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Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn | First Five Star of 2016

Thursday, January 28, 2016 Geraldine 0 Comments



The Breakdown


General Info:
     Title: Firsts
     Author: Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
     Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
     Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
     Release Date: January 5, 2016

Thoughts:
     Excellent:
          - Flawless writing style - easy to read
          - The characters
          - The ending came to a full circle and gave me a sense of closure

    Things that could have been better:
         - Portrayal of high school

Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads | Amazon

Initial Thoughts


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.

The Portrayal of the Sex in High School Was Unrealistic

Maybe it's because I went to an Australian school. Maybe it's because I went to a school where academics were REALLY valued. I don't know, but in my whole high school experience, none of my friends have ever faced huge dilemmas with boys and sex. We've talked about it sure, but we never really made a huge deal out of first times, whether it would hurt, etc. Or else, maybe my friends and I are just the forever alone types....But yeah, I personally didn't have the same experience as Mercedes and the other characters of high-school, and as a result, I found it a bit hard to believe that everyone is this obsessed about sex in high school. Anyways, this is a small complant, because I think it's just me as a reader. 

Firsts Was Easy To Read

Okay, now that I've gotten the compulsory "what's wrong with this novel" part done with, let's chat about the writing style. The writing is so simple, and it wasn't cheesy at all. Laurie Elizabeth Flynn doesn't mess around - from Chapter 1, we know exactly what Mercedes does. There are also so many quotable quotes which I LOVE because they hit so close to home. 

"In five years people will still remember who ruined their lives"

“The people you love and need the most never need you back,”

"It’s scary not knowing what comes next.
But not knowing might also be the best part."

I'm not one for collecting quotes, but I just couldn't help, but stop and admire some of the stellar quotes that Laurie Elizabeth Flynn has in this book. 

The Characters Were So Infuriating But Amazing

Mercedes was just...she was such a well developed character. I love how we see what kind of person she is at the very start, and her confusion throughout the book, and I love how, by the last sentence, we really know that Mercedes has come a full circle, with the various analogies towards chemistry, towards letting go, being made. Mercedes is one of the best crafted characters that I've read in a long time. 
Charlie...what do I say about him? I absolutely hated him. Laurie Elizabeth Flynn did such an amazing job of making him utterly despicable. The only time I stopped reading this book was to gasp and to hide behind my pillow at how disgusted I felt about Charlie. Laurie Elizabeth Flynn did a fantastic job at creating such an antagonist. 
Faye and Zach were also some of the best characters out there. I loved how supporting they were of Mercedes, and even though it did seem a bit far-fetched how far they were willing to go for Mercedes sake, I still fell in love with them, because of how well Laurie Elizabeth Flynn wrote them. 
Angela...although she didn't really appear too often in this book, I loved how she stood as a symbol of what Mercedes could have been to me. 

The Plot Twist Was Unexpected...But Totally Believable

From the very start, we knew that Mercedes didn't have a great past. But the plot twist with Luke was so unexpected! Totally believable though...Still it made a lot of sense, and I loved how Laurie Elizabeth Flynn foreshadowed everything, how she made little hints here and there, and how it all eventually MADE SENSE TO ME. 

Final Thoughts

Firsts is a novel that's really hit or miss. Depending on your views, you might like Firsts. It really reminded me of Easy A in a way...But yeah, me personally, I loved this book so much. A lot of people have talked about how it deals with sex in a unique way, but for me, I loved how Laurie Elizabeth Flynn dealt with stigma and teenage issues in a relatable way. This was the kind of book where I had no idea what I was thinking at the end - I was blown away by how phenomenal it was! 5 stars :) 

Keep reading and loving books!
Geraldine

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