Tuesday, March 29, 2016

REVIEW: "Firsts" by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Release Date: January 5, 2016

Type: Young Adult, New Adult, Stand alone, High school, Senior Year Sucks, Sex Sells

About the Book: 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. [Description from Goodreads.com]

My Review: This is going to be a tough book for me to review, so I'm going to go at it two ways. Or at least, I will after this brief message: I was invested enough to stay up until midnight finishing this book, because I had to know what happened. But at the same time, I'm not sure I really liked this. But it's not because the book is bad, it's because, well, it's a tough subject. Trust me, it's handled well. But it doesn't make it any easier to deal with. Now on to the main event.

I'm a librarian in a public library, which means I am occasionally asked to suggest titles for teenage patrons. So I like to read teen books that have gained some notoriety, so I can properly suggest things. But this book is a difficult one. I can't see it really being shelved in our teen area, despite the fact that this is definitely a teen book. Books in the teen section should be suitable for ages 13 and up - and this definitely isn't. So I thought about if it were cataloged as new adult - but that doesn't really work either. Readers searching out new adult titles would not necessarily like this, and it just doesn't seem to fit the tone of a lot of new adult novels. So, in that regards, this book is a tough sell, and I'm sure it's a nightmare for some catalogers.

And now I want to talk about this book and my emotions - because they were everywhere. As I said, I was into this book enough to stay up super late to finish it. But that doesn't mean this was a fun read for me. I was stressed the entire time. A few times I caught myself shaking with either fear or anger, and I was uncomfortably tense for most of the book. While that makes this a rough ride, it also shows just how well this was written, and how amazingly the author can get the reader invested. But that doesn't make this an easy, fun read.

One final quick note - the villain of this book seemed almost too clever for someone in high school. Maybe all the bad kids at my school were just unusually stupid, but I can't think of any one of my high school classmates that would have been capable of.. what happened. Still, oh man - what a villain.

Cover Lovin': Well, this cover is simple and doesn't really hint at the contents, but I still think it works.

Recommendation: For older teens, definitely. Or maybe those on the cusp of young adult and new adult.

Final Rating: FOUR out of FIVE stars (4/5). This book is worth a read. It's a rough ride, but it's well written and a fascinating story.

Be sure to get your copy of "Firsts" by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn today!

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~

Disclaimer: I received a free copy in exchange for a review. 

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