Friday, January 8, 2016

Review: Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
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 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 own reputation -and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, Laurie Elizabeth Flynn's Firsts is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.

MY TAKE:
This book was certainly a rollercoaster ride for me.

In Firsts, Mercedes has taken it upon herself to help guys who are virgins to give their girlfriends a memorable first time of their own. For awhile, her system worked and nobody knew what she was doing. However, some unsavory guys soon find out about her service and take advantage of her.

It wasn't until I started the book that I realized how what Mercedes was doing was very much like what Olive did in Easy A, except that Olive just pretended to do things with boys and Mercedes actually did things with guys, provided that they fit her criteria.

The first half of the book, I was so anxious for Mercedes. The girl knew what she was doing, but it was like she was disregarding the possible consequences. She realized that in the end, which is probably why my opinion of her improves. I didn't agree with what she did, but no matter how awful what she did was, especially in the eyes of the girls who were in relationships with the guys she was with, she didn't deserve what Charlie put her through.

Charlie, Luke and some of the other guys are just evil. Had they been my sons, I would be extremely ashamed of them. What is wrong with them?! Look, Mercedes is no saint, but what these guys did were even more wrong.

It was good that Mercedes had Faye and Zach to lean on. I liked Zach a lot. He's a good guy, and probably one of the more realistic romantic interests I've read in a while. As for Faye, I was wary of her at first. I thought she might pull a Single, White Female thing on Mercedes. Thankfully, she turned out to be a cool girl.

My rating for this book is 3.5 stars, although since I don't do half stars, I decided to round it up to four stars. What brought the book's rating down for me was the scheme that Faye and Zach cooked up to take the heat off of Mercedes. It just seemed off and unbelievable to me somehow.

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Griffin for the e-ARC.

THE GOOD:

  1. It covers an important and relevant topic for teenagers.
  2. The characters are realistic.
  3. Zach is a really good love interest. 

THE BAD:

  1. Faye and Zach's plan just didn't work for me. 

READ IT IF:

  1. You've ever slut-shamed.
  2. You've been taken advantage of by a guy.
  3. You despise how guys who cheat don't get as much punishment and hate as the other woman does. 

RATING:
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