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With a title like "Uses for Boys," and a pretty picture of two kissing teens entwined in Christmas lights on the cover, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Erica Lorraine Scheidt's book was a sweet, fluffy, young-adult romance. But, uh, you guys? IT'S NOT.

And we think that's a good thing.

"Uses for Boys" is the story of Anna, the only child of a single mom whose only interest is finding her next husband...and the next, and the next. Left behind while her mother chases one new life after another, toted along like baggage to each new marriage and set of step-relatives, Anna grows up isolated in every sense of the word. But when she turns 14, she discovers a way to fill the emptiness: the title's useful and ever-present boys.

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