Review: Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Author: Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Release Date: 5 January 2016
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: e-ARC from Publisher
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.

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Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Laurie Elizabeth Flynn writes contemporary fiction for young adults. Her debut, FIRSTS, will be published by Thomas Dunne Books/St Martin’s Press in 2016.

Laurie went to school for Journalism, where the most important thing she learned was that she would rather write made-up stories than report the news. She also worked as a model, a job that took her overseas to Tokyo, Athens, and Paris.

Laurie now lives in London, Ontario with her husband Steve, who is very understanding when she would rather spend time with the people in her head. Laurie can mostly be found writing happily at her desk, with the world’s most spoiled Chihuahua on her lap. Laurie drinks way too much coffee, snorts when she laughs, and times herself when she does crossword puzzles.

Laurie is represented by the amazing Kathleen Rushall of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

Note: I received an e-ARC of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine. 

HOLY GUACAMOLE. I am so glad this is my first read for the year. First read because I was a total bum for the last two and so months and The remaining days thinking about recovering from book hang-over and constructing criticism (LOL!) about this book. Can you even see the pun here FIRSTS being the FIRST book that I read this year. I am getting some great visions in here. :)

Firsts is about seventeen-year old Mercedes Ayres  who has an open door policy to her bedroom when it comes to virgins. And I mean guys. She lets the boys get their awkward first times over, teaches them techniques, and all she asks of them is to give their girlfriends the perfect first time she never had. 

Her secret errands are kept secret, her absentee mother isn't nearly home enough to know so far about her nightly errands, and let's not forget her best friend, Angela, who's too committed to Christ that can't even say the word sex until she's old enough and ready to marry. But Mercedes doesn't bank on Angela's boyfriend finding out about her extracurricular services and wanting a turn. Or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed. 

When I first heard of Firsts, it was like the same old lot of stories like the others (eg. The girl had her first time then she's left behind by some douche guy you'd hate forever) but then, when I got to read it, it was a whirlwind of events. Sure, the first part were the old boring stuffs and that's very normal but damn wait until you get to the middle part. It'll definitely rip you of your soul!

The plot. The plot, I wasn't expecting. Maybe I didn't pay much attention about the synopsis but it was like the end for me, too. What Mercedes was feeling while being strong for herself, I was also feeling. And let me tell you, It wasn't just some ordinary feeling you get to experience when reading a book. Remember when you cried over The Fault in Our Stars? You get that too but not because somebody dies. Or when you cried over All The Bright Places? My Heart and Other Black Holes? You get the angst because you know it happens in reality.  This is another level of feeling that you experience. 

What I really liked the most about this book is because it tackles a very important subject: teenagers. After reading (and crying nonstop), I tried to look at the book, hold it, feel it, together with its flaws. All of these happened in a bookstore since I haven't bought a copy yet. Mwahaha. Imagine a 360° view. You'll see a topic about bullying, premarital sex, teenage pregnancy, which are all current issues our society is facing. This is the main reason I loved this book. 

Every smashing piece of word Flynn writes is a reality that knocks you to the ground. It's going to break every piece of you. I was amazed by timely, beautiful, and diverse story she's written. I can finally say that I'm captivated by it. I highly recommend this book because guys! This deserves a literary recognition. So go, go read it. READ. IT. 

“I can’t fix what has already happened to me, and I certainly can’t fix what happened because of me. But what I can do is drive beside the somebody who is beside me now. I could drive away in a few months like I planned and start fresh. Or I could stay here and love the people I’m with and the life I have with them.”

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