Tuesday, May 31, 2011

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
Release Date: June 7th, 2011
Pages: 368 pages (hardback)
How I Got the Book: Amazon Vine

Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have)
Like any sixteen-year-old would, April jumps at the chance to move in with a friend and live parent-free. Even though she had to tell her dad a tiny 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) is kind of 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 just might be falling apart... one thing-she-shouldn't-have-done at a time.

Fans of Sarah Dessen and E. Lockhart will love this hilarious and bittersweet tale of a girl on her own for the first time who finds herself doing ten things she (definitely, maybe, probably) shouldn't have.


Over Christmas break, April's dad and stepmom drop a bombshell on her: They're moving to Cleveland and want her to go with them. April has no intention of packing up her things, leaving her friends and boyfriend behind in Westport, and starting over in a new city, so she convinces her dad to let her move in with her best friend Vi and her mother Suzanne. The thing is that it's just Vi and April there because Suzanne is traveling and her dad doesn't know this. Boy troubles will be had, long-simmering issues will explode, and April will use the wrong product and cause a flood, among other things.

When you find a quote like "...and--um, where were my pants? Why was I in bed with a guy who was not my boyfriend without any pants?" (ARC p. 2) in the very beginning of a book, it's almost assured you're in for a fun ride. And I was--there were a lot of moments where this book made me laugh or at least giggle. If I had been in a bad mood while reading (which I was not, thank goodness), this would have made for a great cheer-up read, something fluffy and undepressing I could try to lift my mood with.

Despite the fluffiness, it does get serious at times. April has issues with her parents over their divorce that she doesn't like to think about, but those issues become intertwined with her problems with Noah. Her relationship with him is one of the only things that hasn't changed since her parents' divorce and she's desperate for at least something to stay the same, but they're growing apart and she can't handle it. Change is difficult to deal with and anyone who feels the same way as she did will connect with April, though her layers of deceptions and manipulative moments may keep them from liking her.

But it says something for the characters when my favorite turns out to be Donut the cat instead of a human. Most of the characters are pretty unremarkable except for April and Vi, the latter of whom was remarkable for being a bad person instead of for anything good. The only scene in the entire book where I really felt invested and cared about what happened was Donut-centric. Otherwise, I floated through the book and I don't doubt that in a month, I'll barely recall anything but Donut.

The book is mostly about sex, though the blurb might lead you to think it's about something more. Nope, most of the book is focused on preparing for sex, freaking about the thought of it, actually having it, having it some more, discovering how sex can change relationships, and dealing with some of its consequences. If reading about sex makes you uncomfortable, don't even consider this book. After the last book I read, reading such a sex-positive book was like a weight off my shoulders, and they even discussed birth control and condoms and safe sex! This book taught me more about sex than my sex ed class in high school (but then again, anything teaches more than my sex ed class did; my school taught the "abstinence-only" way.)

There isn't going to be anything ground-breaking when you read this book, but you're probably going to be entertained and smile at least once because April makes some pretty good quips throughout the book. If for nothing else, pick up the book because of Donut the cat. She's such a sweetheart that only a hardcore cat-hater could hate her.

4 stars for being fluffy like a kitten, funny enough to make me giggle out loud a few times, and occasionally heartfelt, but otherwise nothing extraordinary.

What am I reading next?: Stay by Deb Caletti


  1. Hi there :)

    I'm a new follower, I love the way you review! I tend to be a little harsh in the way I review - if I don't like a book - but I love the way you put yourself across.

    Thanks for the post :)Can't wait to read some more :)

    Blethering About Books

  2. This is the first book i've ever read by this author, and i wouldnt mind reading another of her books. Its a little grown up, to be a teen book, so i wouldnt recommend this book if your not a mature teen.The characters were adorable and funny, making it easy to get into the story. If your looking for a quick and easy read, this would definitely work.


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