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Uses for Boys

3.22 of 5 stars 3.22  ·  rating details  ·  1,541 ratings  ·  457 reviews
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, ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published January 15th 2013 by St Martin’s Press (first published January 1st 2013)
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Community Reviews

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I think I can count on one hand the number of times a book has been as off its mark and gone as awry as Uses for Boys. To be perfectly clear, I understand Erica Lorraine Scheidt’s intention to write a character study of a neglected girl who turns to meaningless sex as her sole source of solace, and I came into the book expecting mature and graphic content, so my criticism is not of those elements per se. No, my problem is that Scheidt seems to rely on shock value alone to carry the narrative wit ...more
Warning: This is NOT a cute YA romance. It's crass. It's disturbing. And it's definitely for a more mature audience who can handle a distasteful subject. Many readers will not like this book. Some will not get very far. But I was prepared, so I knew what I was getting myself into.

I actually found that the book did a great job telling the story about what happens to many, many girls out there (and believe me, I have seen it happen to others too many times). I like the simplicity of the book (some
Do not be fooled by the incredibly gorgeous cover. This is in no way romantic. There are no fairy lights in any of her relationships. This was a quick and depressing read but I felt it was real and raw. This is not a fun romance of a player girl who then settles down. (This is what I thought at first. I thought it would be more like The Duff but with a female Wesley Rush.) She is deeply alone and troubled and tries to fill her life with boys. There is a lot of very detailed sex and even one non- ...more
I am so disappointed with Uses for Boys, there had been so much high praise and with such a gorgeous cover I thought it would be a brilliant read. But unfortunately I had too many issues with this book, which really made it a frustrating read.

Anna’s never had a steady life, before it was just her and her mum, she loved it but then there came husband after husband, step brothers and new houses. It’s not the ideal life for an eight year old girl, especially with her mother not there that often eit
Initial reaction: I think a lot of people are going to be fooled by the cover of this particular novel and think that this is a light fluffy story about a teen who finds love. The cover is a bit of false advertising to be honest - and I don't know if I'd say the title of the novel fits it all that well either. This is a rather rough story - and the only novel that I can think of off the top of my head to compare it to is "Push" by Sapphire (only I would argue "Push" is far more tragic and with m ...more
Devon Ashley
***There are spoilers in this review, but as I would never recommend ANYONE reading this novel, it probably won't matter. Also, I'm a little mad right now, but I'm trying to draw back on the anger and inappropriate wordage and just be critical of substance.***

First off, let me say that I'm a little late to the party in terms of reviewing this ARC. By the time I began this, I had noticed that Uses For Boys was averaging around three stars. First reaction - that's not good. I opted not to read any
First I was planning to read this book, then I changed my mind cause of the reactions from my friends, and then I changed it again cause all the different opinions got me really curious.

Let me start with saying (and I think the majority started their review with these words): this book was really hard to review. The subject is so delicate and sensitive, so it's not easy to give a honest opinion without insulting/upsetting someone. I'm not naive, I don't live in a fantasy bubble, so I'm well awa
Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)
This is a mature book, with sad themes laced with hope especially at the end. This is not light, not fluffy, and the beautiful cover fits in some ways but if you go in expecting any thing except dark and gritty, you are probably going to be disappointed.
That said, I don't think I even had seen the cover when I read the blurb, but I knew that it would be a book for me. I just wanted to make clear so that it is not an issue for those who might be expecting something else.
Anna, the main charac
Zemira Warner
Jul 28, 2012 Zemira Warner marked it as to-read
Shelves: contemporary
Aww... This cover is adorable.

G.C. Nash
I am so shocked more people do not "get" this novel. I've been reading a bunch of reviews that go something like this-

"I don't condone Anna's choices, so I don't like the book." Thing is, I don't even think ANNA herself condones her choices. This book isn't about a girl whose world is squared away and Scheidt did a wonderful job of building up her MC's history, opening the doors to Anna's poor choices with perfect pacing and a wonderful, unique voice.

The book has very vibrant, serious content t
Uses for Boys is unlike anything I've ever read, and that is the easiest thing I've ever said.

Told in stark, haunting and lyrical prose, Uses for Boys is the story of a quiet misfit, Anna, raised by a single, troubled mother, hopping from boyfriend to husband and back again like the rising and falling of the sun. From the beginning, Anna gripped me tightly. We've all had those moments in our lives where we felt along and unloved and, in the beginning of the book, Anna feels just that way when he
Anna's dad was never there. Her mom used to be. But she's not anymore. She's with a new man. Then another one. Then another one. She's never there for Anna.

Anna seeks family through boys. She learned it from her mother. When that first boy touches her and she feels electric, that's what she thinks love and belonging are. She continues, boy after boy, sexual episode after sexual episode. She's taken advantage of, abused by these boys.

Then she meets Toy. Toy's another broken girl without a family
Jan 18, 2013 Sarah rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Ellen Hopkins Fans
This review was originally published on Clear Eyes, Full Shelves.

Sometimes the idea of a book is ultimately stronger than the story within.

In the case of Erica Lorraine Scheidt's debut novel, Uses for Boys, I found myself distracted by the innovative take on teen sexuality. However, once I was stuck into the story, the execution ultimately did not work.

Uses for Boys opens when Anna, whose first-person point-of-view is told in a stream-of-consciousness, real-time style, is a child, alone with he
This is THE WORST BOOK I've ever read. Everything about it was an utter disaster. There was nothing to learn from the story. What was the author trying to tell us? That your life is shit if you don't have caring parents. That is not true. The main character, Anna makes the worst choices throughout the book, and basically becomes a slut (I hate using that word) at the age of 13, and in reality all she need was a good counselor who could have guided her through rough patches. I can't believe that ...more
Adriana C
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 doesnt 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 Annas POV and it begins when shes 7 years old and she tells about the good ol
There has been a lot of buzz about this book. It's the book with the pretty cover that insinuates there is a lovely, romantic story about to unfold.

People. IGNORE the cover. I *almost* took off a star because the cover is such a blatant misrepresentation of the book, but after I thought about it, reviews are about the book--not about the cover.

This book isn't going to be for everyone. It just isn't. It's brutal, heartbreaking and one of the most painful depictions of what happens when a little
Christy LoveOfBooks
Ugh, I had to totally scrap the original review I wrote for this book, because it got way too personal. It was therapeutic, though. So let’s start over. Uses for Boys is a book that takes you places… painful places. I think this is the hardest review I’ve ever had to write. Part of me just wants to say how I really liked this book, but a big part of me wants to go over every little part and talk about the psychology of it all. The author captured something very raw and real with Uses for Boys, a ...more
You can find my totally spoilery review with quotes and more non-flailing on the Fictionators. I'll try to tone it down here.

This has been one of the hardest reviews that I have ever had to write. That could be because this has been one of the hardest books that I've ever read.

Let's start with why I wanted to read it. I read the summary--I expected some angst, ya'll. But every time I thought my poor wussperv heart couldn't take it, I would look at the beautiful cover and think *sigh* that's the
Taschima Cullen
Aug 16, 2012 Taschima Cullen marked it as to-read
A beautiful cover mixed with an intriguing summary. I want to read this NOW.

Contemporary is definitely making a comeback, and beating both the vampire genre and dystopian to the ground.
Step Into Fiction
Let me start off by saying it is insanely rare for me to rate a book with one star. I've done it with two other books out of the 300+ books I've read over the past 2-3 years. It takes a lot for me not to like a book, like really not like a book.

The good news? I finished this book in a few hours. The bad news…it so wasn’t my cup of tea. I want to be careful how I word this review because I don’t want to offend anyone but this book is part of the reason I have issues with the way our society is. C
I almost didn't read USES FOR BOYS, honestly, because I expected it to be another young adult love story like so many I'd read before. Sure, I could tell from the description and the subject matter that it might be a bit more gritty than what I've usually come to expect from the genre. But, is that enough to make this one stand apart in my mind from all the others I've read before now?

I'm really glad I actually gave this one a shot because I do think it was an amazing, memorable book for me, a s
Debbie (at) I Heart YA Books
Uses for Boys was not an easy novel to read, but it is one that touched my heart deeply for Anna. Because Anna's story is very true for some of today’s teen girls (and boys). So I will definitely say don't go into this book with fluff story on your mind. If you can't handle the hard, dark truth of what some teen girls lives are like today, then please don't read Anna's story. And I say that because I believe author Erica Lorraine Scheidt deserves to be praised for her writing of Anna's story and ...more
Montana G.
I thought the idea for Uses For Boys was super interesting, but unfortunately, it really let me down. I strongly disagreed with Anna’s decisions and I just couldn’t sympathize for her because of what she did.

Anna is neglected by her mother, and therefore she decides to look for affection from different guys. I did feel bad for Anna’s situation, but I didn’t think it was right of her to decide to have sex with guys just to make up for it. Even though she was really troubles, it was definitely not
Kellie Maddox-Ward

When I saw this on Netgalley. I thought OOOO pretty cover!

Then I read the synopsis and thought this sounds cool...

I only made it to 8% before I put it down and read something else the first time.
I have attempted to read this 3 times now.
Finally I admitted that I just didn't like it and stopped reading at 24%

I am normally all for dark indie books.
But this book?
It just wasn't of me.
I didn't like the characters, being in Anna's head was annoying and the writing style just didn't work for me. It
Kerri (Book Hoarder)
A hard, realistic look at a teenaged girl's life and where her choices lead her.

This definitely isn't a light, fluffy book - a fact that I actually appreciate, because so much of life is not light and fluffy. The book is told from the perspective of Anna, unspooling the story of a little girl who delights in being the centre of her mother's universe. It's just the two of them on their own, and when Anna's mother starts dating and bringing home men, suddenly Anna finds herself on the outside.

I've been friends with a few Annas in my life, so this book really got to me. Beautifully written. It's not easy to raise yourself or when the parent in your life is the child. It takes a long time to figure out who you are. It's refreshing to see an author take a chance and write about life as it truly is for a lot of teen girls out there. So what if it isn't filled with pretty boy romance and escapism? It's a voice we don't often get to hear and it needs to be heard.
Honestly, this book was beautiful. It was nostalgic and poetic, full of artfully crafted prose that made me ache. It's compulsively readable, quotable, and all around just an amazing book that I would recommend to anyone with a taste for emotionally charged, character driven books that star imperfect heroines.

You can see my full review over at Booky Berries!
Mery St. Clair
Apr 12, 2012 Mery St. Clair marked it as to-read
Que linda portada!!!
So, reading this book was an experience. I’ve been thinking about this book quite a bit since I finished, which I suppose is a point in its favor because it is thought-provoking. I believe I understand the ambition behind this book, but I’m not so sure how I feel about the end product. I suppose you could call Uses for Boys a character study of Anna, but I’m not sure it always goes deep enough for even that. There is an attempt to explore and delve into Anna’s life and how it came to be, but at ...more
I don’t know about this book. I just don’t know. Definitely, it needed to be at least 100 pages longer, because for me it’s way too short as is. But other than that, I have no clue. Uses for Boys is probably most well-known in the reading community for being sexually explicit, and it’s definitely that. I’m not sure how appropriate some of this book was for teen audiences, but, you know…it’s not like most teens are completely unaware of the mechanics. Though I do think it’s a very different thing ...more
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When I was a kid all I did was write. I dropped out of high school and attended the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University where I was surrounded by writers and artists.

But then, in my early twenties, I got a job. I worked hard at that job for 15 years and didn't write a word.

Then this happened: I walked into a bookstore and bought two books by Francesca Lia Block. No part
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“And then he hugs me. Really hugs me. Like he thinks that there's only one of me and I'm special and I'm enough for him. Like he doesn't need anything else. Like he was alone and then I came along.” 31 likes
“I want to go back to the tell-me-again times when I slept in her bed and we were everything together. When I was everything to her. Everything she needed.” 27 likes
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