Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Firsts” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,526 Ratings  ·  778 Reviews
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
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 5th 2016 by St. Martin's Griffin
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Firsts, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Melissa I'd say 15 and up, personally; but again, it all depends on that person's reading level. If they have no issue with sensitive/taboo topics (it does…moreI'd say 15 and up, personally; but again, it all depends on that person's reading level. If they have no issue with sensitive/taboo topics (it does get fairly sexual) then it's probably fine. I could've handled it around 15 to 16 with little problem...but I've read above my age range for as long as I can remember!(less)
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn HamiltonBlackhearts by Nicole CastromanEver the Hunted by Erin SummerillThe Girl from Everywhere by Heidi HeiligIvory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh
YA Debuts 2016
17th out of 232 books — 1,220 voters
Empire of Storms by Sarah J. MaasA Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. MaasLady Midnight by Cassandra ClareGlass Sword by Victoria AveyardHeartless by Marissa Meyer
YA Novels of 2016
117th out of 1,021 books — 7,433 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Emily May
Jan 07, 2016 Emily May rated it really liked it
Let me just say first: I enjoyed this book a lot. I thought it was compelling, awful in parts, with an unconventional narrator who, against the odds, evokes sympathy. It also succeeds where many other YA books have failed: portraying a realistic criticism of and challenge to slut-shaming and double standards.

What would you think of someone who deliberately slept with other girls' boyfriends? I know a lot of my friends here are sex-positive and open-minded, but that's not exactly what I'm talking
Kat Stark
Feb 29, 2016 Kat Stark rated it really liked it

Mercedes is a terrible fucking human piece of shit, but the book was good. It was like watching a trainwreck. I can't help that.

Here’s another book where it proves that I can hate the main character with the rage of a thousand fires, yet still give high marks for the read. I haven’t hated an MC so much since Ellie from Reclaiming the Sand and I use her as a benchmark; we all know how much I wanted her to die even if I had to go into the book and stab her myself.

So let’s start with the story, Me
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
I feel so uncool after reading this book.
Palm Springs commercial photography

Seventeen year old Mercedes has a way of making things right for other girls. She takes their boyfriends and gives them their "first time."
Palm Springs commercial photography

She doesn't want to keep them or nothing. She just is providing a service to make the world a better place. She wants everyone's first time to be really special. *gag*
She finds out that the guy is thinking about making it official with his girlfriend and she checks him out and then invites him over and of course then
8 Things You Will Love About Firsts

1.Firsts is raw, compelling and honest. It's a book about a teen who thinks of sex as a way to be in control. It's a book that definitely doesn't shy away from the nitty and gritty, a topic that most young adult novels would opt to leave out.

2. Firsts is incredibly complex. It has a complex story--one that you yourself would definitely not want to get tangled in--and complex characters who you may or may not fully understand even as the novel comes to a close
Christine Delilah (Maramochabooks)
"Zach, my "Wednesday friend" is coming over for a lunch date. At least, he's supposed to. I haven't talked to him since the weirdness at Faye's house, and I'm not sure what to say. I think we might like the same girl, and might be jealous that you like her better than me? There's no way I can bring that up without sounding totally insane."

Why did I choose to use that quote? Because I wanted to get you excited and into thinking the main character was bi.

And now I'm going to tell you that she
Dec 18, 2015 Deanna rated it it was ok
1.5 Stars

We meet seventeen-year-old Mercedes. Only her very good friends may call her Mercy for short. She used to like her name, until she figured out she was named after a car, the car that her dad waved from, as he drove out of her life. So absent father and barely there mother, or more like barely CARE mother.


As the book starts Mercedes says she's doing Evan Brown's girlfriend a favor. A favor that his girlfriend will neve
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Nov 12, 2015 Kelly (and the Book Boar) rated it did not like it
Shelves: arcs, read-in-2015
Find all of my reviews at:

As a lover of all things D.U.F.F. (shaddup, Erica) and Easy A I thought my enjoyment of Firsts was nearly guaranteed. Guess that’s what I get for thinking, huh?

“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.”

Yep, Mercedes decided to do a little philanthro
Aly's Bookish Wonderland
DNF @ 90%


You're saying: "But you were so close!"

And I'm saying: "But ISSUES."

So here's the thing: the premise of Firsts promised an original, intriguing plot line, an unlikeable heroine and a direct take on todays issues. Which, at first, we got. Mercedes takes virginities, instructing guys on the dos and don'ts, so that they are able to give their girlfriends the best first night possible. Cheating aside, I was totally on board with Mercy's personality, how unlikeable she c
Chelsea ❤Peril Please❤ (of BADGER and Snake)

**ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

I switch out my lamp and stare at the ceiling in the dark, taking a series of shaky breaths. I know that it’s better this way, being the one in control. The one in control calls the shots, and the one in control sets the pace.
Most important of all, the one in control doesn’t get hurt.

I’d be lying if I said this is something that I would have read had I found it on my own…but seeing the type of things being said about it paired wi
Cait (Paper Fury)
Dec 21, 2015 Cait (Paper Fury) rated it liked it
Recommended to Cait (Paper Fury) by: Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
This is definitely not my usual read...buuuut, I wanted to a) read tons of 2016 debuts this time and b) read more outside of my comfort-zone. sO THIS BOOK FITS. And I mean, all in all, it's not a bad book, but it was an inevitable train wreck which made me eye-roll. Oops?

I mean, HELLO LOOK AT THE BLURB. Mercedes has sex with virgins so they "do it right" for their girlfriends. Aka -- this book is about cheating. I hate that. Truly do. I wanted to know the WHYS and how could this possibly work (
Firsts is a unique book in many ways, and not one I expected to like as much as I did. I am incredibly uncomfortable about the notion of teenagers having sex – I know, I know, it’s ridiculous, but it just feels… no. Go back to playing Pokémon. No, I know everyone is ready at a different age and that’s completely fine – I just don’t want to hear about it or see it. So when I saw the premise of this book, I was hesitant and curious at the same time. I wanted to see how such an idea would be execut ...more
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley.)

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

This was quite an interesting story about one girl and her de-virginising service.

Mercedes seemed to have good intentions by sleeping with boys so that their first times with their girlfriends were special, but I’m not really s
Trigger Warnings: This book contains 2 rape scenes (coerced consent) and one attempted rape that involves a violent physical assault. The main character makes a bulimia joke, at the expense of her mothers in a scene that trivializes eating disorders. Consent is completely misrepresented, twice the main character explicitly tells boys to ignore consent. Physical assault :the main character slaps a boy in the face, but dismisses it as okay because “he likes it when I’m rough.”

The Trouble with the
Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
An unsolicited Advanced Reader Copy was provided by the publisher for review.

Oh Mercedes..She was misguided from the very beginning. From the moment she realized she could "help" virgin boys, to romance their girlfriends when they ended up doing the deed together. A perfect system she created so boys could learn. The entire time I'm thinking it's going to blow up in her face. It was so wrong.. And her heart might have been in the right place, but it wasn't. I felt so much for her. I knew she was
Initial reaction: I'm sorely in the minority of opinions about this book, but I'm sitting here in the aftermath of this book thinking, in gif form:


My outrage is less about the situation Mercy finds herself in for the latter part of the novel (which is messy, but I figured it would go that route) and has more to do with the complete misrepresentation of consent, cheating and rape (via coerced consent and blackmail) that this novel puts forward. Also, sexual stereotypes abound. It really pissed me
Dec 10, 2015 TL rated it really liked it

Buddyread with the lovely Shelby *wants some flying monkeys*:)

Read Shelby's thoughts on the book here. She has a different opinion on it but that's cool... if we all loved the same things it would be a boring world indeed, head over and give her some love :)

I received this via Goodreads FirstReads giveaway in an exchange for an honest review.


Indeed... I surprised myself by loving this

Good you job you sneaky book :)

One of the best YA books I've read in awhile... the old but true saying
Dec 31, 2015 Sophie rated it it was amazing
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher via NetGalley. This in no way impacted on my view.

Ever since I discovered the Sixteen to Read Twitter account, I have had this book on my tbr wish list, and couldn't not request it fast enough when I noticed it was on NetGalley. First of all, thank you so much, St. Martin's Griffin, for allowing me the opportunity to read this amazing book.

Firsts had a real 'Easy A' vibe about it: if you liked that movie, you should love this book. The MC, Me
I don't wanna rate this yet (ETA: screw it, I came back and gave it 5 stars because it's really not likely I'm gonna give it anything less) because I was so desperate to finish it and see what happens before I had to put my phone away for the weekend that I just skimmed the last quarter, but holy shit. I can't even believe this got published, but I am so, so glad that it did. I honestly had secret fears this would be done the same way a lot of books with really controversial-sounding main charac ...more
Tink Magoo is bad at reviews
4.5 bitchin' stars

It's like this book had claws that reached out and hooked me from right after I read the synopsis.

I freaking loved it. The whole premise of it. Quite frankly teenage boys and many men need help making sex good for their partner , especially that first time so I liked Mercedes idea. No of course I didn't like the boyfriends cheating and giving their first times to someone other than their girlfriends but then they were trying to do it for a good reason, even if it was misplace
Beatrice Masaluñga
Dec 30, 2015 Beatrice Masaluñga rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, young-adult
Thank you St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Surprisingly, I really enjoyed this book. It's well written, daring, thought provoking and one of a kind story that we don't usually see in a young adult book. For a YA novel, it is a little mature. I don't really mind sex in YA but with the issues tackled here, you must keep an open mind about it.

Mercedes / Mercy offers to have sex with virgin guys. She teaches them what to do or not to do on sex


ARC received by NetGalley

Genre: Young Adult, New Adult crossover
Cover: 8/10
Writing: 8/10
Heroine: 8/10
Hero: 9/10
Humour: 1/10
Hotness: 1/10
Romance: 3/10
Extra book Details: Heroine POV; 1st person. Stand alone.

Firsts is well written high-school novel about Mercy, her sex life, her friends, her family, and the whole lot of trouble she gets herself in.

After a traumatic first-time, Mercy starts to sets up secret rendezvous' with her virginal high-school classmates with the aim to tutor
Amber Robertson
“Virginity is supposed to be something a girl gives up only when she is ready and feels comfortable, something a girl discusses at length with her friends and flip-flops over a million times in her mind before actually doing it. A guy is expected to be born ready.”

Firsts was a book in with pretty low expectations despite some of the glowing ratings. The concept seemed off to me since it was basically condoning cheating. I understand the want for wanting to give girls a great first time because m
Cora Tea Party Princess
5 Words: Relationships, friends, sex, high-school, family.

I'm a bit torn about this one, there was a lot that I definitely did not like at all. But at the same time I found it difficult to put it down and it tackled some important and difficult issues. Then there were the times when it just plain sucked and made me so angry.

What I don't understand is why the police were at no point involved. Based on this book: America, your teachers suck. We had child abuse, exploitation, blackmail and underage
Lala BooksandLala
Firsts is a story about a girl who invites virgins into her room to show them the ropes, to learn from her, and to bring their newly found confidence back to their girlfriends, in order to then give THEM a great first time.

Of course things get messy and complicated, and Mercedes starts to have conflicting thoughts regarding how others are perceiving her and if she is making the right choices, all while discovering her own sexual desires.

There were many important discussions about slut shaming, t
Jun 30, 2016 Glire rated it really liked it
Este es el YA que han estado esperando.

Sex positive
Anti slut shaming
Book boyfriend sin una pizca de violencia en su cuerpo
Amistades femeninas que valen la pena
Oct 06, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, ebook
* I received an arc in exchange for an honest review.

I certainly did not expect to like this book as much as I did. To say the plot made me uncomfortable would be an understatement. Cheating is a big no-no for me and so when I read the synopsis for this book, I was hesitant but certainly intrigued.

Mercedes slept with guys who were in relationships. She had good intentions but I still disliked the fact that she did it. Despite all of that though, I liked Mercedes. She was likeable and I could s
Jamie (Books and Ladders)
This review can be found in all it's glory on Queen of the Bookshelves
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

I went into this one knowing I was going to love it and I was not disappointed. This is the type of contemporary story I love: one that is gritty and raw and leaves you feeling something after you finish. If you are a fan of Sarah Dessen or Gayle Foreman, you're going to love this book.

This book is about Mercedes is trying to find happiness after
Michelle Andreani
Oct 05, 2015 Michelle Andreani rated it it was amazing
I really, really, really enjoyed Mercedes's journey. After being let down by the people she trusted, seeing her grow despite of that (because of that?) was so satisfying and such a pleasure. Warning: You will want to hug her many, many times. Also, she's a science nerd! Chemistry, even! I loved that so very much.

My biggest compliment to this book is I'm still, days later, wrangling my thoughts about it! There is lots to dig into and talk about. It's a bold story, and one I'm glad people will be
Krista Wright
Mar 14, 2016 Krista Wright rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. This was pretty good, but not as great as I expected. The subject was so interesting though, and I really felt for Mercy through the entire book! Some of the characters seemed a little unrealistic, and sometimes it felt like the plot was deviating in a different direction for a little while. But still, I am so sick of only seeing YA contemporary books where the main character is a virgin. This was absolutely refreshing!
Ashley Blake
Wow. I totally devoured this book in 2 sittings and it completely blew me away. Brave and bold. I keep hearing both of those words when people talk about this book and I whole-heartedly agree. Mercedes' story is one I've never heard in YA, one that needs to be told, one that is messy and full of mistakes and heartbreak, but also self-discovery and empowerment. An important, bound to be widely discussed, read.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Underwater
  • The Year We Fell Apart
  • Other Broken Things
  • You Were Here
  • Seven Ways We Lie
  • Into White
  • Girls Like Me
  • The Distance from A to Z
  • All the Feels
  • Wild Swans
  • Suffer Love
  • The Loose Ends List
  • Cam Girl
  • Summer Skin
  • Devoted
  • No One Needs to Know
  • How Willa Got Her Groove Back (Creative HeArts, #2; Willa and Finn #1)
  • Frayed
Laurie Elizabeth Flynn writes contemporary fiction for young adults. Her debut, FIRSTS, was published by Thomas Dunne Books/St Martin’s Press on January 5, 2016.

Laurie went to school for Journalism, where the most important thing she learned was that she would rather write made-up stories than report the news. She also worked as a model, a job that took her overseas to Tokyo, Athens, and Paris.

More about Laurie Elizabeth Flynn...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Virginity is supposed to be something a girl gives up only when she is ready and feels comfortable, something a girl discusses at length with her friends and flip-flops over a million times in her mind before actually doing it. A guy is expected to be born ready.

But what I realized after Tommy is that they're not. They're just as scared as their girlfriends, maybe even more so because the onus is on them to be gentle, make it last, make it memorable. And most of them haven't a clue.”
“I want to be just fast enough for Zach to have to run to catch up, because if I stay ahead, I won't ever have to see his retreating back.” 5 likes
More quotes…