Blog Tour: Firsts

Title: Firsts
Author: Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Series: N/A, Standalone
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date:  January 5th, 2016
Pages: Kindle, 320
My Rating: 4 Stars
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  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.

  I was given an opportunity by the publisher to join the blog tour in exchange for an honest review.

  I didn't know what to expect when I first started reading this book, but once I was done with a chapter, I definitely felt like it would be an amazing read. There's just something about the tone of the book that I liked. I felt like I would really be able to connect with the main character and I felt like it would be an amazing journey to follow. Then I went and read more, and it was slowly becoming worse and worse for me. I felt like the main character was being a tad bit whiny and shallow, and I felt like giving up on the book. Thankfully, by the end of the book, it managed to get back on my good graces!

  Firsts is a unique book that I honestly wouldn’t have picked up myself if I didn’t receive the email regarding the blog tour. I mean, sleeping with other people’s boyfriends? That’s just against my ethics. But then I felt like there would be an amazing journey, a point to the story, and sure enough there was.

  In the weirdest sense, I don’t blame Mercedes too much, with regards to her actions. In some weird way, in her mind, she really is doing something good for others, and I couldn’t blame her for just wanting to help because I felt like she was genuine. However, I got annoyed towards the middle because it felt like things were becoming repetitive and I felt like there was no point to the novel. Good thing that this book wrapped up really well, and it was able to impress with its cute ending!

  I have to say, this book will not be for everyone, but this definitely was for me. If you get annoyed towards the middle, just push on, because I promise you that it will be worth it.

thank-goodness stars

  Tonight, I’m doing Evan Brown’s girlfriend a favor. An awkward, sweaty, fumbling favor. Melanie, or whatever her name is, owes me big time.

  Except she’ll never know it.


  “You’re not staying over,” I say, fastening the robe around my waist. “You’ll get there. Girls care less about that than you think. Especially in the beginning. You can work up to it together.”

  He grins. He looks different, more handsome somehow. In the softer light, his pimples aren’t as evident and his jawline seems more pronounced. One day, I think Evan Brown could even be a heartbreaker.

  But that day isn’t today.

  I glance at the clock on my nightstand. Eleven p.m. on a Tues- day. “It’s a school night, Evan. Time for you to go. Your mother will wonder where you are.” Or I assume she would. Most mothers do. Not mine, of course.

  His grin turns into a frown. “Do I, you know, owe you some- thing? I don’t know how this works . . .” His voice trails off.

  “You don’t owe me anything. Just be good to her, okay? Re- member everything we talked about.”

  I know he will. He even took notes. Open her car door for her. Bring her flowers, not something generic like roses but her actual favorite flowers. Have dinner reservations in advance, not necessarily somewhere fancy but somewhere meaningful, like where you had your first kiss or where you realized you loved her. Kiss her, not just on her lips but in unexpected places. On the nape of her neck. On her forehead. On her wrist. Push her hair behind her ears gently. Take a picture. She’ll want to remember the night.

  I swallow against a lump that has risen up suddenly in my throat. It’s not that Evan is different—he’s a nice guy, a kid who loves his girlfriend and wants to please her. Maybe I’m the one who’s different. Maybe this speech is starting to feel too familiar. I told myself five favors for five deserving virgins. Five was the line I drew in the sand, and I trampled over it like it wasn’t even there. Evan is the tenth, and ten is a line I can’t just trample past.

  But I’m certainly not going to get into this with Evan, so I put on a fake smile. I gesture around the room at the chaise lounge and walk-in closet and floor-to-ceiling shoe rack. “Besides, I really don’t need your money. Spend it on Melody.”

  He pulls his boxers and pants back on. His movements are more measured, not the bumbling, terrified movements of the Evan Brown who entered my bedroom an hour ago. Even his voice seems deeper, like he came here a boy and is leaving as a man. I suppose that’s not far from the truth. I allow myself a little smile, a real one this time. It’s easy to reaffirm what I do. What happened to Evan in my bedroom will change him, make him into a more consider- ate lover, even a better boyfriend. Moments like these are what made that line in the sand so easy to obliterate.

  Moments like these, I could see an eleventh, even though I promised myself that’s not going to happen. I’m starting the second half of senior year with all of my good karma already under my belt.

  “I don’t know where you came from, but you saved my life, Mercy. I mean, Mercedes. I don’t know what I would’ve done with- out you.”

  “You would’ve ripped five condoms by accident, and you might’ve drowned the girl in saliva. But now, you’re going to nail it. Literally.”

  He tugs his shirt over his head. “When Gus told me how you helped him, I didn’t believe it. But he was right—you’re an angel.” He pauses. “But can I ask you—”

  I cut him off midsentence. “No, you can’t. Don’t spoil it.” “But you didn’t even let me finish,” he protests.

  “Oh, I let you finish,” I say. “The one thing you can do for me is not ask me any questions.”

  He nods. “Fair enough.” “Goodnight, Evan,” I say.

  “Goodnight, Mercy. Uh, Mercedes.” He gets to my bedroom door and pauses with his hand on the doorknob.

  “This won’t be awkward at school tomorrow, will it?” he says, looking back at me.

  “Of course not,” I say, folding my arms over my chest. “It’s not going to be awkward at all, because what happened in this room becomes just a figment of your imagination the second you walk out that door.”

  He gives me a tight-lipped smile and pulls the door shut after him. I can see his shoes underneath, can tell he’s lingering there, wondering if he said too much or not enough, not entirely convinced that his secret is safe with me.

  But he has nothing to worry about. His secret, like those of nine of his fellow seniors, is safe with me. At Milton High, I’m my own statistic. People fail to see the great equalizer, the one thing the band geeks, the drama nerds, the jocks, and the preppies all have in common.

  Me—Mercedes Ayres.

  The girl who took their virginity.


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