Wednesday, November 2, 2011

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

Title: Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have)
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary
Release date: June 7th, 2011
Pages: 368 (Hardcover)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Bought

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.

Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have) is such a compelling title for a contemporary novel.  It caught my attention immediately, making me wonder- what did they do?  The story follows a sixteen year old girl named April who gets her world turned upside down when her parents divorce, even more when her mother moves to Paris, and finally, her life begins to spin completely out of control when her dad announces that they were going to move to his new wife's hometown.  She comes up with the idea that she can just stay at her laid-back older friend's house for the rest of the school year.  It was the second semester of her Junior year, after all.

April and her friend Vi make a plan to trick her dad into letting her stay although Vi's mother will spend months travelling because she's an actress.  By creating two fake email accounts, everything goes as planned...until the unexpected happens.  In a way, April is very realistic, therefore making her especially enjoyable.  Although there were times I really wished she would open her eyes when it came to boys, I can say that had similar thoughts in high school as well.  April had to learn how to do everything herself and she definitely made progress.  Come to think of it, she could barely load a dishwasher properly upon coming to Vi's house.  By the end, she'll make some of the biggest decisions of her life.

My least favorite character was Noah.  There was something about him that made me hate him from the beginning.  I kept begging April to walk away because something seemed too fishy.  As a teenager myself, I can see where they're coming from, but together, April and Vi don't make the best decisions.  April seems to be getting less cautious than ever and no matter how much her friends try to protect her, she learns her lesson the hard way.

Overall, the story was lighthearted, witty, and laugh-out-loud worthy.  There are some scenes that warm your heart and some scenes that could just about break it.  I thought I had the story figured out, but I was thrown off.  I love when that happens!  This is the type of book that just reminds me why contemporary is my favorite genre.


  1. Oh, I love a great contemporary! The title totally caught my attention and after your review, I really want to read it. I'll keep this in mind when I'm looking for a nice, funny contemp read. :)

  2. Nice review. ;) I was drawn to the title of the book as well! Kind of shamed that I still haven't grabbed a copy, since I've heard nothing but good things about it.

  3. I have wanted to read this since I first heard about it. It sounds so fun and hilarious and I'm glad you liked it! :D