"I spent my life folded between the pages of books." -Tahereh Mafi

Some of my reviews are normal non-spoilery reviews. But some of reviews contain lots and lots of spoilers to help you (and me!) remember what happened when the next book in the series finally comes out. Both review types are clearly marked.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

This review is spoiler free!!

My rating: 2/5 stars

This book was so problematic. First, I thought a book about a girl coaching guys through their first times would be a lot more sex positive. But instead we get Mercy slut-shaming herself for "giving herself" to so many guys. Ugh.

And then there were the problems with consent. I almost quit 3% in at this tidbit:
"What would you do if I was Melody?"
"I'd tell you you were beautiful," he says, "I'd ask if I could touch them."
"Right and wrong," I say. "You're always right to tell a girl she's beautiful. But never ask if you can do something. Be bold, because confidence is one thing you can absolutely fake until you actually feel it."
 Yes, she's telling a guy to not bother with consent because girls don't like that. Seriously?? This is what we're marketing to teens in 2015? And then there's the scene where she's sexually assaulted but it's never treated that way. She invites a guy over for sex, changes her mind when he's a total creep and asks him to leave. And instead of leaving, he blackmails her into having sex with him. And instead of rape, it's just chalked up as a "bad experience." 

In addition to all this, there's an attempt at a female friendship, except that Mercy feels the need to constantly lie to her best friend Angela. She pretends to be a Christian (going to Bible study with her) and a virgin. Friendship fail. A good friend doesn't need to lie about who she is.