Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn Book Review

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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.

I want to say thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for letting me review this ARC. 

Firsts is a debut novel of Laurie Elizabeth Flynn that will be published on January 5, 2016. This book started with the main character, Mercedes “Mercy” Ayres. A seventeen year old girl who offers sex for virgin guys that have girlfriends. She teaches them what or not to do during sex and how to put a condom and to give their girlfriends a perfect first time. In spite of all that, she’s active in a prayer group and a chemistry nerd. The elements discussed in this book is unusual to see in a young adult book. It has mature content which didn’t bother me. The young adult books that I have read have a little bit of sex part and it’s not at all detail unlike new adult novels. In this book, there are a lot of sex scenes. If this bothers you, maybe you should put the book down.

I got interested in reading this because I want to know what Mercy is like and her reasons for having sex with virgin guys. I’m curious on how the story will unfold and how the author will execute it. To my surprise, I got hooked and really did enjoy reading this. It is well written and well-paced for a debut novel. The author really did a great job in creating those characters that can make you hate or love them. It discusses the common problems between teenagers who came from a broken family  and what happens with teenagers with no parental supervision. It has sexuality, drugs, abortion, rape, pregnancy and the vices that commonly affects teenagers. Angela, Mercy’s best friend is her complete opposite. She’s conservative and religious and one who wants to wait until marriage to have her first. Flynn did a great job in creating Mercedes’ character. There were some parts in the book frustrates me. Like whenever she keeps pushing Zach and never realizes that there were still a few people who loves her. All throughout the book, Mercy’s life is a mess but she grew as an independent and fearless character. She learned from her mistakes and accepted life’s challenges with the help of her friends: Angela, Faye, and Zach. There may be a lot of things that had happened to her but in the end she had found her true love.

Firsts will make you cry, laugh and feel different emotions. This will make you realize that those vices, without you knowing, could ruin your life and there are a lot of good things to experience. You should be open minded while reading this. I recommend it if it doesn’t bother you reading matured contents.  I gave this a 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. This is a great debut novel.

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In Real Life by Jessica Love Book Review

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Hannah Cho and Nick Cooper have been best friends since 8th grade. They talk for hours on the phone, regularly shower each other with presents, and know everything there is to know about one another.

There’s just one problem: Hannah and Nick have never actually met.

Hannah has spent her entire life doing what she’s supposed to, but when her senior year spring break plans get ruined by a rule-breaker, she decides to break a rule or two herself. She impulsively decides to road trip to Las Vegas, her older sister and BFF in tow, to surprise Nick and finally declare her more-than-friend feelings for him.

Hannah’s surprise romantic gesture backfires when she gets to Vegas and finds out that Nick has been keeping some major secrets. Hannah knows the real Nick can’t be that different from the online Nick she knows and loves, but now she only has night in Sin City to figure out what her feelings for Nick really are, all while discovering how life can change when you break the rules every now and then.

Thank you so much Netgalley and St. Martin Press for sending me this ARC

I was first drawn by this gorgeous book when I first saw this on Netgalley. The cover is simple and conveys the meaning of the story. I thought it was like Eleanor and Park or Paper Towns type of book but it’s not. I have never read any book of Jessica Love nor heard her before. In Real Life was the first book I’ve read written by Jessica Love. This is a quick, fun, light-hearted and cutsie contemporary read. This would be a perfect read if you want to take a break from fantasy or heart wrenching contemporary.

The story tells us about an online romance and the perks of meeting them in real life. Hannah Cho and Nick Cooper have been online friends for 4 years but when they meet, it isn’t what Hannah thought it was. The real Nick is so much different from the Nick he met online. There were a few secrets she didn’t expected. This story will capture your hearts and inspire you as a reader.

I love Hannah’s character at the beginning of the books. She’s afraid to meet the real Nick because it might ruin their 4 years of friendship. I got annoyed with her indecisiveness and drama. I got frustrated whenever she can’t express or say her feelings towards Nick.

There were some parts that I didn’t like about this book because I find them boring and aren’t important. The ending was predictable. There’s too much drama and problems that could have been easily solved by communication. Nevertheless I still find this book interesting and cute. I’m looking forward to read more books of Jessica Love. I recommend this for those who want to read some light-hearted contemporary.

This will be published on March 1,2016

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Finding Hope by Colleen Nelson

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Hope leaves her small town for a fresh start, but her plans are derailed by an online romance and the appearance of her brother.

Hope lives in a small town with nothing to do and nowhere to go. With a drug addict for a brother, she focuses on the only thing that keeps her sane, writing poetry. To escape, she jumps at the chance to attend Ravenhurst Academy as a boarding student. She’ll even put up with the clique-ish Ravens if it means making a fresh start.

At first, Ravenhurst is better than Hope could have dreamed. She has a boyfriend and a cool roommate, and she might finally have found a place she can fit in. But can she trust her online boyfriend? And what can she do after her brother shows up at the school gates, desperate for help, and the Ravens turn on her? Trapped and unsure, Hope realizes that if she wants to save her brother, she has to save herself first.

 

Thank you Netgalley for the chance to read this ARC. This is my very first review on Netgalley.

The first time I laid my eyes on this minimalist yet stunning cover, I was already attracted and curious on how the story will go. Then I read the summary and I’m really anticipating to read it. I saw a lot of good reviews on Goodreads. Through reading the synopsis, I thought that this is about a teenage girl who finds escape through poetry. I haven’t read any Colleen Nelson book and I wasn’t familiar with the author. I’m really excited when Netgalley accepted my request to review this ARC.

Finding Hope deals with a lot of teenage issues such as drug addiction, cyberbullying, and abuse. It is written in a dual POV of Hope and Eric. Hope is the main character in the story. She transferred to a boarding school, Ravenhurst to start of with her new life because basically her whole life is a mess. Eric, her half-brother is a meth addict. The story unravels on how Hope, through poetry will be able to surpass all of life’s cruel choices.

The story and the introduction of the characters started on just fine. I was really enjoying the first part of the story. I love that the chapters are so short. The plot is a bit cliche and fast paced. I tried to finish it and see how it will end but I lost interest in it at 20 %. I was just skimming through it because I don’t know where will the story go. I couldn’t connect to all of the characters. I want more details about Hope and the story but the story just goes really really fast. I even finish this in one sittting. The characters annoys me. The main protagonist, Hope is so immature, whiny, stupid and bitch. I couldn’t stand all her dramas and decision in life. She befriended those bitches in order to fit in and in the end she regretted it. I was thinking of Mean Girls. Those bullies in school where they pick on new students and ask them to do stupid things on a Truth or Dare. Who does that? It’s so cliche right? I was cringing when they asked Cassie to strip naked and walk three times in front of Mrs. Harrison’s door. I couldn’t see the character development in it. The worst and annoying part is when Hope send nude pictures to her online boyfriend. Gosh! She didn’t even met the guy and know if he is trustworthy. So unbelievable!

I couldn’t finish this book. Sorry. Maybe this book is not for me. I can’t recommend it to anyone. I gave it a 1 out 5 stars on Goodreads. It’s probably the worst book I’ve read this year. Sorry

This will be published on March 19, 2016

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