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Uses for Boys

3.30  ·  Rating details ·  1,833 ratings  ·  472 reviews
A story of breaking down and growing up, for young adults.

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
Paperback, 240 pages
Published January 15th 2013 by St Martin’s Press
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Average rating 3.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,833 ratings  ·  472 reviews

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Jan 15, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: no-just-no
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
Jan 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Devon Ashley
Oct 17, 2012 rated it did not like it
***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
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
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
Jan 12, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Gabrielle Carolina
Sep 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bir13
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
Jan 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-favorites
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
Aug 15, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Adriana C
Jun 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
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
Jul 01, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Oct 19, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Sep 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
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
Jan 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
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
Jun 07, 2013 rated it did not like it
first of all, I love that when I search for "uses for boys" on goodreads, the second result I get is "Holy Bible: The New American Bible for Catholics: With Revised New Testament and Revised Book of Psalms" (which is actually the bible I used to own/read when I was Xian).

secondly, I've been sitting on writing this review for a while. "uses for boys" was the first book I checked out and finished from a public library in some six or seven years, and one of the few books I even finished this year (
Oct 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
- 1 Star -

Being fooled by a pretty cover and getting misguided by a good synopsis is something that it’s not new to me, but I haven’t felt so disappointed with a book as felt with Uses for Boys; I had a full and huge story in my head when I was done reading the synopsis, a funny plot, with romantic and sarcastic lines from each character, but then, it happen… I read the book, and I would dare to say that I totally prefer the story in my head than the story within the pages of this so-called-book
Oct 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: blog-tours-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
Aug 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt is going to be a hard book for me to review. I really enjoyed it and I flew through, but it wasn’t really what I was expecting. Maybe I should have read the summary more thoroughly because the clues are definitely there. This book has tough content. Some very touchy issues like teen sex are explored, but Scheidt’s writing is gorgeous and breathtaking. She handles these taboo subjects with raw grace.

I knew girls like Anna when I was teenager. A very good fr
Oct 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Step Into Fiction
Jan 23, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: jessica
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
Kellie Maddox-Ward
Jan 13, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya-na, dnf-not-for-me

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
Feb 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
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!
Jan 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
3.5 stars

I am still pondering over if I should round it up or down
It definitely gave me lots of food for thought
Gonna come back to this once I digested it a bit


This book threw me for totally out of balance. To say that I liked it, would actually be a lie. It had an profound impact on me. So much so, that its been on my mind since I have finished it. I am totally disturbed, appalled and even disgusted by some of the things, but I am also intrigued, hear broke and totally aware that many t
Gretchen Hohmeyer
CONTENT WARNING: If you are the kind of person who doesn’t like graphic sex in your books … look elsewhere. This review will also be discussing this, so … fair warning. THERE WILL BE ALL OF THE SPOILERS because I can’t even handle what happened.

When I read this blurb, I had my assumptions about this book. I was expecting a broken girl meets a good guy and everything is happiness and puppies until something happens and then they break up and then they realize their love for each other and then g
This was an incredibly hard read for me. It was at page 68 that I really wanted to abandon this read. After tweeting how difficult of a time I was having finishing and having my Twitter friends reassure me that I wasn’t alone in feeling the way I did but that I should finish because it was a quick read, I decided to keep going.

This is definitely not what I was expecting. I definitely got suckered into this read by the very cute cover that is probably the most misleading part of this all and I d
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