24 Aug 2022

Archive Review: FIRSTS by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Archive Reviews is a new series here on Books and Ladders where I post reviews that I have posted on other blogs, websites, or platforms, but never on here!

Revisit some of my past opinions, learn about new books to you, and see what I was reading in the past!


Author: Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Series: N/A
Source: ARC via Publisher
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: January 5, 2016
Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:

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.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


I went into this one knowing I was going to love it and I was not disappointed. This is the type of contemporary story I love: one that is gritty and raw and leaves you feeling something after you finish. If you are a fan of Sarah Dessen or Gayle Foreman, you're going to love this book. 

Without giving too much away from the plot, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought it played out in a perfect way and had the right amount of build up to fallout. I think Laurie did an excellent job in writing this storyline and I think in anyone else's hands,  it would have been a disaster. Because it was so raw and so real and every time there was a new guy, I felt so bad for Mercedes because she didn't realuze this wasn't the answer for her happiness.

And that's what this book is about: Mercedes is trying to find happiness after getting fucked over (literally). We've all been there in some shape or form so I will not tolerate someone saying "Couldn't relate cause I'm still a virgin". Even if you've never had sex you can relate to Mercedes and her struggles. No one's life is perfect and we all have varying degrees of problems, especially with how we eat, how we think about ourselves, and how we handle relationships with others. You don't need to sleep with someone to understand that Mervedes is trying to fill a gap, a void, a hole in her heart in the way she thinks is best. 

I loved Mercedes too. She did what she thought was best and while she was upset about what people said about her at the end, she never once slutshammed herself. She mentioned being a slut in passing about how her mom was chill with that, but she never talked about how she was a slut, a whore, etc. because sex empowered her and I LOVED that. We need more of that in YA books. 

Mercedes is a mirror for everyone: you can see yourself in her and not just the bad parts but the good ones too. She worked hard to get good grades, she focused on school, she kept a couple close friends because that's what mattered, and as much as she was selfish in her sex acts, she was pretty selfless in the rest of her life. She made mistakes, but who is perfect? It was a relief that she could fuck up and understand that and deal with the consequences. She was such a strong character. 

I liked Faye. She was a little too much at some points but she was genuine. A good friend and had such an interesting back story. I would have liked maybe a bit more definitive declaration that she was bisexual because I was left assuming that rather than really knowing it. Zach was good too, almost too good, and I secretly wish he had been a little bit more of an ass but I grew to love him during the book. Angela was my second favourite character though. Because we've been there: you have two people telling you two different things and aren't sure of which one to believe. I think she had a good story arc and I would like more of her. I thought Mercedes had a dynamic relationship with her mom. I liked the transition over the course of the novel to what their relationship became.

I highly recommend this book but you need to read it and remember that there is more to it than just sex. Don't get caught up in that because then you'll miss the bigger picture. Mercedes is one of the best YA contemporary heroines I've read in a long time and I'm so grateful I got to meet her. I can't wait for you guys to meet her too.

Have you read this one? What was your favourite part?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting! I cherish each and every comment. If you leave me a link to your blog, I will do my best to comment back!