Author: Erica Lorraine Scheidt
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: January 15, 2013
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.
Review: I'm gonna be honest. This book really wasn't my cup of tea. So lets start with the cover. Many people have stated this already but I feel the need to restate it, don't let the cover fool you! This book is not cute like the cover misleads you to believe. My first problem with this book is that I felt like all it was talking about was sex. Now as everyone knows, I don't have a problem with sex in YA books, as long as its in moderation. Honestly, I've even read some adult books that had more moderation than this. I felt like 90% of the book was sex. And that got on my nerves really fast. I felt like this book was severely underdeveloped. There was much more potential for this book but it just never happened. The author had a great idea for where she wanted to go with the book but it just never got there.
So the main character dealt with an abandonment issue. Hence why she turns to guys and sex to feel loved and wanted. I honestly felt like all of this was immature. I mean Anna is made out to be all innocent and unknowing about sex in the beginning and then not to long after she's completely sexually active. And at that she was 14! I mean I know some people have had sex that young but I felt like it just went right along with the immature problem I had with the book! On top of that I felt like the entire book was rushed! I mean we kept going up in age every like 5 chapters. And most chapters weren't that long as it was.
The only part of the book that I did feel was dealt with in a mature way was Anna's abortion at 16. That wasn't just a split second decision for Anna. She actually thought about it and decided that was the best option for her. This issue I felt was dealt with in a mature way and I was glad for that. But this and the slight change in Anna's maturity afterwards was not enough to change my overall rating of the book. It would need some overall improvement in story development for me to like it more. Like I said. This book just wasn't my cup tea.