Monday, January 4, 2016

ARC #Review Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Song Of The Moment- I Don't Wanna Be Sad by Simple Plan
by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn 
Release date: January 5th 2016
Format: ARC
Genre: YA Contemporary

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. 
*I received this book from the publisher through Netgalley to review honestly*

My Rating:


Mercedes "Mercy" Ayres has a unique way of making good karma for herself, she wants to ensure that other girls ar her school have the perfect "first time". How does she do this? By taking their boyfriends virginities. It started simply enough, she gave herself a limit, five guys, that was the line. Then it was ten. By the time she gets to 13, she doesn't really know why she's doing it anymore, and she starts to realize she doesn't really know who she is anymore. She's not the virgin that goes to prayer group with her best friend Angela. She's not the girlfriend Zach (the boy she sleeps with more than once, her Wednesday friend) wants her to be. And she doesn't think she's who she always thought she was either.

I had my...reservations for this one, I wasn't really sure it was for me. Admittedly, I'm a bit of a prude when it comes to what I read. Everyone's big on sex positivity and I prefer more PG books...normally. Even through the first half of this, I was kind of enjoying it, I could see how it was well written, and so unique, and from a purely reviewers standpoint, just a damn good book. But I still had reservations on it. Though I was never bored or hated it, I considered not finishing but then I would see an update on Goodreads of someone loving it and so I continued. I didn't dislike even the beginning and by the end, I was definitely starting to love it. So where does this leave me?

Firsts is a really amazing-important-unique book and I'm very glad I read it. 

It's definitely not a book I would normally pick for myself to read, it was out of my comfort zone so to speak, but it was such a good book that I'd forgotten all about that by the time I finished reading it. 

Mercedes isn't your normal character in any way, shape, or form. Like everyone, she's so full of flaws that sometimes she can't find any redeeming parts of herself. She's a mess and makes so many bad mistakes over and over again. Does so many things because she thinks she's helping people even when she knows she's not and doesn't really want to do them anymore. But she's strong and smart and just trying to find her way and you can't not feel for this girl, she's so REAL. This book isn't about swooning and feeling all those feels, it's about understanding and sympathy and I loved Mercy so much because she was always so much more than she saw herself as. 

All the side characters are equally amazing. I think Faye may be my favorite person ever. She's the new girl and Mercy wants to hate her at first but she turns into the best person you could ask for, while still being flawed herself. I was a bit confused at parts when Mercy wasn't sure if she was flirting with Faye or not, but it played out so well. Angela was amazing. I loved her character and her own little side story, I loved how she ran a prayer group because it's not something you see very often. And most of all I loved her for not being the typical best friend in a YA novel. 

As for Zach, I don't think there's much I can say about him. He's amazing. Read the book to find out why.

There's deeper parts that I don't want go into, and the plot itself plays out so well. But, I did have a few small gripes, in the beginning, while I felt sympathy for and even liked Marcedes, I found it hard to connect with her. In places, the pacing was a little strange but, my biggest gripe is that I wanted Mercy to have a redeeming moment for herself. I wanted her to stop and realize that while sure parts were her fault, it was just as much the guys faults, maybe more. She thought she was helping, they knew they were cheating. Faye really helped show this point but I wanted it to be bigger.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, it is so well written and just amazing. I highly recommend it

Would I Recommend This? Yes!
Will I read more from this author? Definitely!


  1. I enjoyed this one, for the most part. There were things that I don't agree with, but I had to look at the bigger picture. My review will be up for the blog tour on Wednesday, so stop by to win a finished copy!

    1. I'm intrigued, can't wait to see your review! I feel the same way, like there were things I liked, things I disliked but in the end I kind of had to take a step back to write the review. =)

  2. Totally agree! I was so on the fence about this one- for exactly the same reasons. Not that I mind sex in books, but like, Mercedes, girl, calm down! But then... just like you said, it drew me in and I felt for her so much. And it's so incredibly thought provoking and handled SO well. Definitely a win! I am so glad you enjoyed it too, lovely review!

    1. Haha, your comments are the best, Shannon. Yeah, I think the biggest thing was how the author handled everything, she made Mercedes so sympathetic and awesome. It definitely made me think more than I thought it would.

  3. I'm glad you enjoyed this one! Sadly, it didn't work for me, but I'm so glad that others are enjoying it.

    1. Erin, I am so interested to see your review! I kept seeing your updates on Goodreads and I really want to know what you thought. Sorry it didn't quite work out for you, but I can understand that.