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.
This book caught me by surprise. I expected to hate this book! I’m the kind of person that when reading a book, has to really connect with the characters in some way in order for me to like it. It has to draw out some sort of emotion in me. Did I expect to connect with a character who sleeps with other people’s boyfriends…. ummm no absolutely not! Laurie Elizabeth Flynn is extremely talented in this regard not only did she make me like the main character, Mercedes, but she made me understand her. While I didn’t agree with what she was doing, I understood how she was using sex as a way to gain some sort of control for the things that had happened to her.
The characters were all really well done. I especially liked Zach, I respected how he handled things when everything came out. I also liked how the author handled Angela’s character. This book looked at slut-shaming and how it happens way too often but it also looked at the other side of things and respected those who choose to wait.
My only issue with the book was that I felt it was a tad predictable, I mean if you’ve slept with 15 people in the same high school odds are that sooner or later someone is going to find out about it. So it was frustrating that Mercedes was shocked about it coming out. I liked that Firsts successfully looked at the double standard between boys and girls when it comes to their first time. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that tells that side of things.