I haven’t done a book review in ages, and not of something as incredibly bold and sensitive as this book. There’s always a first time for everything anyway.
Everyone makes a big deal of their firsts because it serves as a standard for the runner ups that you will have afterwards. They have the scenarios planned out, actual plans of it down to the last detail, taking months and years before it happens. Nothing’s wrong with that.
And so Mercedes, or Mercy to her friends, makes sure other girls’ firsts are memorable. How? By teaching their boyfriends on how to make it special. It’s not the most conventional way, in fact, some people might frown upon it. But the list grows bigger and bigger, something she could not control. She was good at it. Her nickname suited to her sometimes that in her mind, it couldn’t hurt to add another. Then another. And another.
Things like this are bound to come out. Maybe. Will Mercedes come out as a chivalrous friend, a hero, a martyr? Or will she become a criminal, a center or ridicule and criticism, shun by all?
There is always a reason as to why people become certain people. I’ve always thought that there are no good and bad people, just good and bad experiences that make them. There is always an equal reaction to a significant action. Sometimes it doesn’t explain fully or condone what they do, but can we really fully blame them? Who are we to judge, when there are people more good than us who treat sinners as friends? It’s like pointing a finger to them with three of the others back at yourself.
I found myself a fraction of some characters in the book, making them all relatable to me. One cannot just invest in the main character alone, that I know for sure when it comes to novels. Sympathizing with more than just the main character gives you more understanding, depth, and perception in reading. Flynn made sure that this book could be something for all despite the sensitivity of the topic. It was brave to tackle something timely and taboo yet acceptable at the same time. But who are we really to say what’s wrong or right? Who am I to tell you? We all have our own ideas of many things, mine may differ from others. Whatever it is, I acknowledge it.
What really made me glad about it was how my second favorite Bible verse was mentioned in the Bible. Yes, I open the book, despite what others might portray of me. And to see it on a Young Adult book made me happy because finally someone thought of instilling some timeless words into their stories. Who knows? People who are reading it might have needed it at that point in their lives. Authors have that power, and Flynn used it.
Her form and technique aimed for cliffhangers with intense last lines that if it were released chapter by chapter in an online fiction site will still get people into wanting more, begging for updates.