ARC REVIEW: Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Release Date: January 5, 2016
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pre-order Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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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.
*Thank you so much to St. Martin's Press for providing me with an advance reading copy in exchange for my honest review.*

   From the very first line, I was already captivated. I knew I was going to fall in love with the story and I did. From the first to last page, my attention never wavered. It was completely amazing especially with the novel being a debut!

   Because Mercedes' first time was completely horrific, she's determined to make the first time for other girls special by unknowingly teaching their boyfriends and having them get rid of their awkward first time. Her only rule is that they have be virgins. But after several weird incidents with some guys, her "system" starts to spiral out of control. And they start getting out of hand because people start learning what been going on in her bedroom.

   Things get even more out of hand when her best friend's boyfriend finds out about what she does. And he's not at all what he appears to be.

   When I first read the summary, I wasn't sure if I was going to like Mercedes because of what she's been doing. But it becomes more clear when I finished the story. In her eyes, she thought she was doing the right thing. She's also been having problems with her mother who's barely around to even know what Mercedes is up to. And Mercedes is trying to find her happiness because of what happened to her in the past. It's like there's a black empty hole that's she's trying to fill with love. She's lost and lonely and her mother isn't really there for her.

   I loved how Laurie handled the sex scenes. She did it in a way that was positive and the main character didn't bring herself down because of what she's been doing. It was sort of something that made her feel stronger about herself in a way.

   I didn't love her best friend, Angela, at first because she really wasn't there for her when she needed her. And she chose her boyfriend over Mercedes, who's supposed to be her best friend!!

   We also have Zach, who Mercedes has been sleeping with for months, and he decides he wants more than just a sexual relationship outside of their Wednesday meetings. But Mercedes is unsure of what she wants. When a new girl named Faye transfers to Mercedes' school and gets close to Zach she undergoes a new emotion that she's never felt. Jealousy.

   Firsts was my first 2016 debut I read (ironic isn't it?) and it did not disappoint. It's everything in a contemporary that I love. Fluffiness, realistic, engaging, and well-written. I promise you that it won't disappoint. The story is wrapped up in a very genuine perfect way that just leaves you satisfied.

5 Sea Stars: Out Of This World!!

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