Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt

Anna grew up with the story that when she came along, her mom wasn't alone anyone. She was her mom's world, her "five-pointed star", but that wasn't enough for her mom. She wasn't enough. Her mom starts dating and along come a string of boyfriends and husbands that flutter in and out of Anna's life. Soon, it's just her alone in the empty house. To fill the loneliness, Anna turns to boys thinking that if she gives boys what they want, they can give her what she needs. Companionship. Company. Affection. This 240 page book is not light, contrary to looks. Sexuality, rape, abortion are some of the issues that show up in the story. However, this book never dissolves into an "issues" book - not once while I was reading the book felt like I was being bashed over the head with a point. Rather, the entire focus of the story is Anna. It's her story. And Anna....I felt for her so much. I just wanted to spirited her away or at least give her a million hugs of affection. The things that she endured and the lack of positive, loving adult presence in her life breaks my heart. But the thing that drives home Anna's story is Scheidt's prose. It's frank, sparse and lyrical. She doesn't hold back in her words, but she's not overly descriptive either. The words are just so. Raw. honest and wonderfully written. --reviewed by Connie of Books Inc. Opera Plaza