If you read my posts on why books matter and slut-shaming, then you have an idea of how I feel about the topic and where I found this book. I love finding articles that can direct me to meaningful books with a message that is worth reading. And Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt is an interesting read that has some valuable life lessons on love, family, and just being a teenage girl.
The book follows the journey of Anna and her sexual awakening, so to speak. And no, it has nothing to do with handcuffs or an older, sexy man. Instead it is about how she first came to notice boys, sex, and relationships, and how that impact who she became in the course of the novel.
Anna’s story starts when she was just a little girl, living alone with her single mom who is a serial monogamist. As the narration continues we experience Anna’s first grope and slut-shaming, as well as the loss of her virginity and her first love. She jumps from guy to guy, much like her mother, and it is a perspective that is rare and a little understated.
The stream of consciousness type writing is unique, endearing, and brutally honest. Anna admits things to herself that she would never admit to another person. She often has conversations with herself in the guise of other people. At the end of the day, she is a girl without parents and looking for love in any form.
It’s a little sad, a little funny, and a little wise. The book is well-written and sucks you into the plot so that you’ve read 20 pages before you realize you’ve read one. I can’t describe if I liked this book or not; it was certainly interesting and made me think. So below is my overall ranking.
Goodreads rating: 4 stars
Personal rating total: 84
- Writing style – 8
- Plot – 8
- Dialogue – 6
- Personality of Main Character(s) – 10
- Love story – 8
- Invokes emotion – 8
- Synopsis accuracy – 8
- Consistent level of interest – 10
- Stays on topic – 8
- Accuracy of genre/genre blending – 10