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.