

Read excerpt here

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.

The first thing that attracted me to Uses for Boys was its beautiful cover and after reading its synopsis which suggests that it was a poignant and heartbreaking novel, and I do love this type of books but I like them with a happy ending, and this book doesn´t have a happy ending.. Uses for Boys is a very realistic contemporary novel that shows the dark side of Anna the main character of the story.

This book is told from Anna´s POV and it begins when she´s 7 years old and she tells about the good old days when there were only she and her mother against the world and they lived in a tiny apartment, and as the years pass by, her mother starts looking for a husband and a better life, but from that moment she stops paying attention to Anna. Anna grows alone (even if she´s living in the same house as her mother) and without the affection of her mother, as she grows older, she begins to seek affection elsewhere and she finds it in the boys. And in my very humble opinion she does not use the boys, but it is the other way round; and I don´t know if it´s because Anna is innocent or broken but she  begins to confuse the attention she receives from boys with love. And as she grows up she creates her own world where the boys love her and they´re her new family, so she goes from boy to boy looking for love.

In Uses for Boys the chapters are tiny and because is told from Anna´s POV, there isn't almost any dialogue at all, is more about the thoughts of the protagonist, so I didn´t really like the book, because Anna has severe emotional problems. Definitely this book was not for me, I felt as if the chapters were cut, I did not like the ending and I would have liked an epilogue.

This is a realistic contemporary novel, dark and very depressing. My favorite contemporary novels are poignant, and heartbreaking but with a happy ending, so Uses for Boys was not for me.

Something I should mention that although the book is categorized for 13 years old and up, I do not recommend it for teens, is more a mature YA novel because it addresses serious issues, like sex, sexual abuse and abortion.

I want to thank St. Martin's Press and Netgalley for this review copy.


  1. I am so confused about reading this one. I like dark contemporaries too, but like you, I need happy at the end. If there is no happy, I don't know if all the sad is worth it. Thanks for the great review. I gotta think on this one.

  2. I've heard a lot about this book, but haven't really decided if I want to read it or not. I'm not huge into contemporaries, but like to read one occasionally. I am, however, intrigued by the unhappy ending.

  3. Oh it's too bad you didn't like it! I really like dark stories, and I know lots of people want a happy ending, me too. Maybe it's open to interpretation in this case?

  4. I like to read heartbreaking stories and the cover as you say is really beautiful, but now I don't know if I should read it :/ I like happy endings too!

  5. I'm a fan of books with pretty covers too and intriguing blurb.. I don't know though 'cause I like happy endings. Thanks for the review! :)

  6. This does sound more like a mature YA book than for 13 and up. I'm pretty sure it's not one I offer to my 13 year old.

  7. My thoughts exactly,I didn't really like it.

  8. It does have a lovely cover but that is disappointing to hear that it isn't likable. I've seen a lot of "disappointed" reviews. I hope to read it soon but I'm glad I know what I'm getting into reading it. Thanks for your thoughts!

  9. i still want to read this one, just because I tend to like things others dont. I have read a lot of reviews about this book, and it sounds like a good enough story that I'd read it, but not one thats at the top of my to be read list. Thanks for sharing your review!

  10. I'm really looking forward on reading this book! I could really use a heartbreaking book once in a while. :)

  11. I'm sorry you didn't like this. I'm pretty sure I won't like it either. I think this book will be about all the wrong choices she's made in her life and I might get a little annoyed because I don't think anyone will make that many wrong choices.

  12. Your the second person I've seen that didn't like this book. Great Review though. I don't think I'' be reading this anytime soon

  13. I do enjoy dark, contemporary, and realistic novels. A happy ending is not imperative for me but it does have to be plausible.

    That being said, I do prefer books told from varying POV's and I enjoy dialogue.

    Nonetheless, I'll keep this on my TBR for now. Thanks for your review.

  14. Some person tell me that this books is not enough good. And if I am superficial the cover is ugly. The guys don't look good :S but well.

  15. I feel so torn about reading this. I adore the cover and it sounds really intriguing. I love picking up books that are a little more geared towards real life situations and Ana even seems to have bits and pieces of my own teenage experience. The difference is I had that Happy ending and if I don't get that from an emotional read, it really just leaves me drained and sad. Not sure if I want to be in that emotional state right now

  16. I wanted to give this book a try since the cover is so gorgeous! However after reading your review I'll probably push it back towards the end of my TBR list:)

  17. I thought the cover on this book was really cool... but didn't go with the book all that well. I've read a lot of negative reviews on this book and totally agree it is not for everyone. I liked it because it was really honest. I feel like a lot of girls try to find love in sex like Anna does.

    Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Book Blog

  18. Oh no! I'm sorry you didn't like this book. I have read some negative reviews of it. I won it, and was trying to find the time to get to it, but I'll probably hold off some more.