Author: Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Published Date: January 5th 2016
Genre: Contemporary, YA, Realistic Fiction, Sex
My Rating: ★ ★ ★
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.
"Always lift your chin up high when you did something wrong. Because you might know you did something wrong, but no one else has to. "
Mercedes is a young woman who has taken it upon herself to help the virgins in her high school. She things she is doing them a favor and that she has total control of the situation. And she does until everything starts going horribly wrong and her life starts falling apart around her. Despite what she was doing though for some reason I still felt for her as a character. Sure she was problematic and could have dealt with things better, but we all could. I'm not saying she isn't to blame though and what she did was wrong, but the other people involved also had a choice and she shouldn't have been the only one blamed.
This book is hard for me to rate for multiple reasons.
I found this book hard to read most of the time, but I also couldn't stop reading. I needed to know why she was doing this. Why she thought she was helping and what happened to make her need this type of control.
The reason why she does this is heartbreaking because no one should have to deal with what she did especially at such a young age all alone. She did a very grown up thing and took matters into her own hands and dealt with the fallout from it. Her way of coping with it though wasn't a good way and ended up causing her and many other people pain. But it wasn't just her fault and she shouldn't have been the only one blamed. It takes two to tango and the other people need to be in trouble as well and I hope they do.
"Don't let them off the hook so easily. They were coming to you. It takes two to have sex. So don't defend them."
As for her friends Faye, Zack and Angela I'm glad she has them. They were all very believable characters and were good friends to her and there when she needed them.
"I want to be Faye. I want to be fearless like her, bold like her. I want to figure out a way to be unapologetically myself, just like she has."
While this book wasn't easy to read it is important to read it. Because it deals with high school and sex in a very real way.
"All this time I thought I was in control, keeping the upper hand for myself, calling the shots, playing by my rules. But I haven't been , not really. Because I had the chance to fight back and I froze."
There we're some things that bothered me though: the fact that someone was videotaped having sex and the police never got involved, and child neglect. Not to mention rape and than attempted rape. Plus when Mercedes was telling a guy to just take control and not ask before sex also kind of bothered me. She should have given more instruction on that or just not mention it at all.
"It's funny how giving up control can actually end up putting things back into place. But that's what I'm learning, that too much of something ends up yielding the opposite reaction. It's a logic that has taken me the longest time to figure out but the shortest time to mend. And in two weeks my life goes from complete shambles to something resembling almost normal."