Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

A 60 Second Review by Anne Brees

★★★★★ (4.50)
Genre – Young Adult Contemporary23480844

Summary – 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.
 (Summary from GoodReads)

Initial Thoughts – I didn’t think I would like this book. After all, the main character is purposefully sleeping with boys who have girlfriends. It takes a certain skill to gain sympathy for this kind of MC, and that’s exactly what Flynn does.
Plot – ★★★★★ The plot of this book deals with so many important issues: slut-shaming, rape, double standards, divorce, and family problems. I loved every second of this book.
Characters – ★★★★★  I thought I would hate Mercedes. I mean, it shouldn’t it have been hard. But Flynn somehow managed to provoke my sympathy for this unconventional character.
Story world – ★★★★☆ The story world doesn’t have a huge part in this book. It’s rarely mentioned and could have used a little more setting.
Style – ★★★★☆  Flynn’s simple style caries the book along smoothly.
Closing Thoughts – I would highly recommend this book if you want your feelings twisted  and ripped out of your heart.

(summary and cover from GoodReads)


2 thoughts on “Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

  1. Reg @ She Latitude says:

    Definitely agree that it takes skill to make an unlikeable character sympathetic and that Flynn succeeds in doing so! I gave this one three stars though; I feel like so much more could be done with the issues, and I was disappointed that the boys (i.e. Mercedes’s clients) didn’t get flack for what they did – even if they ‘mean well’, what they did still counts as cheating and I think that should’ve been emphasised a bit further.


    • Anne Brees says:

      I think that maybe not emphasizing the boys’ faults was part of Flynn’s point. Today, it’s more scandalous for a woman to have a sex than for a man to have sex. “Boys will be boys” is a common excuse for their behavior, yet women are considered “impure” if they have sex. Maybe that’s what Flynn was trying to portray?


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