This is a contemporary teen novel that you won't soon forget. I was thinking about Anna and the other characters long after closing the book. This is a debut novel that will have you looking forward to Erica's future writings. An author to watch.
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, brining home the next stepfather. Anna is
left on her ownâ€”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 loseâ€”and something to offer. Real, shocking, uplifting,
and stunningly lyrical, Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt is a story of breaking down and growing up.
As a teenager, Erica Lorraine Scheidt studied writing at the Jack
Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University and later
received an MA in creative writing from University of California, Davis.
Now a teaching artist and longtime volunteer at 826 Valencia, Erica
works with teen writers in the San Francisco Bay Area. She's a 2012
Artist in Residence at Headlands Center for the Arts and is currently at
work on a second novel for young adults.