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Firsts: A Novel Hardcover – January 5, 2016
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“A fearless debut that dares you to question what you really know about that girl. Edgy, smart, and heartbreaking, Firsts will stay with you long after the last page.” ―Amanda Maciel, author of Tease
“Emotionally charged... Firsts is a powerful coming of age story that tied my heartstrings in knots. Relevant and riveting... Fans of "Easy A" will root for Mercy.” ―Caisey Quinn, bestselling author of Leaving Amarillo
“A brave debut. Readers will be drawn in by Mercedes and this original story that is near impossible to put down. Gutsy storytelling with both humor and heart.” ―Lori Goldstein, author of Becoming Jinn
About the Author
LAURIE ELIZABETH FLYNN went to school for journalism and later worked as a model, a job that took her overseas to Tokyo, Athens, and Paris. She lives in London, Ontario, with her husband and her Chihuahua. Firsts is her first novel.
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I knew FIRSTS was going to be the kind of book someone either loves or hates. It deals with two extremely touchy topics: cheating and slut-shaming. This could have easily turned into a train wreck, but Flynn was poised and in control, steering the plot of this story along a course that is a sad reality for some girls. Sex is such a tight-lipped thing in this community, and I think that needs to change. Not only does FIRSTS shine a light on a girl who enjoys sex and is comfortable with her body, but it also flashes onto a girl who is waiting until marriage. I loved seeing this parallel play out and thought Flynn composed it beautifully, which just enough of harsh reality to make it relatable. It's okay to enjoy sex! It's also okay to want to wait! And it's also okay to not want to have sex. It's your body. Do with it as you please.
Mercedes was an incredible character, and quite possibly my spirit animal. She was both the quiet girl at school and the confident queen at home. This was a huge deal to me because I always see these characters who are either portrayed as a sex goddess, whip smart and always flirting and being loud, or the shy girl, who likes school and doesn't go out. A character isn't just one personality. They're a compilation of both sides, and I like how Mercedes was this brainiac who had a whole drawer full of sexy lingerie.
The supporting characters were so incredibly important and precious, I could not get over it. Zach and Faye were the dynamic duo, helping Mercedes through the hardships without a second thought for themselves. Thats the kind of friend that I am, so I loved seeing the representation. Course, I don't think I would have gone as far as they did, but still. Friendship was a huge factor in this story, and along with the dynamic due we had Angela, who was so the polar opposite of Mercedes, yet vital to her growth. I loved seeing how deeply our main character cared for Angela and her beliefs. It's so, so important to respect boundaries, and FIRSTS portrayed this to the T.
I cried way to many damn times while reading this book, mostly because my heart was shattering for Mercedes and the s*** she was getting, but also because I thought it was a good idea to have Tenerife Sea by Ed Sheeran as my song???? Like???? I DONT EVEN LIKE TO CRY, YET I MADE THAT DECISION. IT'S ALMOST COMICAL.
Overall, if I could make it rain hearts and stars on Laurie Elizabeth Flynn for the rest of her life I would. She's absolutely brilliant, and you need this book in your hands ASAP.
Mercedes uses sex as a control factor for her, otherwise, out of control life. Her mother is completely negligent, telling Mercedes, from an early age, she has to be skinny and pretty, and treating her like a best friend rather than a daughter. Her father basically abandoned her at the age of eight. Mercedes believes she is helping these guys, by taking their virginity, and giving them direction for their first time with their girlfriends. It isn’t until everything blows up that she has to re-evaluate her life, who her friends are, and what she really wants. This is a true coming-of-age story, one where Mercedes believes she is an adult, making adult decisions, but in reality she is lost, alone, and confused… and still a child in some ways.
When I first read the synopsis for Firsts I was intrigued. The topic of sex, high school students, and virginity is something Americans have a difficult time talking about. Especially when it comes to the pressures put on both guys and girls. Most high school sex-ed programs focus on abstinence only in a society where, more often than not, students are having sex earlier and earlier. I think this book portrays high school sex in the most accurate way possible.
Reading this book really took me back to high school, the pressure of sex from my boyfriend, my first time (and those subsequent times after), and what it all really meant. Everyone has a first time story and it really hit home. Guys are expected, by society, to know how to have sex, and how to make their girlfriend feel good. But in reality, it’s a learning curve, one that lasts for a very long time. And, as a society, we put too much stock into virginity and pureness, so girls believe that they have this precious thing that has to be protected; that they can only give away at the right moment, right time. It’s absurd.
“They have the hard part, physically and emotionally. Virginity is supposed to be something a girl gives up only when she is ready and feels comfortable, something a girl discusses at length with her friends and flip-flops over a million times in her mind before actually doing it. A guy is expected to be born ready.”
Above is the perfect description of society’s expectations. This topic is near and dear to my heart and Firsts really captures the truth of sex for teens today.
Most recent customer reviews
First off, this book reminded me so much of the movie Easy A. Not entirely of the same premise, but closely enough.Read more