Early Review: Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Title: Firsts
Author: Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date:  January 5th, 2015
Page Count:  320 pages
Format:  eARC
Source: Netgalley

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.
*The Reader's Review*
My rating: 5/5 stars
If there's one word to describe Firsts, it would be powerful. Powerful voice. Powerful story. This is a book that leaves a strong impression on you as you close its pages and really makes you think about how we are always ready to jump in and make our own conclusions, to judge others without knowing what is going on in their lives or why they act the way they do. How we are so ready to attack and make those people's lives a living hell. Bet I struck a chord in there somewhere, right? We've ALL been there. We've all done it at some point in our lives, maybe unintentionally, like in our thoughts, but we've DONE IT. I even did it when reading Firsts.

You see,  I disliked Mercedes, and consequentially Firsts, when I first started to read. The first few chapters had me shaking head, rolling eyes and groaning in disgust at Mercedes' activities in her bedroom and the reasoning behind it. I didn't like it. I wanted to read a book about a smarter girl who did the right things and was overall nice good girl. Someone I could relate to and call her my instant new BFF. But after much pondering and analyzing Mercedes' character a bit more, I soon came to realize that I wasn't giving this character a chance at all because I was busy judging all her actions. How everything she did was so very wrong and unmoral and I would never in a million years do them. 

But that's it then, that's the point of this book (or at least the message it left ME). This book is not about YOU, the reader who has probably never been in her situations, but about getting to know a different character with a really tough background. Someone who, as a way of coping and holding on to sanity, offers her bed wisdom to boys who have never had their first times. I won't ever say that I agree with this choice of hers, but I do understand that Mercy is broken, messed up and practically alone without someone to guide her and be there for her. She was bound to make mistakes. 

Putting big mistakes aside, I do believe Mercy is a genuine person. After getting over my own judgments, I saw a girl that deserved a happier, carefree life. I wanted to  see her succeed so bad and get that big weight off her chest. To find love and be loved. Plus so may other things like punching several guys in the face (and I'm not a violent person hehe).

I won't deny it, Firsts is heavy on themes like abuse, rape, bullying and family problems, but there is lots to learn from it. It will test some boundaries and make some readers uncomfortable (like me in the beginning). However, it is an eye-opener and like I already mentioned, we all need a bit of that every once in a while. I won't ever forget this book for that.

On a side note, let me tell you that despite it's heaviness, Firsts is not really HEAVY as in you will feel like drowning while reading it. I actually had a lot of laughs and smiles when flipping its pages because Mercy and characters like Zach  (♥) had a wonderful way with words. The author did a great job at keeping Mercy's story just light enough. :)


  1. This book is definitely for me, and it's why I requested to review it. I just know that despite everything I'll love it. I love a powerful read and you just gave me all the more ammo to be excited about it. Great review, Melissa!

    1. Thanks, Jazmen! Gosh, I so hope you enjoy it, it's so GREAT.

  2. Awesome review, Melissa! I've been interested in this one but nervous about how it would work. Great to hear that you liked it so much. I'll definitely be picking this one up!

    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

  3. Yes! I was nervous as well but it ended up being so good, totally worth it! Crossing fingers that you like it too :D