04 January 2016

Review: Firsts

Firsts Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

This is one tightrope of a contemporary young adult book, let me tell you.

Mercedes provides a service of sorts to her classmates. Virgin high schoolers come to her to lose their virginity, she gives them tips in order to improve their relationships and not be a disaster in bed with their girlfriends. She keeps detailed logs for her records, has strict rules in place, and everything. It seems like the perfect scheme until things get a little rough around the edges.

I really got worried initially that this would be some sort of attempt at an after-school-special cautionary tale, or that it would turn into some weird sex farce, and neither of these things happened. As the story panned out, we learned a lot more about motivations and empowerment and sexual politics for teens, and, in the end, it ended up being a pretty decent read. There's a lot I could quibble with, but in terms of what really ended up being a unique plot, I can't fault a lot of the different choices made along the way.

Overall, I don't know if this is a book that would necessarily speak to anyone. Sexual empowerment is a weird subject to tackle for this age group anyway, never mind handling the darker sides of sexuality in an appropriate, non-preachy way. As a decent, left-of-center tale, though, it's one I'm actually glad I got my hands on.

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