Jan 19, 2013

Uses For Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt Review

Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt
Release Date: January 15, 2013
Publisher: St. Martins Press; 240 pages
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.

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. Call me old school, I don’t know…or a prude (which if you knew me, you’d know I’m totally not) but I just don’t see how a book like this is any good for any young person, female or male. The main character, Anna, basically has a non-existent mom who just goes from guy to guy. Leaves Anna alone most of the time from age of 12 until 16, where the book ends. Anna sleeps with the first guy at the age of 13.

This book includes lots of sex with multiple guys. It even includes rape, which is always a touchy subject not mention abortion, which is another touchy subject. She drops out of school at 16 and moves in with a 19 year old guy. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know this happens in every day life to people and it’s sad, really but is it really appropriate for someone to read? There are girls as young as 12 that read YA and I just don’t see how anything like this would be appropriate for them.

This makes me sound like a mother, which is really weird but it’s just…I don’t know. The whole book kind of disgusted me and I really felt a lot of pity for Anna. Maybe that’s the point of the book, to feel so bad for our MC but that doesn’t make it a good book.

Thirteen is just too young, in my opinion, to be so careless about something like sex. Sure, you could blame a lot of Anna’s actions on her mom, which is what I did but it’s just something I can’t wrap my head around. There are girls I know who are 16 years old and have slept with at least two dozen men. I’m only about ten years older than these girls and it blows my mind. When I was in school, sure there was sex but not like there is today. Two dozen plus partners and you’re only now legal to drive. Blows my mind.

Also, the fact that she sleeps with people because she’s bored…is…just…what? Do people really do that?

Not my cup of tea.

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