Monday, August 8, 2011

Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have) by Sarah Mlynowski

Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have)
Sarah Mlynowski
Publisher: HarperTeen
Released: June 7, 2011
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 368
Source: BEA
2 girls + 3 guys + 1 house – parents = 10 things April and her friends did that they (definitely, maybe, probably) shouldn't have.

If given the opportunity, what sixteen-year-old wouldn't jump at the chance to move in with a friend and live parent-free? Although maybe "opportunity" isn't the right word, since April had to tell her dad a tiny little untruth to make it happen (see #1: "Lied to Our Parents"). But she and her housemate Vi are totally responsible and able to take care of themselves. How they ended up "Skipping School" (#3), "Throwing a Crazy Party" (#8), "Buying a Hot Tub" (#4), and, um, "Harboring a Fugitive" (#7) at all is kind of a mystery to them.

In this hilarious and bittersweet tale, Sarah Mlynowski mines the heart and mind of a girl on her own for the first time. To get through the year, April will have to juggle a love triangle, learn to do her own laundry, and accept that her carefully constructed world just might be falling apart . . . one thing-she-shouldn't-have-done at a time.
You know, sometimes I get a lot of grief for reading YA. People find out I like to read and immediately ask what. I answer them, and they look at me confused and ask, "What's that?" When I explain it stands for young adult they immediately give me this look that screams, "Why?" And sometimes I wonder, too. I mean, you get so many of the same reactions and you start to question your own taste. I am an adult. I do adult things like go to work and plan my wedding and pay bills (ick). So sometimes I do wonder why I don't read about adults; shouldn't I relate more to those characters anyway? And then I read a book like this one, and I remember why I read YA - because it's fun.

Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have) is quick and easy in the best way. Sure, there are a few lessons to be learned, but for the most part this novel is pure pleasure. April gets what every teen wants - complete freedom from her parents to do whatever she pleases for an entire semester. Realistic? My parents would have never gone for it, but then if this were a book about my teenage life it wouldn't be nearly as entertaining. The point is, this actually does happen to April and the reader is taken along for all the shenanigans that ensue. This is a hilarious read that had me hooked from page one. I laughed out loud so much, it garnered me several strange looks while reading.

April is a great protagonist. Reading her point of view is like having a conversation with her. She skips around a lot, giving the reader enough back story to understand things better, while focusing enough on the present to keep one's attention. This style may seem a little scattered at times, but it kept me on my toes. I also think I am similarly scatter-brained, which only made me like April more. Aside from the whole I-never-could-have-gotten-away-with-that thing, I definitely think teenage me would have done the exact same things April did. Seeing myself in her made this a really fun read.

Can someone please explain to me why I've never read one of Sarah's books until now? I have so been missing out! She is so witty and clever and funny, and I want to go buy all of her books right now. Plus she wrote me a really cute message at her signing at BEA, which makes me super sad Josh got to meet her instead of me because I was in line somewhere else. Sadface.

Stay tuned because tomorrow I'll have Sarah on the blog for a character interview, and there just might be something in it for one of you!


  1. Thanks for this review! I have been thinking about reading this, and now I'll definitely be picking it up!

  2. I can't remember Dean's brother name!


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