Friday, 18 January 2013

Review: Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt

Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt
Publisher: St. Martin's Press 
Publication date: 15th January 2013.
My rating: 2 stars


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.

I am so disappointed with Uses for Boys, there had been so much high praise and with such a gorgeous cover I thought it would be a brilliant read. But unfortunately I had too many issues with this book, which really made it a frustrating read.

Anna’s never had a steady life, before it was just her and her mum, she loved it but then there came husband after husband, step brothers and new houses. It’s not the ideal life for an eight year old girl, especially with her mother not there that often either. But it’s the life she’s gotten used to; always returning to an empty home and having no friends. I did initially feel sorry for Anna, she had no one, but as she grew up she started following in the footsteps of her mother, random guy after random guy, just drifting through life. I wanted so much for Anna, after not really having a proper parent around, but Anna sort of made these decisions herself spur of the moment not taking into consideration, the repercussions after, so you can see why I had no sympathy for her.

Then when she finally met Toy, I thought things would change, finally she’d found a friend who had tons in common with, someone who could fill that void left by the lack of care and love from her mother and lack of friends. But as the book progressed I didn’t get what the point of Toy was; she didn’t stop Anna jumping head first into silly decisions she kind of made things worse. She was a friend who could put things on a downer really quickly, I understand she didn’t have the best life either, but whenever Anna had something good going for her, unlike a normal friend who would be happy for her, Toy would start yapping on about her own life and her boyfriend who was tons better. What friend does that? I’m sure it made Anna feels even more like crap; also Toy was never around when Anna needed her the most, so I didn’t really get the point of their friendship.

Then when you think Anna’s finally met Mr right, she still goes around getting off with random guys, I don’t think I could ever get why she would do that. Sam was a genuine sweet guy, giving her love and time with his family, something she had ached for forever, and what does she do? Get stone drunk and let random guys grope her?

Anna, Toy and Anna’s mother’s behaviour was a little too much for me at times. It was just pointless why they did some of the things they did. All of these issues combined resulted in sadly a really disappointing read. I really wish I was able to enjoy Uses for Boys more, as I had high hopes for it. But sadly it was just not for me.

20 comments:

  1. I have commented a lot on this book and I've seen the varied 2-3.5 stars for this! This book really intrigued me because of the cover and the title but the general plot really isn't doing it for me any more. I don't like the way Anna's attitude is towards boys and love, thinking that's the only thing in the world. And I think it would infuriate me if I had to read/live with a mother like hers as well. Lovely Review, Jasprit. I'm sorry it didn't work for you though!

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  2. The reviews for this have generally been unfavourable...and it's such a pity this was a huge disappointment! The cover really is gorgeous and even the blurb makes it sounds quite interesting, but urghhh I already hate Anna so much without having read the book! And Toy (what sort of name is that :S) sounds like the worst 'friend' anyone could have. Thank you so much for honest review, Jasprit! I think I'll pass this one...

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  3. This has been getting some very mixed reviews! I've noticed people have either really appreciated the storytelling, or haven't been fans of it at all. I already know I will fall into the latter category (this is not my sort of read) but I have to admit that I'm a little curious about it. Sorry it disappointed you though, Jasprit. I hope your next book is better!

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  4. I'm sorry to hear you didn't enjoy this one as much as you expected to. I haven't heard about it before now, but I think I shall be staying away from it.

    The main character sounds rather frustrating, especially letting random guys grope her and then her friend doesn't sound like a positive influence either.

    Hopefully your next read will be much more enjoyable! :)

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  5. I don't think this book will jive with me as well. I'm just not a fan of a woman or a girl who needs boys to get her act together. I just...I can't. Regardless of how she may justify what she's looking for - carrying on with boys after boys is just not how you go about it. Thanks, Jasprit. You've just solidified the reason why I can't read this book.

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  6. Yeah, this is not at all the book for me Jasprit. I thought it might be something I'd enjoy until the reviews started trickling in, and I knew I would struggle with Anna the whole way through. I get so frustrated with girls who make poor decisions - like having someone who cares about them and then getting drunk and fooling around with other guys - that it just ruins the whole read for me. I don't want to be frustrated and irritated the whole time I'm reading, even if I understand that she obviously has some self-esteem issues and is looking for something she'll never find if she keeps looking where she has been. *heavy sigh* Not the book for me. Thanks for the review!

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  7. Aww.. I am so sorry that you didn't like this one. I can totally see where you are coming from though.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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  8. Sorry to hear this wasn't up to your expectations Jaspirit. I have seen a few reviews from people who enjoyed it but I think Anna would annoy me too, especially the way she seems to act after she meets Sam.

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  9. Thanks for the review. I'm sorry it didn't work for you. I'm still pretty curious about it...it sounds like a book I could possibly enjoy. It must be difficult not to find sympathy for the characters. That could put a downer on things.

    -Lauren

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  10. I have read several reviews on this one and most are not good. Everyone was expecting a nice sweet romance and got something dark and gritty. I am curious but I don't think I will be picking this up anytime soon as I am booked. Glad I passed this over.

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  11. Same here! I was very very disappointed with the story, Anna made horrible choices, and I get that she slept because she wanted to be loved, but that's just wrong on so many levels. I was really surprised when a lot of people started giving it a 5 star review, it got 1 from me.

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  12. I'm so sorry this didn't work out for you, Jasprit! From what you've said, I'd have definite problems with it too. I always hate characters who, for whatever reason, continue in the footsteps of terrible parents. Why not just make a new life for yourself?? Why become like them? Also, from the drama surrounding Toy and Sam, it seems like so many actions are dictated to increase drama and drag the story! >.< I'm so sorry this was such a disappointing read, dear, so I hope your next book can make up for this one!!

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  13. This book has just not been getting the best reviews! :( I was really looking forward to this book too, sorry it's not your cup of tea. You would think that the character would grow and learn from her mother's mistake, but she just follows them? What's the good in that? What does it teach anyone? And Toy doesn't seem like a very good character, either. If anything, she sounds annoying. I'm really not sure if I want to read this book anymore, but thank you so much for your brilliant and honest review, Jasprit! :)

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  14. OH! This book has been getting a ton of mixed reviews and at first it seemed like something I'd enjoy, but now I think I'm going to move it down on my TBR. And even more reason for my not wanting to rad this book is because the main character sounds like someone I know and I think it would just upset me.

    Thank you for the honest review!

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  15. Honestly, I was so tempted to sign up for the blog tour for this one, but kind of glad that I didn't. I thought this book would give me a new insight for people who do go around from boy to boy (whom I dislike almost 100% of the time in real life) and make me really connect to the main character. I'm sorry neither happened for you Jasprit! It seems like the main character doesn't develop much at all, and the secondary characters aren't that great either.

    This one is going off the TBR for sure. Thanks for such a fabulous and honest review Jasprit! <3

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  16. It's hard to talk me into reading contemporaries that are actually good! I think it's safe to say that this stands no chance. I'm sorry you didn't like it more, Jasprit, but I can see why. Anna's behavior would drive me a bit crazy too.
    Great review, though, my friend.

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  17. I had reservations about this book too, it was well written but I was really shocked by Anna's mothers actions, and how different Anna's life could have been if she had had family to love and support her.

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  18. This was really not an easy book to read though.

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  19. Just from your review I think I already understand Anna completely and I understand why she would go and do those things so I am dying to to read this and see what I think.

    I actually have read more negative reviews than positive ones so your rating and reaction is not a surprise!

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  20. I’ve seen so many varying opinions on this book—there really doesn’t seem to be a middle ground with this one. I think it’s interesting that you bring up how the characters’ behavior didn’t make a lot of sense. That sort of thing doesn’t happen a lot with me and the books I read, but I can totally imagine how annoying that would be.

    Hmm... *is still on the fence*

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