Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn’t Have) by Sarah Mlynowski
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), “Buying a Hot Tub” (#4) and, um, “Harboring a Fugitive” (#7) is a mystery to them. 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 might just be falling apart…one thing-she-shouldn’t-have-done at a time.
Sarah Mlynowski’s book isn’t awful - but by no means is it one of my favorites. I found April’s story to be a little bit unrealistic. Especially for realistic fiction. Her living arrangement would never happen in real life (and if it did, I’m glad I don’t have those parents). April herself isn’t very relatable. She’s aa mishmash of teenage sterotypes - having wild parties, being super hot, having tons of friends, and a fixation on losing her virginity.
However, despite these small flaws, Ten Things isn’t a half bad story. There are funny bits, and sad bits, and Mlynowski is a good writer. The character Dean makes a great addition to the story, plus the “tiny little untruth” April and Vi have to maintain.
If you’re looking for an easy read in-between bigger ones, Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn’t Have) is the way to go.
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