"Uses For Boys" A Look At What's Really Going On With Today's Girls

Uses for Boys
Title:  Uses For Boys
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. -Goodreads

My Thoughts
Anna's mother is always on the hunt for the next big thing relationship wise; never stopping to taking into account the emotional and psychological effect that each has on Anna.
This book provides readers with an unflinching look at what can happen when a teenaged girl is left on her own to cope with issues such as abandonment, low self worth, and the search for love and acceptance.
Anna's life becomes a mirror of her mother's in many respects, though it is very clear that the last thing that Anna wants to do is to be "like her mother".
Because Anna does not have the stable emotional base that she should in her mother; she goes out and tries to find it in boys.
The subject matter found in this book is very "in your face".  This is not done for shock value, but more to spotlight what is an epidemic among today's woman and girls.
Going through this read as one of the "walking wounded", Anna time and again forms relationships with people who are just as wounded as she is.  She is so mired in her own mess however that the mess that her friends wallow in never seems as bad.
There is sun after the rain and many valuable lessons are learned, but the ending is by no means tied with a "happily ever after" bow.
This is a book that is not to be read without Kleenex.
This is a book that I strongly recommend to parents.  It could be the wake up call that many "it's all about me" parents need to start a serious dialog with their children.


  1. I hadn't heard of this book until now! I'm loving the summary and so happy you adored it! It probably sounds weird, but I love reading books about wounded people! The best part is watching them overcome the obstacles, so I'm glad it has a 'happily ever after' bow! Getting this book... and some Kleenex, thanks! :)

  2. Katie,
    Thank you so much for your comment. This author has taken quite a lot of heat for the content of her book. I find the realism refreshing in YA and saw a lot of myself in this book.


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