Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press, January 5, 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 isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’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 Mercedes’ 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.
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Praise for Firsts:
“A fearless debut that dares you to question what you really know about that girl. Edgy, smart, and heartbreaking, Firsts will stay with you long after the last page.” – Amanda Maciel, author of Tease
“A brave debut. Readers will be drawn in by Mercedes and this original story that is near impossible to put down. Gutsy storytelling with both humor and heart.” – Lori Goldstein, author of Becoming Jinn
“Emotionally charged… Firsts is a powerful coming of age story that tied my heartstrings in knots. Relevant and riveting… Fans of “Easy A” will root for Mercy.” – Caisey Quinn, bestselling author of Leaving Amarillo
“Wow! Laurie Elizabeth Flynn is not afraid to go there, and go there she does with Firsts, which tackles the sensitive topic of teen sexuality with compassion and nuance. Mercedes is a character you’ll cheer for as she learns who she is and what she wants and needs out of life. This one’s a real page turner.” – Jennifer Mathieu, author of The Truth About Alice and Devoted
“The novel exposes some of the double standards inherent in our purity-obsessed culture…” – Kirkus
“Debut author Flynn raises worthwhile questions about teenage sexuality and perceived promiscuity.” – Publisher’s Weekly
“Mercedes manages to be both tough and sympathetic, and this look at human connection, female sexuality, and stigma is welcome and well managed.” – Booklist