Monday, September 02, 2013

Review- Uses For Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt

Goodreads Summary:

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.


Wait. What? The book is over? Already? Seriously? 
This is perhaps the first book that I finished in a single sitting simply because I knew I'd be confused and perplexed had I taken a pause. I just wanted to get it over with and I was amazed and shocked to be greeted by the Acknowledgements just when I thought that the story was going somewhere. 
Okay, I must admit that I am a sucker for abrupt, cliff-hanger-ish and unhappy endings and I am always up for disturbing and messed up, which is why I was really excited for Uses For Boys
But. But, but, but, Uses For Boys has left me feeling everything and yet it feels like I'm feeling nothing. 
I want to actually sit and think over it and then, the next moment, I want to throw it all away and forget that I even read the book. 
I have no idea what I feel about Uses For Boys
Initially I thought the book would be fun with Anna having a go at numerous guys before finally meeting the one boy who changes her and her life forever, kind of like a female player version of a book. 
Unfortunately, Uses For Boys is anything but fun. 
With it's opaqueness and mystification, Uses For Boys begins with Anna's mom ignoring her little daughter and in turn, Anna finds herself seeking affection from anyone and everyone who is willing to shower it upon her in any and every way. 
Although I completely understand her need to feel wanted, I just don't understand how and why Anna let all those boys touch her here, there and everywhere. It was disturbing and repelling. 
What I did really like about Uses For Boys is something that most readers and reviewers didn't quite like. The writing, for me, was absolutely gorgeous. It was different, unlike anything I've read before. The broken sentences, the half spoken lines... The story might be plagued by darkness, but the writing was fresh and clean. It was as if the thoughts in Anna's mind are flowing unfiltered and finding their way straight on paper. 
Author Erica Lorraine Scheidt's writing is truly exquisite. 
I couldn't relate to anything or anyone in Uses For Boys. It is a dark, deep and disturbing book that I can neither love nor hate. When you look at it profoundly, it is a very challenging, concrete, sincere and serious book. But I don't even want to look at it profoundly. It is too much for me to take in and for me, it was a lukewarm read that was different and the writing was really sparkling.  



  1. I ADORE the cover of that book <3 That sounds like a really cool writing style! Great review(:
    Happy reading

    1. Yes, the cover and writing of this book are pretty cool. Thank you, Jackie! :)

  2. I couldn't get into this book at all - I had no idea what was happening half the time. I get what you mean when you say that you have no idea what you feel about the book - I'm the same way. Some parts were so poignant while some just made me want to scratch my head in confusion. Like you, I actually liked the writing and felt like it captured Anna perfectly.

    Great review, Sarika! :)

    1. You put it all right out there, Lyra. Thank you! :)

  3. Eh! I didn't care for his book at all. The whole story was nonsense and went over my head. Though I'm glad that you liked it, even if it's just a bit :p Thanks for sharing, doll :) Great review!

  4. Interesting - I had read another review of this book and they loved it, but it doesn't sound like something I'd like based on your review. I think I'll hold off on this one.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  5. I really don't like when the story ends all of a sudden. It can be annoying. I have seen this book around and it does sound interesting but I think I'll pass. Great review Sarika :)

  6. Ehh yeah, this really doesn't sound like your kind of book, Sarika (nor does it sound like mine, for that matter)! I'm so surprised because I thought this was more of a nice romance? I never would have guessed that it would actually be dark and disturbing. I can see why you would have no interest in a book like this because I wouldn't either. The writing sounds interesting though! Sorry this one didn't quite work for you, Sarika, but I really appreciate the honest and thoughtful review!

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment, Aylee! I highly appreciate it. :)

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