Published on: January 5th 2016
Genre: YA Contemporary
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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. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, FIRSTS is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.
Such a relevant topic to everyone I did quite enjoy this one. I spent a lot of time totally frustrated at teenagers and their bad decisions, but I couldn’t put it down, so I guess that was a good thing!
Ok, so firstly, teenagers are idiots! I spent so much of this book in total shock that any of these characters thought this was actually a good idea. Sure, lets cheat on our girlfriends so we can give them better sex. I mean, who ACTUALLY thinks that would be a good idea…teenagers of course! And that is what is so great about this book, it’s so real because it’s exactly the kind of thing that teenagers would do! (Except me, I was a much smarter teenager) Flynn does a great job at capturing the teenage voice even if I did spend the majority of the book angry at them for their stupid ideas!
“Virginity is supposed to be something a girl gives up only when she is ready and feels comfortable, something a girl discusses at length with her friends and flip-flops over a million times in her mind before actually doing it. A guy is expected to be born ready…
Mercedes had me conflicted. I could see in her head how this was a good idea, how she thought she was helping people. But then at the same time being older than her I could totally see all the bad things about this and I was dreading when it all fell apart. I didn’t really feel like I could fully connect with her, I don’t know if maybe I was feeling a little judgy? Her judgement about the world just seemed really off, and although she seemed to be this totally in control grown up who could plan the worlds best dates and sex, she also had some very immature moments and at times her naivety really shone through. As I said, she had me conflicted, but was a fascinating character to follow.
“…But what I realized after Tommy is that they’re not. They’re just as scared as their girlfriends, maybe even more so because the onus is on them to be gentle, make it last, make it memorable. And most of them haven’t a clue.““
I was VERY intrigued when I read the description to this book. It was a totally unique and also kind of risky topic and I was curious to see how it had been written. One thing this book did well was showing the double standards with girls and guys. When things go wrong and Mercedes secrets are spilled out to the entire school she is the one who gets the majority of the hating and slut shaming. Erm, hello? What about the guys, the ones in relationships who cheated on their girlfriends? Sure their girlfriends were mad with them but it was Mercedes who bore the brunt of it all. It’s cruel but it’s real and I really respected that Flynn included this in her book.
“I want to be just fast enough for Zach to have to run to catch up, because if I stay ahead, I won’t ever have to see his retreating back.”
Loosing our virginity is one thing that everyone has to go through at some point in their life. Girl or boy, gay or straight, we all have to loose it. I remember the all the talk in high school and the pressure to not be the only one out of my friendship group to have not been with a guy. Then there was the fears…is it going to hurt? What if I’m rubbish at it? What if I get pregnant? Having sex for the first time is totally scary and a big deal, which is why it made me really happy that Flynn also included Angela’s (Mercedes best friend) story of her being totally conflicted about whether or not it’s was the right time for her to loose it.
Not many authors would be brave enough to take on a topic like this but Flynn does it with style. Virginity is such a relevant topic to everyone that I think it is a book that everyone would read and see a part of themselves or their own experience in there.
Re-Readability: At some point
I would recommend this book to fans of: books set in high school, books about loosing virginity, books about teenagers bad choices, books about teenage sex, books about good intentions that turn bad.