BOOK REVIEW: Ten Things We Did – Sarah Mlynowski

GENRE: Young Adult Fiction – Romance
FORM:  eBook

SYNOPSIS (from  

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.

 REVIEW:  A fun book about rejection and rebellion and behaving like an unauthorized teenager. As a mother and adult, I do not agree with the behavior displayed in this book, and am a little bit disappointed that there weren’t stronger consequences for the girl’s actions, even though there WERE consequences…sometimes some pretty harsh ones at that. But so much could have happened, people could have been hurt, killed, or a whole slew of things.

More than the disappointment I felt for some of April’s decisions was the way April’s mother handled the situation. Sure she was across the ocean, but I feel like she still should have done something. Then her dad, who was completely gullible and happily blind to all of April’s lies. But this is the point, isn’t it? April and Vi both have parents who have ceased to really care about them. Maybe not completely, but in many of the ways that matter. They [the parents] all have their own lives and concerns, and April is almost an adult after all…it was sad, in my opinion. And what teenager in their right mind would turn down a crap load of money and parental freedom indefinitely?? There was a secret part of me, that regardless of my shock at the situation itself didn’t want them to get caught either.

The reader in me – taking out the mature adult and responsible parent for a moment – was entertained. The characters were fun and goofy, and sometimes very serious and mature…sometimes. I felt like guy/girl relationships didn’t seem as meaningful as they were intended to be. I felt no chemistry between April and Noah, and likewise I barely felt sparks between her and Hudson. On the flipside, the “girlfriend” relationships seemed to be strong, and forgiving, and ever growing and evolving. All of the girls had open minds, were willing to discuss important matters, and were even willing to let the crazy girl, Lucy, into the group. In the end, I would say that it was the bond between these girls that made me enjoy this book the most.


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