Reading guide for Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Uses for Boys

by Erica Lorraine Scheidt

Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt X
Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback:
    Jan 2013, 240 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Smith
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. What do you think the title Uses for Boys signifies? In what ways does it describe the events and relationships portrayed in the novel? 

  2. Compare and contrast the parent/child relationships in the story, including Anna and her mom; Toy and her mom; Sam and his mom. What effect do these relationships have on each character's actions?

  3. What is the significance of storytelling in this book? Consider the stories Anna's mom tells her as a child and Toy's stories about boys. What do you think Anna means when she says, "the stories we tell ourselves are not the only stories"? Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not? 

  4. How do you think the novel might be different (or similar) if it was narrated by Toy? By Sam? What might each of their novels be called?

  5. Uses for Boys touches on some troubling or weighty themes; what are they? Do you think they're handled in an appropriate and/or impactful way? How so?

  6. Why doesn't Anna tell anyone what happened with Todd? And why does she tell this story differently even to herself? Have you ever had an experience like this, one that you decided to keep to yourself? How did not telling affect you?

  7. What do you think Anna meant when she said that the abortion made them a family?

  8. What do you think Anna is looking for from the people around her? From her mom, Toy, Sam and his family? Have you ever had experiences or feelings like hers? How did the people around you support you? 

  9. Consider the structure of the novel: the short, titled chapters and use of repeated phrases. How do you think this structure contributes to your understanding of Anna's character? 

  10. Do you identify with Anna's character? Why or why not? What do you see as her strengths? Her weaknesses?

  11. What do you think you're meant to take away from this novel? And what one thing (if you had to choose) did you take away from it?

  12. In the end of the novel, what do you think has changed for Anna? What do you think she's going to do next?


Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of St. Martin's Griffin. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  826 National

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Greek to Me
    Greek to Me
    by Mary Norris
    Mary Norris' Greek to Me received an overwhelmingly favorable response from our First Impression ...
  • Book Jacket: Miracle Creek
    Miracle Creek
    by Angie Kim
    Miracle Creek, the debut novel from Angie Kim, hinges on the mysterious explosion of an oxygen tank....
  • Book Jacket: Courting Mr. Lincoln
    Courting Mr. Lincoln
    by Louis Bayard
    19 out of 21 of our First Impression Reviewers rated Louis Bayard's latest novel, Courting Mr. ...
  • Book Jacket
    Transcription
    by Kate Atkinson
    Over her two-decade-plus career, Kate Atkinson has reinvented herself as a writer several times by ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Guest Book
    by Sarah Blake

    "An American epic in the truest sense…"
    Entertainment Weekly
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Women Rowing North
    by Mary Pipher

    The instant New York Times bestseller from the author of Reviving Ophelia.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
Her Kind of Case
by Jeanne Winer

A highly-recommended emotion-filled legal drama with three starred reviews!

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Miracle Creek

My husband asked me to lie. Not a big lie...

A thrilling debut novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Celeste Ng.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I I T S Form O F

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.