Thursday, January 12, 2012

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

Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have)
Sarah Mlynowski
Published June 7, 2011
Purchased eBook
Reviewed by Rachael

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. - Goodreads
Hi! I'm Rachael and I'm new here (well, new to sharing my thoughts, not new to reading the blog as I've known Michelle for going on ten years now!) This is my first book review so be kind =)
I picked up a copy of this book when Michelle posted about some Harper Teen books that were on sale around Christmas. It was a dollar and I'm a thrifty sort of gal so I took a chance on it. I'm pretty new to the world of YA so I'm not sure what age-ranges this covers, but up front I'll say this is definitely not a middle-grade book, but more of a late high school/adults who still like to read YA sort of book due to the material.
When April's father and step-mother decide to move away during her junior year of high school April comes up with a plan to stay with Violet, a senior, for the remainder of the school year. Unbeknownst to her father, Violet's mother, Suzanne, will be in a traveling production of Mary Poppins and the girls will have the house to themselves. Suzanne is used to fending for herself, but April has a lot to learn about, well, pretty much everything from keeping a budget to buying groceries to running the dishwasher to relationships (both with friends and with boyfriends). Throughout her various experiences over the next few months April really ends up learning a lot about herself and the book is a quick and enjoyable read, even if there are times you want to scream "what are you thinking?!" to the characters (although sometimes that is part of the humor of the book, regardless of the author's humorous intent at times...perhaps I just found things funny that were not intended to be funny.)
I loved the way this book was set-up with each of the Ten Things being a chapter. There were flashbacks included of April's experiences earlier when her parents were first going through a divorce which helped to create a well-rounded character without distracting from the story-at-hand. The flow between the chapters was well done when I expected it to be choppy when I noticed it was following a list. You'll laugh with the girls, fall in love with Hudson, and maybe, just maybe appreciate the boundaries your parents set up for you during your teenage years ;-)
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