Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Advance Reader Copy, 320 pages
January 5th 2016
St. Martin’s Griffin
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Laurie Elizabeth Flynn’s Firsts caught my attention with an intriguing synopsis that promised me a different type of contemporary read and heroine. And while it definitely has its heartwarming moments, it’s definitely not a fluffy read as the reader soon learns after Mercedes’ story gradually escalates and takes a much darker turn. However, that’s what I enjoyed about Firsts it’s not afraid to be show realistic consequences while adding a few dramatic twists for the purposes of the plot.
I’ll admit that I didn’t love Mercedes or agreed with her choices, however I couldn’t fault her for how she acted or what she thought. Coming from a great deal of family dysfunction and neglect coupled with a past trauma has led to her having an extremely messed up way of thinking which mostly serves as a defense mechanism to protect herself. And while incredibly flawed, Mercedes isn’t a completely horrible person. In fact she has numerous layers to her including her love of science and her goal to attend MIT to study engineering after she graduates from high school. In her own twisted way she truly believes that she is helping others and it was tragic witnessing how she was socially punished while the guys that she “helped” didn’t face as much wrath from others even though they’re just as responsible. This is an accurate perception of something that is all too common in real life, often girls are judged more than guys when it comes to having sex.
Overall I felt the book characters and their actions seem quite realistic and authentic. I particularly enjoyed seeing Mercedes warm up Faye and become friends with her, after all the two girls had a great deal in common. I also appreciated the updates we receive at the conclusion on the various characters and I enjoyed how the book’s ending was rather frank in illustrating how you can never return to how things were however you can move forward despite not fully knowing what future holds. And this I think is where Mercedes character development truly shines through as she evolves from a person who always needs to be in control to somebody who is able to open up to whatever life has in store for her.
Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.