From Erica Lorraine Scheidt’s Uses For Boys

From Erica Lorraine Scheidt’s Uses For Boys

This book is like something whispered to you. Something that sings and rhymes but isn’t super obvious about it. Like a Suzanne Vega song. Or a bossa nova tune.

People have discussed Uses For Boys in terms of how it handles sex, which is brilliant, but to see it as a ‘steamy YA sex book’ is bullshit.

It’s not about boys at all. It’s really about being a girl. And wanting friends. And wanting your mother. Wanting, really.

One of my favorite passages, after the jump:

She says it first. “You’re my best friend,” she says and I feel something when she says it. I feel it in the tip of my fingers, under my fingernails and in the palms of my hand. I feel something so strong and so familiar that I want to take it home and show my mom. See, I want to say. I want to hold out my hands and show my mom so she can see it and remember.

I sit on the side of the tub and watch Toy get ready. She twists her hair up and catches it on top of her head. She curls her eyelashes, tints her cheeks. Pieces of dark hair escape from her barrette. I look at my own reflection, jagged hair and blue eyes. I want to be Toy. I want to climb into her and feel the ticking spiral of her thoughts in my head. But more than that, I want her to feel it too. I want her to want to be me.

from pp. 67-68 of Erica Lorraine Scheidt’s Uses For Boys, St. Martin’s Griffin, 2012.

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