Monday, November 30, 2015

ARC Review: Firsts

About The Book:

  Title: Firsts
  Author: Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
  Pub. Date: January 5th, 2016
  Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin 
  Pages: 320
  Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Sexuality 
  Rate: 3/5 stars

Synopsis :

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 book was one of my most anticipated reads of 2016. I was looking forward to all of the sexual positivity hype that was surrounding it. However, it did end up falling a little flat for me. I didn't experience as much of that positivity I wanted and I felt like I was experiencing more of a negativity. However, I did still enjoy it and I thought that it had some great friendship themes in it.  

“These things always get out, sooner or later."

Mercedes - how exactly did I feel about her? It's hard to tell. I just couldn't understand her way of thinking. I could never understand how she processed in her mind why sleeping with guys girlfriends was a good idea. She says it was a scientific equation, but did she ever account for error? It really was mind boggling. I can understand that her first time was pretty shitty, but didn't she ever think that maybe her first time was an exception and that's not what usually happens? *sigh*. Honestly, I think she just really has poor social skills. However, I really liked her friends Faye and Zach. They were SUCH well-written characters and very, very likable. I'm still not sure about Angela. If you can't tell your best friend the truth about yourself, then can you really say you two are best friends? 

I definitely think the friendships in this book were my favorite thing about it. It showed that you should stay by your friends even when they make some crazy life decisions. Another important lesson I think that this book taught was that you not only need to tell your friends when they are making stupid choices, but stick with them when they are trying to change for the better. However, I didn't really understand the semi-lesbian thoughts about Mercy's friend, Faye. I don't think it was conducive to the story, especially since I don't think the story was ever questioning the sexual orientation of Mercedes. The other thing I also had a slight problem with was the timing of the reveal for why Mercedes first time was so bad for her. I think that if it was revealed a little bit earlier I could have related more to her, instead it was revealed at the last possible moment. 

"Why do you even like me?" I say."I'm selfish and dishonest and 
all I do is push people away. I wouldn't even want to be my friend."

I ended up giving this book 3/5 stars because while I think this story was fun and portrayed important messages about friendship, I couldn't really connect to Mercedes. I'd recommend Firsts to those looking for a mature YA contemporary or to those who are interested in reading a book about a great friendship! 

Thank you to St. Martin's Griffin for providing
this book in exchange for my honest review
- Jocelyn

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