by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

published January 5th 2016
by St. Martin’s Griffin
young adult | contemporary | romance

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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.

[PLOT] typical | not quite there yet | cute | unique | kicks serious ass | what’s going on?!
[PACING] snail’s pace | slow | just right | fast | holy crap just stop | inconsistent
[DIVERSITY] none :sadface: | some (minor characters) | LGBTQ | mental health | characters w/ disabilities | racial | religion
[ROMANCE] insta-love | realistically paced | slow-burn | love triangle | love square | I am confused | none | it’s complicated
[FEELS] swoons tears | laughs | cries of frustration | eye rolls | pukes | snores | screams of horror | holy shits
[WRITING] flowery prose | conversational | choppy or cluttered | telling, no showing | boring | info dump-y | simple
[ENDING] cliffhanger | open ending | satisfactory | was that an ending? | want moarrr | didn’t get far enough | ehhh
[RECOMMENDED?] heck no | eh | to select people | mostly | YAS

Book Review

8 Things You Will Love About Firsts

1. Firsts is raw, compelling and honest. It’s a book about a teen who thinks of sex as a way to be in control. It’s a book that definitely doesn’t shy away from the nitty and gritty, a topic that most young adult novels would opt to leave out.

2. Firsts is incredibly complex. It has a complex story–one that you yourself would definitely not want to get tangled in–and complex characters who you may or may not fully understand even as the novel comes to a close.

3. Firsts has a heroine who goes through so much development. Mercy isn’t a character you’ll immediately love. In fact, you might even not like her until the end. Despite this, you’ll still see her grow so much as a character as she discovers herself, and you’ll sympathize with her like I did.

4. Firsts has the most adorable love interest ever. Holy Mother of Cute Guys, Zach Sutton is on a different level of “book boyfriend.” He’s sweet, persistent and loving. Plus he’s witty and sexy and you’re just going to adore him. I promise.

5. Firsts has really strong friendships. The friends in this book have their ups and downs, but eventually learn to accept each other, and the fact that they need each other. This book also proves that sometimes you’ll love your new friends as much as those you’ve known for years.

6. Firsts teaches you that every action has a consequence. And you have to be ready for it. Yeah, sure, Mercy wanted to hide and never go to school again, but in the end, she chose to face her fate with her head held high.

7. Firsts tells you that it’s okay to wait if you want to. Angela, Mercy’s best friend, is a Catholic and is sworn to celibacy. And that’s fine–you’re going to love how Mercy accepts that, despite having slept with many men herself.

8. I loved Firsts. That’s a good reason, yeah?

Skulls 4.5


Have you read Firsts? Do you want to? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!



About Aimee

Aimee loves being a little bookworm (okay–she doesn’t like being little). She also loves chocolates and sweets but is freaked out by the thought of possibly getting diabetes.

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12 thoughts on “Review: Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn | 8 Things You’ll Love About It

  1. I ADORED this book! It was incredible, and I think you listed every single reason why I loved it, and why everyone else should! This is a book that everyone should read, especially with how it deals with the nitty gritty. Amazing review, Aimee, I couldn’t have put it better myself :)


  2. I really need to get my hands on this one, Aimee. It sounds freakin’ wonderful and one I am totally anticipating. Lovely review.


  3. I was really surprised about this book too! Like it’s TOTALLY not my style…but I wanted to try it because I’d heard so many intriguing reviews. Aaaand, I did like it! :P (I totally agree about Zach, omg.) Although I mean I thought Mercy was frustrating that she didn’t think what she was doing would have consequences. Like she seriously thought it’d work out? omg. A bit naive and I couldn’t swallow that entirely. BUT yayyY that characters were amazing and I love how it didn’t actually bash religion. That was refreshing. Plus Mercy and Angela’s friendship really warmed my soul. :’)


  4. Nope. Nope. I’m not a prude by any stretch of imagination, but I cringe when I read about teens treating sex this way. That’s probably because I’d like to keep my rosy-coloured glasses on when it comes to my own teenager at home.


  5. IT MAKES ME SO HAPPY THAT 2016 BOOKS ARE ALREADY BEING REVIEWED. So yay for that. And this books sounds…intriguing. I’ve seen a million negative reviews but a few positive from bloggers I really trust so I might give it a go. It’s at times like this that I really need Netgalley :)


  6. I’m really glad you loved this one so much, Aimee. I read it and I had very mixed feelings. I loved the writing, Zach (OMG ZACH), but I also struggled a whole lot with Mercedes’ reasonings for her sleeping around with these guys in a relationship. I’m also so over the shitty parents trope and I was hoping for a bit more resolution when it came to that.
    That being said, I’ll definitely be reading her books in the future because her writing is so good and I applaud her for tackling important themes like the ones she did here!
    Lovely review, Aimee!


  7. I’m glad that you loved this one! I thought that it was amazing and I was so shocked by how honest and accepting it was about sex and also about celibacy as well. It was a great book!


  8. I know, I know, I KNOW. All the truths, Aimee! I loved Firsts & the friendships were so real (Faye & Angela are so different but yet so genuine!) and Zach made Mercy soup and there are so many more awe-worthy moments. Darling review! <3


  9. I really like the breakdown of your thoughts. I had the opportunity to read Firsts early and enjoyed it for the most part. I love how 2016 seems to be the year of taboo topics around the YA hemisphere.

    cute layout btw. :)

    Books Buying Beauty


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