Genre: Fiction, Life,
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Publication Date: January 2016
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.
Thank you to Raincoast Book Publishing for sending me this book in return for an honest review.
When I first received this book, my initial thought was, well I have never read anything like this before so lets see what happens. This was the best decision ever! I loved this book right from the start. Yes it is about sex, but that is besides the point. It is beautifully written and when you discover Mercedes’ backstory, it will open your mind more about this book.
I really, really, really enjoyed Mercedes’s journey. After being let down by the people she trusted, seeing her grow despite of that (because of that?) was so satisfying and such a pleasure. I thought it was compelling, awful in parts, with an unconventional narrator who, against the odds, evokes sympathy. It also succeeds where many other YA books have failed: portraying a realistic criticism of and challenge to slut-shaming and double standards.
Flynn is fantastic at drawing on underlying pain and making you understand how it affects someone. She also creates fascinating characters and relationships. This book shows the complex relationships Mercedes has with her mom who wishes she was younger, her absent dad, her religious best friend, her “Wednesday friend” who might be something more, the guys whose virginity she takes, and the girlfriends they all have.
My heart was crushed even as it was slowly being stitched up from the previous fracture, causing an endless loop of soul-crushing, mind-blowing, and heart-wrenching moments all swirling around in a tornado of feels, making my head spin and my body rebel any chance of sleep.
This has been one of the better YA novels that I have read this year. I highly recommend you check it out when it is published in January 2016.
-Read On Darlings!