Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt

Posted 24 January, 2013 by Danny in Blog, Danny, Danny's Book Review, Featured / 38 Comments

UsesForBoysUses for Boys

Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication: January 15th 2013 by St Martin’s Press
Copy from publisher
Get your own: amazon | BookDepository
Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt on goodreads

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.


So, here’s what I expected from synopsis: heartbreakingly real story about a Girl with lots of issues she has to solve. I expected this to be intense, but gripping and awesome…



So. No. What. I. Hoped

I rarely start a review with pointing out what didn’t work for me, yet here I have no other choice. Right away, when I started reading I was shocked about the first few scenes. Actually, I was shocked and utterly disturbed. But. I had my hopes still up that with more pages I’d start getting into the story and connect with Anna. Sadly, this was not the case and even though I ended up finishing the book it was definitely not my cup of tea.

Anna – broken, confused, disturbing

Anna definitely didn’t had it easy with her mom who left Anna alone fighting for herself. She turns to boys and lets herself get used by them. She was so detached from all the emotions and sexual feelings that she simply let the boys do what they wanted. It was disturbing to see and some scenes were definitely borderline and shocking. Even though I felt very bad for her I was never able to connect with Anna at any point. I didn’t get her reactions and decisions at all.

Clipped short dialogues and a very unique way of storytelling

I am certain that there are lots of people who will absolutely adore and enjoy the way this book is written, yet for me it didn’t work. There was way to little dialogue for my liking and everything felt clipped short. I felt detached from the story instead of getting sucked into it.

Also, the ending was far from what I hoped. I was at least hoping that Anna would have a chance at the end to live a better life … I closed the book and I was not in a happy place. I’m sure though that this was anyway not the authors intention, yet it was not how I had hoped the book would leave me.

Bewitched Rating

Rating 1.5

Bottom Line

Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt was edgy and different. Sadly, I wasn’t able to get into the story, nor was I abale to connect with the characters. However, I think this is a hit or miss and I’m sure there are lots of reader who will enjoy this sad tale who seems to come quite close to reality.


 contemporary notforme

Much Love,
Obsessive Reader by Night – Scientist at Day!
You can also find me on goodreads. I’d love to get to know you so, don’t be shy and say Hello!

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38 Responses to “Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt”

  1. I had a somewhat difficult time with this one too. I was continuously shocked by what I read. I too was hoping for a coming of age type story that left me with some warm fuzzy feelings in the end. I’m pretty sure I ended with a WTF face. I did enjoy the way the story was told though, and my heart ached for the MC. I’m glad that I decided to read this one for review rather than my 14 year old daughter though. I won’t not be comfortable with her reading this one. More of a mature YA read for sure. Great review!
    Chapter by Chapter recently posted..Blog Tour: Breaking Point (Article 5 #2) by Kristen Simmons – Review with G!veawayMy Profile

  2. Thanks for dropping by, Danny! And oh.. Oh. :( *pats* sorry you didn’t like this one! I’ve heard about the book and have seen mostly 3 star-reviews but this is the first time I read a negative review on it. I agree that letting herslf be used by boys is disturbing..well, if she uses boys instead to get sex – I might have understood that and I’ve seen that in other novels’s just weird. Great honest review!

  3. Actually I read this book and had some of those same thoughts about it. I didn’t connect with her , and I get why she uses boys because of her mom. But it just reminded me of a trainwreck , and I really was hoping for some growth . I didn’t see it at all.
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  4. I had pretty much guessed this wasn’t going to be a book for me based on some other reviews, but your thoughts have sealed the deal Danny. I will not be picking this book up. I knew I would struggle with Anna and the decisions she makes, and I think it’s best for my mental health if I just keep my distance from her:)

  5. I know this book isn’t for everyone. It IS shocking and particularly hard for mothers, or even just adults, to read. But we know better. Teens go through these things and I have to give the author kudos for keeping it real. It might be good to have a warning label on it though cause some parents won’t be okay with their kids reading this. I know I wouldn’t want my 13 year old reading it (if I had a 13 year old) but would be okay with a 17 year old reading it because I figure they could use a dose of reality and the content shouldn’t be shocking for them since they’ll likely know people like this already.
    I liked the writing style. And I felt the ending WAS filled with hope, I felt like things were good, so I guess maybe we all take something different from that ending?
    Sorry this one didn’t work for you though!
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    • Ah, I am so happy you loved it Candace! It’s weird how people can interpret endings differently and I’m happy you felt the hope I’m sure the author was aiming for. I also felt it holds a big dose on reality, but I just was hoping that it would be a happy ending. It just wasn’t and I was left sad and angry.

      But, it’s good that a book can stir so many different thoughts and opinions!
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  6. Unfortunately, this seems to be the general consensus. Pretty much every review I’ve read so far is the same. This is not my kind of read anyway, but I’m sorry you wasted your time.
    And I appreciate that you don’t usually start your revews negatively, I try not to either, but sometimes there’s really no choice.

  7. Kristin

    Yeah, I thought this might be decent when I first saw it, but the more I read about it, I thought it probably wouldn’t be for me.

    Thanks for the honest review, I’m definitely steering clear of this one.

  8. Ah, this book was not for me… I didn’t like the ending at all. Also, I had problems with the writing. I felt disconnected to the story and not being truly sucked in as I wished too. Also the lack of dialogue irked me.
    However, I’m Glad you liked it :))

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