I don't really know where to start with this review. Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn wasn't at all like I thought it was going to be and unfortunately this book did not work for me. There were too many things that I had issues with, and I just don't even really know exactly what to think. First, this book while it is stated to be young adult and is about that age group is not one that I would actually let anyone from that age group read. Second, the only reason I even finished this book was because it was like a bad train wreck that you can't look away from and I just had to see how it would all end. I will try to be as vague as possible, but beware there might be spoilers below as some things that bothered me need a bit more explanation.
Seventeen-year-old Mercedes has an open door policy for virgins looking to get their first time out of the way. As long as they promise to give their girlfriends the best first time possible (the kind she didn't have), she views it as doing them and their girlfriends a favor. With her mother never around, her best friend having no idea what she does in her spare time, and her friend with benefits none the wiser, Mercedes has kept her secret through many guys. But when her best friend's boyfriend threatens to ruin everything if she doesn't hook up with him, Mercedes knows her secret is about to be found out. When everything is exposed, will she be able to salvage her friendships and her reputation?
I could not stand Mercedes. Not only was she clueless, but she was completely delusional. She thought that by having sex with these guys that their girlfriends would be grateful for it. (of course that was on the assumption that they would never find out...yeah right) She really felt like she was doing all parties involved a service and that she was happy to hook-up with them as long as they "paid it forward", and what started out as only five virgins quickly turned into the teens. All of this for a seventeen-year-old. I am not a prude by any means, but since when is it okay for a seventeen-year-old to sleep around that much and her mother to joke about her one night stands? It was pretty disgusting and I felt like the whole thing was excused because her mom was hardly around, her dad up and left when she was a kid, and she had a bad incident at a young age. Seriously I had no compassion for Mercedes at all, and I found her beyond ridiculous. Her friend with benefits (although for most of the story she refused to even call him her friend) wanted more with her and went above and beyond, and I honestly felt so sorry for him! Zach deserved so much better and I really wanted him to just leave her like she deserved.
There was a situation with her best friend's boyfriend that I felt was left completely unresolved, and the fact that nothing seemed to happen was so unrealistic to me. I couldn't believe that nothing happened, considering the fact that it was widely known and several people (including adults/teachers) were aware of it and she was underage. How there weren't child pornography charges involved or the police I still don't understand. There were issues with rape and dubious consent. All of this for high school aged kids and nothing really happened. Mercedes and her friends took matters into their own hands and that was the only way that any of it was dealt with. It was just completely unbelievable and honestly I felt like the whole book was just an excuse for this girl to have sex with as many guys as possible and in the end it was just glossed over as if that is normal or okay. It was completely inappropriate, there was a ton of cheating as all the guys had girlfriends, and the one guy that was actually likable in the whole book ended up being treated horrible and still wound up with her in the end though he deserved far better. Firsts is Laurie Elizabeth Flynn's first book, and I honestly doubt that I will be reading anything from her in the future. This book should not be marketed to youth in my opinion, and I think it glorifies promiscuity and perpetuates so many things that are wrong with kids today. Kids have become so desensitized to sex these days, and it is books and movies like this that show them that there are little to no consequences for their actions and that it is alright to act like this and sleep with as many people as possible.
**ARC Provided by Publisher**