Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Release Date: January 5, 2016
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Rated: YA 15+
Format: eGalley
Source: NetGalley
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads  Website

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.

Firsts shot up to the top of my to-read pile after I read a raving review–I had to know how on earth a book about a de-virginizing service went down. This contemporary truly stood out from other young adult books that I’ve read for one main reason: it deals with sex. While sex isn’t new to YA, it’s generally not the focus of the novel like it is in Laurie Elizabeth Flynn’s book. There aren’t a lot of “promiscuous” young adult books out there and while this one doesn’t go into too much detail, the fact that there is a ton of sex in the book makes it a lot more different from others in the world of teen fiction.

However, after reading the book I come away feeling a little bit torn. On one hand, I did love that it had a unique premise and was edgier than other YA contemporary novels. This novel was also hilarious at times, despite some of the heavier tones! Also, it’s pretty rare to find a book where the girl isn’t the virgin but actually the more experienced one. On the other hand though–it did come with its own set of problems. I will say that it was a really good read because I couldn’t stop reading, but only after I’d finished the book I started to look back and see some issues with it that I didn’t really think about while reading.

First of all, while I did like Mercedes’s character at points in the novel I couldn’t help but feel that what she was doing was wrong. Stealing a guy’s first time just so that “he could get it right with her” wasn’t a good enough excuse. You’d want the first time to have some meaning at least! And I mean, if the guys really loved the girls they were with, would they actually “cheat” on them, even if it was just to make them have a better first time? Despite the unique concept I just couldn’t see how it was right in any way. Obviously, there’s a ton of character progression and mistakes are made along the way and realised in the end, but it doesn’t completely justify the reasons to begin with. I also feel that Mercedes’s backstory wasn’t given too much thought. Yes, it’s a pretty traumatic and tragic backstory but when it’s revealed to us readers, it’s almost brushing over it a little. Like, it isn’t important, when clearly it plays a whole pivotal role in the story (well... pre-story).

A captivating read, Firsts goes where not many young adult novels have gone before. Laurie Elizabeth Flynns daring debut cuts to the chase, pulling readers along in this funny, clever and risqué (in the best way) story. While I did have my issues with parts of the book, there’s no denying that this one was fascinating from start to finish. I’m curious to see what this author comes up with next!

▪ ▪  Thank you so much to Michelle at St. Martin’s Press for an eGalley for review! ▪ ▪ 

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  1. I never put much attention to this one, but it sounds good. I'll have to add it to my TBR pile.
    Great review!

  2. I never put much attention to this one, but it sounds good. I'll have to add it to my TBR pile.
    Great review!


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