Review: Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

By: Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Published: Jan. 5, 2016
Genre: YA


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.




“At Milton High, I’m my own statistic. People fail to see the great equalizer, the one thing that band geeks, the drama nerds, the jocks, and the preppies all have in common.
Me-Mercedes Ayres.
The girl who took their virginity.”

Firsts is a book about a girl named Mercedes who sleeps with virgin boys so that they may go forth and give virgin girls an awesome first time. She views herself as sort of an instructor and takes what she does seriously. She Facebook stalks them to get a good idea of who they are and their relationship with their girlfriends. She comes up with the perfect negligee outfit for each boy to suit their fantasies. She gives them pointers during the act so that they know what they’re doing wrong or what they should be doing in general. She even gives them a post-talk about their strong points, what the need to work on, and then talks them through their upcoming “special time” with their girlfriends. She was only supposed to help out five virgins but before she knew it, five turned into more.

Firsts was supposed to be an empowering read. I thought it would knock the whole “slut shaming” out of the park. However, what I didn’t realize going into this is that she’s not choosing single virgin boys to help out. Oh no, she’s choosing guys who have girlfriends. I don’t know why when I read the synopsis I thought Mercedes was helping the boys be better lovers to their future girlfriends… sort of like paying it forward. Instead, she was seducing these boys, sleeping with them, and then sending them off to seduce their girlfriends who were under the assumption that they were sharing their first time with each other. If I had known that was the case I would not have read the book. Cheating is a no-no with me and unfortunately that was all this book was about.

I wish I could say that at a certain point in the book Mercedes grows and realizes what she is doing is wrong, but it wasn’t until everything blew up that she started to see her ways and it was more of a revelation from others calling her names than her actually realizing it herself. I feel like if it didn’t come out that she was sleeping with everyone’s boyfriends, she would have still done it. :shrugs shoulders: I really didn’t have any sympathy for her character. Even when it’s brought to light what happened during her first time, I still just didn’t get it. Not an absentee mother, father, or a crappy first time could equate to you seducing other girls boyfriends in the disguise of helping them give their girls the first time that you never had. Bring promiscuous, sure, but shacking up with someone else’s boyfriend… no.

If this was what I thought it was going to be about, I probably, maybe would have enjoyed it more. Maybe. I just felt like this book was trying to push the envelope with sex and it fell flat for me. Everyone was talking about sex and throwing around sexual innuendos and it just came off as more of a 7th Heaven episodeyou know, where they drill the point homethan being genuine. Maybe it’s just the generation difference of ten years but when I was in high school I was not that sex hungry/driven. I was having too much fun hanging out with my friends, sneaking a sip of wine coolers here and there, and gossiping about boys. So, I guess I just didn’t understand the characters 24/7 obsession with sex. If they weren’t doing it, they were talking about it out in the open like they were discussing the weather, or Mercedes was thinking about it. It just felt like the topic was getting jammed down my throat. I think it’s safe to say that Firsts was not for me.


1favequote“Seeing myself doing that with so many different people makes me physically ill, like vomit could come up at any moment. I let them into my bedroom, let them into me, like it was no big deal. It’s like I’m watching somebody else entirely on that screen, somebody who doesn’t value herself at all. I thought I was in control, but I wasn’t. It was him the whole time, first Luke then every other guy I let into my bed to make up for him.”


3 Thoughts on “Review: Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

  1. Oh geeze! I could maybe, MAYBE , get on the bandwagon if she was having sex with single virgins but not guys in relationships. And, yeah, teens aren’t THAT obsessed with sex. This one sounds awful. Thanks for reviewing it so I don’t waste my time…and from the synopsis I might have.

  2. Sorry to hear this one wasn’t what you’d hoped. It took Mercedes forever to change and I can see where it would feel stunted

  3. Yikes! I just started this one and am already cringing. “what I didn’t realize going into this is that she’s not choosing single virgin boys to help out. Oh no, she’s choosing guys who have girlfriends.” I thought it was about that too but darn it. I went in with an open-mind even though I didn’t agree with what she was doing, but it makes it worse when she’s sleeping with other girls’ boyfriends and those girls are virgins thinking their boyfriends are too. The story feels like soft porn for YA. I can relate with you about their obsession with sex. When I was in high school I was more concerned with hanging out with friends and trying to do well in school. Sex wasn’t a priority lol I share your thoughts on this one. Thanks for your review.

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