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 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 own reputation -and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, Laurie Elizabeth Flynn's Firsts is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.
This was a very sophisticated novel that explored a lot of themes very important, and I wish a younger me could have read it.
This book obviously has a lot of sex, but it works it. It shamelessly attacks the stigmas that society often projects and I absolutely love that. Instead of getting too philosophical, however, it perfectly melds this into a very teeny young adult plot that makes it a lot of fun to read and easy to follow.
I've been waiting forever for a character like Mercedes. She's spunky but really kind hearted and a lot of what she does is genuinely to help other people. Underneath her exterior we get glimpses of the self she's not letting others see. She works hard, but isn't single minded. She's dynamic. I love her, and more importantly, I love reading about her. She's interesting. The science element was very well played, and added to Mercedes's character while showing the way she thinks and adding to the plot.
Faye added what I thought was going to be a more interesting dynamic than it was, but provided a great inspiration for Mercedes to work with. Angela, too, was, in addition to a great friend, a fabulous foil. Of the whole book, Zach was probably my least favourite part as his character did feel rather flat, and I would have liked to see him expanded more.
I loved the way the story worked around and led up to the final revelation. I wasn't surprised by that point, just sad, but the way it had all cumulated was very effective as I initially had an entirely different and incorrect theory.
The topics this book works with are important, and this is the beginning of what could be a great forum.
For challenging stigmas that society has set alone, this story would be worth reading. However, with a fantastic lead and an interesting plot, I highly recommend this inspiring book.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.