Drew's Reviews > Firsts

Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
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did not like it
bookshelves: young-adult, contemporary, arc

You know those books that have lots of potential but don't live up to your expectations? Well, this was one of them.

I was intrigued by the summary, which promised another high school-themed story with a unique twist, this time dealing with mature themes. I was hoping for a dark, intricate look into a teenage girl's screwed-up mind who was sorting through tough issues. I guess I was expecting something similar to the kind of nasty evilness Courtney Summers would cook up.

I expected wrong.

Mercy, the main character, is going through some hard times, but it frustrated me when the author only grazed on the subject of her pathetic excuse for a mother, who only cared about her next younger boyfriend or getting drunk on Friday night. Mercy's mom drilled into her daughter's mind that it's so important what boys think of her that she watches what her daughter eats, applauds her when she wears skimpy clothes, and denies her the freedom of eating carbs.

Her mom is such a bad parent and role model, but Mercy brushes it off as if it were nothing, as if her mother brainwashing her for years didn't traumatize her at all. So when a friend makes spaghetti for dinner, Mercy eats a whole plate of it just to spite her mom.

That's not the only thing, though—Mercy's had a rough history with boys, to say the least, so now she's in a terrible predicament involving quite a few boys from her school. But until the end of the book, I never even sensed any twinges of regret or flickers of a conscience from her. Mercy doesn't feel bad about any of the awful things she's done. I was hoping I would feel sympathetic toward her, even being the twisted, messed-up character that she is, but she just seriously annoyed me.

And then at the end Mercy (predictably) changes, turning from the mean girl in school everyone hates to a shining, innocent little angel who regrets everything she's done. Suddenly she's apologizing to everyone and repairing the relationships with her friends that she wrecked. Her sudden, unrealistic change in character just made me despise her even more.

My biggest annoyance wasn't even Mercy, though. It was that this book had such a unique idea and the author had to squander it by making the plot cheesy. It was so, so cheesy. When the evil teenaged creep who was hiding his dark side is suddenly out to get Mercy, it didn't make me scared for her, it just made me roll my eyes when he said lines like this:

“Bad kitty,” he says, licking the blood off his lip and winking at me.

There were only a couple good "redemption" messages at the end that barely made up for the total lack of morality throughout the rest of the book. But no matter how hard I tried, I still couldn't get past Mercy's inconsiderate, thoughtless, despicable way of thinking. She describes herself perfectly in this sentence:

“Why do you even like me?” I say. “I’m selfish and dishonest and all I do is push people away. I wouldn’t even want to be my friend.”

You're right, Mercy, I don't like you.
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Reading Progress

October 9, 2015 – Started Reading
October 9, 2015 – Shelved
October 12, 2015 – Finished Reading

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