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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Image and blurb from Goodreads:

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.


My thoughts:

3.5 "Amazing premise" STARS.


I’ve been wanting to read this book for a LONG time, so I was super excited when I found it on NetGalley and got an ARC. But I have to say I was kind of expecting a different story.

Don’t get me wrong. This is still a very good YA, but it didn’t rock my world.

The premise is fantastic. Go read that blurb and tell me if it isn’t a “must read”! It’s bold, it’s new and it’s not like many other books out there, which makes it super interesting. And the writing is really good. Laurie Elizabeth Flynn IS a great author; there’s no denying that.

Still, I wanted to feel a connection with the story and the main character that wasn’t there. Not for me, at least.

The MC, Mercedes, sleeps around. We know that before we pick up the book. Heck, we pick up the book to see why. To understand. She believes she’s helping other people – the virgins’ girlfriends – by doing that. You see… The premise is cool, like I said before, but the more I read the bigger my problems with Mercedes’ motivation became. You have this really smart girl (smart enough to get into one of the top colleges in the country), but she’s still unable to see that her little scheme won’t go unnoticed for much longer? How can you sleep with so many guys that go to the same school and expect them not to talk and word not to get around? Sure she was a quiet girl who was part of the prayer club and etc etc… but still. I just couldn’t see such a smart girl with such a poor sense of logic. And there was also the “why”. Why did she start doing this? I won’t give any spoilers, but the answers the book provided still didn’t make me believe she’d choose to do that. I understood it, but I didn’t believe it.

And there’s Mercedes. For me, she’s an unlikable MC. Is that necessarily a problem? Nope. Sometimes (more often than not) I get sick and tired of the “saint” MCs. They’re good; they’re nice; everyone wants to be their friends. And those are the times I think: “I want a MC I can dislike/hate.” And although I didn’t hate Mercedes, I didn’t like her either. In fact, I kept wanting to see shit hit the fan… I wanted her secret to go public. I was counting the pages so Mercedes had to deal with the consequences of her action. I probably wouldn’t feel that way if the MC was likable. But it kept me reading. It kept me interested. And isn’t that what an author want? For people to keep reading until the last page?

I said this in one of my recent reviews, and I’ll repeat it now: You don’t have to make me love your characters, you have to make me want to read about them. And I did. I didn’t necessarily want nice things for Mercedes (sorry!), but I wanted to see what happened. 

Laurie’s writing was strong enough to keep me turning the pages, so kudos for that!

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