Uses for Boys
Author: Erica Lorraine Scheidt
Published By: St Martin's Griffin
Date Published: January 15, 2013
Genre: YA Drama
Recommended For: Mature YA
Review By: K
Received eBook Copy thru NetGalley
Anna often reflects back on the days when she was her mother's whole world, when she would listen to her mother recite their story. But times change and her mother is no longer focused on Anna, she's chasing after the next husband, a bigger house, a better life. Soon Anna learns that boys can be her family- they can make her feel good and forget that she is all alone in the world- she finds that there are uses for boys she never knew before.
A gritty and emotional roller coaster, this book made my stomach churn. I can see how some teens or young adults may relate to this story, but I also believe that a great deal will not. The way that the main character views men and herself is heartbreaking. There is a clear man hating message that rings through in this story and a lack of self confidence and self respect. I can't completely hate this book though, the story the author was trying to tell is a difficult one to listen to. A fatherless girl growing up essentially on her own and trying to feel loved in any way she can- there is certainly a reality there. The boys that would take advantage of her, the school kids who would label her as easy- it absolutely happens in real life, I just wouldn't suggest a teenager or young adult who hasn't experienced it to read this. It can be overwhelming and difficult to stomach.
If you are someone who has lived this type of story or know someone who has, you could gain strength from the ultimate message. I just felt that the end message and theme of the book was so understated that it was snuffed out by the anger and pain of the rest. Overall, the book was well written with great flow and realistic quality. The author truly captured one girls journey of self discovery, regardless of how painful that experience had to be. Props to her for a story well done, just be warned- this is not your typical YA read.
Language: name calling, profanity, medium to high usage of cuss words.
Adult Content: High sexual content- all sex acts discussed and performed with multiple partners. A lack of feeling of self worth, abandonment issues, manipulation, psychological abuse.
Violence: Rape, sexual abuse