Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn // The Book That Every Girl Needs

Thursday, 7 July 2016
Firsts, by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Publication: January 5, 2016, by St. Martin's Press
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed
Rating: ½

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.

My Thoughts:

Holy footballs. Yes, my friends, this book is weird. Yes, it comes with a twist and is debatable for some people. Yes, I told my friends about it and they were a little scarred by the concept. Yes, you need to read it. Yes, I adored it. Laurie Elizabeth Flynn had me hooked into reading this book from the moment when I spotted the cover for the first time on Goodreads, ages ago. This is a book that touches upon all of the concepts and themes that many Young Adult fiction authors are afraid of touching upon on today, in our prejudicial, judgmental society: feminism, sex, first love and absolute rawness. I would be lying if I said that Firsts wasn't amazing, that it didn't give me everything I wanted in a book like this, that I didn't feel some instant connection to our heroine, Mercedes, and her weirdness. Her confidence. Her development. This, by foremost, is the best contemporary debut I have ever seen. Okay, that's a little exaggerated, but that's how my mood is.

I read this two months ago. Two months ago, I was the same person. So please do not think that my opinion has changed. It didn't. Firsts is just such a compelling, real story that is like a guide for feminism and for girls, that we have the power and capability to do whatever we want, that we shouldn't be used as objects or as different people. Equality, people. I haven't ever been such a strong feminist or have been interested in learning about women's rights, but after Flynn's impressive story, I feel like I need to read a book or two... or fifty about it. We have a real story. That's the thing that I loved about this book the most. You see, the synopsis makes this sound completely absurd and not right, but depending on your opinion of things or situations like this, you could be in love with this like I was.

Spongebob knows exactly what I mean.

Firsts contains a heroine, Mercedes, who is basically letting virgin boys test their "skills" (I am blushing typing that out because it sounds so weird) on or with her. It's messed up, yeah (it's cheating, yeah) but it gives her this confidence that she could help out, somehow. Her mother doesn't have a care in the world of what Mercedes does, and unlike her perfect-Catholic best friend, Angela, who is in a long-term relationship and is very happy, she still undergoes this confusion with the relationships that she wants to stay, specifically that with this HOT guy named Zach. At the same time, Mercedes is super-smart and is hoping to get into MIT. Basically, Laurie Elizabeth Flynn throws this interesting plot into a high school setting where we readers feel this crazy tension that her secret will be exploded into the hallways and she will be called everything that a girl will never want to be called.

I love how the synopsis (thanks, St. Martin's Griffin!) calls this book an one-of-a-kind read about growing up. These kinds of things affect every teenager everyday. Yeah, I would never in a million years do the things that Mercedes does (except for applying to MIT and making out with Zach!), but we see this stereotypical image of teenage girls all over the place, on social media and beyond. Why not take a stand? I mean, everyone has this different image of themselves. Many use their physical beauty as a way to boost their confidence, others intelligence, others physical abilities such as sports. For Mercedes, it was sex. And what a funny thing, her nickname is Mercy.

So girls, this is your anthem. You will be instantly addicted to this story, I know I was, and I can't stop thinking about it until this day. There are steamy scenes that make your heart turn inside out from time to time, and then we see a side of Mercy that begs for that cute romance that many teenage girls aspire to have. I find that authors these days like to speed things up for their characters, making impossible things happen to them during high school, where I am unable to relate to any of it all because I know that I will never do those things, but this book contains those different themes and such that I, myself, could relate to. Flynn touches upon everything: sex, school itself, drama, slut-shaming, friendship, actual love, forgiveness... perhaps everything that we could possibly think of. All of these themes affect us in one way or another, and I just love how they were blended in; I couldn't stop reading.

Now, I am going to dedicate this paragraph to Zach. AGH AGH AGH AGH AGH AGH AGH GBOGEIUBGEIGFJIIRYQUHRW OMGGG! I wish I could upload a video of myself fangirling here. No, I would never do that, haha. But.. I loved the relationship that he and Mercy had and my heart can't stop squirming and I cannot stop freaking out. I wish there was a novella from his perspective because it seemed that he liked Mercy from the start of the book and AHHHHHHHHH! *calms down* I apologize. Anyhow.

The only thing that I could pick at in this novel is the beginning portion where I wasn't so sure what would occur with Mercy's character, but that quickly subsided. Let's just blur that whole sentence out so we could pretend that there wasn't a thing wrong with this book. Speaking of wrong, MY FRIEND REALLY UPSET ME WHEN SHE THOUGHT THAT THIS WAS DUMB. If you think that this book sounds/is dumb, get out. *laughs and pats you on the back*

Firsts is easily a favourite for me, and I need to buy my own special copy and surround her with my golden books. I read this thanks to my library, but it's time for me to get my own personal guide. Girls of all ages (no, I'm kidding, of a certain age) GET THIS BOOK. Read it and love it and kiss it and hug it because I'm telling you, there is no other book like this in the entire universe. I am so ecstatic to read Laurie Elizabeth Flynn's next books in the near future!

What is the best girl-power book you have read recently? Does Firsts sound interesting to you?


  1. I can't wait to pick this up! The premise looks, I guess unique, but like you said I think this would be a great feminist read for me!

    1. Yay! I'm so excited that you are interested, Emily! Yay for feminism! Laurie Elizabeth Flynn knows what she's writing about, definitely! I hope you enjoy it and grab it soon!

  2. This sounds interesting but I think the subject matter would make me uncomfortable. I might still give it a go though as your review is very persuasive! :)

    1. I agree, that's what I suspected at first! Later on, I heard so many positive reviews so I just requested it from the library and gave it a go! Thank you!


I love comments, I always read them, they always make my day and help me improve my posts. Thank you!