By: Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Release Date: January 5, 2016
Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.
Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.
When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, FIRSTS is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.
This story was raw, real and unique. There are many different types of people in this world and they all go through different things. Sometimes it’s nice to see a different side of a story, it’s not all a bunch of roses for some people. Occasionally there are those who have dramatic things happen to them which lead them to do things for justification and this is one of those stories. Firsts was an amazing read that brings you into the mind of a girl who is just trying to help, or at least that’s what she feels is true in her mind.
Mercedes doesn’t live in a happy home, there is nothing wrong with her home just she doesn’t really get the loving attention a child needs when growing up. Because of her broken home situation she turns to the wrong things for satisfaction and for the need to feel wanted and helpful. Of course the way she does this is by “helping” guys lose their virginity so that when they do sleep with their girlfriends it will be a memorable experience. I know this all sounds like a plan that just isn’t going to work but in Mercedes mind she is helping people out to have a better first time than she did.
There are many strong characters in this book and even if she doesn’t want it she does have people she can lean on but doesn’t realize that until the end of the book. In the meantime she’s just going through the motions and vying her time until she leaves for college. There were times when I felt sorry for Mercedes but then there were times when I just wanted to give her a hug. There are a lot of intense emotions in this book and intense situations. Some more than others but the ones that mean the most are the situations that scare Mercedes the most, especially those moments she shares with Charlie and essentially Luke who started this whole downfall.
I’m not too fond of her bible loving best friend, but I get the charade she puts on for her because she needs that purity in her life that she doesn’t have. And I completely understand her relationship with Zach even if she doesn’t, it’s sweet the way he constantly pursues her, it’s endearing. In regards to Faye she came in to save Mercedes from herself and I think she’s a brilliant character. There is just so much goodness in this book along with the craziness. It’s another look at harassment and how schools do nothing about it, seriously the school did nothing. It’s another look at abuse and how if you keep your mouth closed and don’t talk about it there are consequences that will eat you alive and change you into a person that you don’t want to be. It’s also a really great look about trust. Trust is a very big thing and I believe it needs to be earned and not given so freely.
Overall this book was amazing from beginning to end. I sympathize with the main character and all her experiences. The plot was something different and a new perspective to look at in the young adult world. Kids are mean, but harassment is never an answer. I really like the cover because the girl even if it’s just her feet looks so insecure. It’s sweet. You should definitely read this book it’s worth it to read about something other than insta love. Just saying!
I received this book from NetGalley and St. Martin's Press (St. Martin's Griffin), so that I may give my honest opinion and a review. Whether it is good or not please do not let it discourage you from purchasing/reading the book yourself and forming your own opinion. What might be good for me may not be good for you and vice versa. With that said, Happy Reading Everyone!!!