Published by St. Martin's Griffin on January 5th 2016
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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 isnÂ’t home nearly enough to know about MercedesÂ’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, wonÂ’t even say the word Â“sexÂ” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesnÂ’t bank on AngelaÂ’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 MercedesÂ’ 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.
High School isn’t 100% like the movies. Yes, there are groups and cliques. People usually hang out with people who are similar to themselves. People wear similar clothes and try to fit in. However, there aren’t specific boxes that you have to fit into. You can sit at any lunch table andÂ be friends with people in different groups. Just because you aren’t part of any one group it doesn’t make you the weird outcast.
There is however, one thing that is still taboo in high school.
Who’s doing it with who is always a discussion in whispered tones and hushed guesses. Society, and especially high schools, still wants girls to be ladies in public and vixens in private. Girls should be sweet and demure and have no impure thoughts…. until a guy gets them alone.
That’s why I absolutely loved Mercedes. She’s a high school girl who has taken charge of her own sexuality. In this book she unabashedly admits that she likes sex. I love that she makes informed choices. She knows how to protect herself and she takes responsibility for her actions. She always insists on using condoms, even if the boy makes lame excuses.Â Mercedes’s attitude and lifestyle are rarely scene in any media. She was unapologetic about her choices and she didn’t justify her actions. I loved how she owns her choices.
Mercedes believes in paying it forward. She is helping the girls in her high school have a perfect first time, the kind that she wishes she had herself. When she starts, she sees it as an altruistic quest. However it sets a precedent. Once she starts, she finds it hard to stop.
I loved that she was honest with herself but I didn’t necessarily agree with her choices.Â No reason to get preachy. I can just understand that the themes in this book could bother some people. For me, it was perfect.