I found Firsts to be almost 2 stories in one. I guess I picked the right spot to stop after one reading session and pick up again (just about half way through the book). In the first half of the book, Mercedes who is 17 has been helping boys at her high school lose their virginity so she can give them tips on what to do and what not to do when they finally decide to have sex with their girlfriends. Mercedes swears that no one will ever find out, but has been keeping track of all her secrets so far. At first she had just wanted to pay it forward and help 5 guys, but the number keeps increasing 7, 10…
I was a bit disturbed that this was the subject matter for a young adult book, although I am sure that stuff like this does really happen in high school. The second half of the book made it out to be more of a cautionary tale.
Mercedes best friend Angela is waiting until marriage and thinks that she has the perfect boyfriend who also wants to wait. But when he finds out about Mercedes services, well – there’s a lot of drama and I’m not sure I could even recap it if I tried – and it’s worth reading the book to find out how everything unfolds for yourself. But Mercedes finds out that this guy is not at all what he says he is, but isn’t sure how to let Angela know.
Eventually ALL Mercedes secrets come out and she has to figure out how to recover from it all. But she tries to get by with a little help from her friends.
Overall this was a good book, well written, and you couldn’t help but feel for Mercedes, who was certainly acting out due to the situations she had been in earlier in her life and her home life with her parents. Although I thought I figured out part of what had happened to her while it was happening, turns out there was a lot more going on than I had even seen coming.
I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.
About the Book
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.