USES FOR BOYS - Erica Lorraine Scheidt
St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN: 978-1-250-00711-7
January 2013
Young Adult Fiction

Portland, Oregon - Present Day

When Anna was young, she and her mother were close, and all each other had. Then came the men. Stepdads came, and stepdads went, and the houses grew bigger each time. When Anna became a teenager, her mom started to leave her home alone in the house while she stayed with the soon-to-be stepdad. Now that Anna is fifteen, she begins to find her own place in the game of love and boys.

Following Anna's teenage years, USES FOR BOYS really begins with Anna letting a boy feel her up on the bus. From there, readers follow her life, home alone except for the boy she brings home every day after school. Sick of the empty house, Anna drops out of school at sixteen and goes to live with an older boy, working at a coffee shop for money. But Anna's life changes when she meets Sam, a boy different from the rest . . . with a life vastly different from hers. And, finally, Anna might see that boys can be used for more than just a bed and a warm body.

A gritty look at one teenager's journey from neglected daughter to creating an odd, but comforting family of her own, USES FOR BOYS is not for just any reader. The subject matter can be tough for both teenagers and adults alike. Thought provoking, this is the type of novel that cannot be read aloneóreaders will have to share their thoughts with other readers, or at least have an outlet for the feelings this book will arouse.

USES FOR BOYS is superbly written. Author Erica Scheidt fuses a unique writing style with deep subject matter for a well-done and almost painful story. Readers cannot help but connect with Anna and share in her pain and longing. I am torn between saying that all young women should read this, and wanting to caution any potential reader about what is contained in these pages.

If you enjoy realistic young adult fiction, USES FOR BOYS is a good, life-changing choice.

Amanda Toth