Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: January 15, 2013
Genre: Realistic Young Adult
Source: Netgalley – Itching for Books Blog Tour
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.
“I want to go back to the tell-me-again times when I slept in her bed and we were everything together. When I was everything to her. Everything she needed.”
“And then he hugs me. Really hugs me. Like he thinks that there’s only one of me and I’m special and I’m enough for him. Like he doesn’t need anything else. Like he was alone and then I came along.”
About the author:
By day, Erica Scheidt is a marketing consultant and for some years had her own PR agency specializing in video games. She now works part-time for a non-profit organization, while also serving on the board of directors of ISIS, a 10-year-old non-profit focused on sexual literacy. As a teenager, Erica studied writing with William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, and Jim Carroll at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in Boulder, Colorado. In 2007, she was nominated by Rick Moody for the Best New American Voices anthology and in 2008 received an MA in creative writing at University of California, Davis. Erica is a longtime volunteer at 826 Valencia, working with teenage writers who are crafting their own stories, and is passionate about writing by teens and for teens. She lives in San Francisco.
Bio courtesy of Macmillan
Find Erica Lorraine Scheidt:
*Just a little note – I was scheduled to review Uses for Boys and wanted to, would have if I could have. This is a difficult, painful book and I just couldn’t find my way through it. It’s a very realistic portrayal of a girl who begins her pubescent (and some pre) life having learned that she’s not worth loving, that her body is just an object that she’s rather dispassionate about. Her mother ceased being interested in her once she herself started to attract men, so that’s the image of “worth” Anna had and sexual abuse was seen as exciting and proof that she wasn’t alone. Anna’s narration has a flat affect and it’s pitch perfect but it may also be a little off-putting if you aren’t expecting it – it’s one of the reasons I’m so torn about not being able to fully review this but after several tries, I just couldn’t get past a couple of blocks of mine. I suspect this would have been a B for me.