Published by St. Martin's Griffin on January 5th 2016
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.
Oh man. This book went into situations a lot of people avoid, and it hit the ball right out of the park.
Sex is an uncomfortable subject for some people. Not just teens, but also adults. I didn’t know what this book was about until after I preordered it. I had seen so much talk and wonderful reviews about it on Twitter that I knew I had to jump in and see for myself what was so amazing. Sometimes Twitter lets me down for book suggestions, but this one was freaking awesome! I have a love for books that touch on subjects that make people squirm.
Mercy was quite the character with a heartbreaking past. Near the end of the book when all is revealed about her past, I cried like a baby. You hear stories similar to Mercys all the time, and it’s always hard to listen to. The thing is though that this is something that happens in real life more often than not. People tend to shy away from topics that they don’t like, so it’s nice to see it being brought to light. I got pregnant with my oldest daughter at the age of 17. I couldn’t imagine how she felt finding out she was pregnant and then having him shoo her off like she was just a fly bothering him. I could feel the fear and loneliness she felt coming off of the pages as I read her story.
Zach was quite the character. It takes a lot to stick around as a friend after a video of you is posted to the entire school, and you find out all the lies that have been kept from you. He stood by her, feelings and all, until the very end; Even after he was brushed off by her numerous times during the book. It touched my heart that when they did come together, he took the time to show her how it was to be in a relationship. An honest to goodness relationship. Relationships are not about sex. Some are, but in this situation at that age, you really need to slow down and enjoy the other person. It takes a real man to not take advantage of the situation. He knew what she had just walked out of, and he wanted to show her what a real relationship could be.
There is a part near the end of the book with Angela when you know something might be happening between her and Charlie and I found myself being so scared for her. I didn’t have a good feeling about him when we’re first introduced to him in the book, and I know now after finishing that I had a reason not to like him. What a disgusting excuse for a human being. I have no problem telling people how much I absolutely detested his character.
The best part of this entire book – Faye and Zach taking it upon themselves to try and focus the school on something more scandalous. Do I think it was the right way to go about it? Maybe not, but the good intention was still there in full force. You couldn’t ask for better friends – The ones who are willing to take a bullet themselves to make sure you’re okay. Everyone needs to have a friend like that in their life.
I loved this book. From beginning to the very last page. Laurie stepped out of a comfort zone and took on something we should be talking about more in life. But Sarah, should we be openly talking about sex more? As a mother of daughters, absolutely. I would hate to have them growing up and NOT wanting to discuss it.
I can see this easily being one of my favorite books of 2016!