Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn’t Have) by Sarah Mlynowski
Posted by Caitie F on September 14, 2011
Summary from goodreads:
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.
I saw a review of this on Reading With Tequila and knew I had to read this book ASAP. It sounded like it had some awesome characters, an interesting structure, and a lot of fun!
All of that was true. April had so many struggles, both internally while trying to deal with her family and externally with her friends and boyfriends. She felt real and genuine. I thought she was written in a way that teens can relate to her, especially if they have had parents split up and remarry. She felt pulled between everyone. There was one point where she didn’t feel wanted by anyone. She felt so real to me and it broke my heart.
But the book is not all heart-breaking and sorrow. The book is a lot of fun. There are parties. There is a hot tub. There are cute and caring boys. And all of this is happening without any parents. That aspect is so much fun…it made me long to jump into my past and have some fun!
I also thought it did a great job of dealing with sex and relationships. Yes, teenagers have sex and for different reasons. One wants to try it before college, wants it to be no-strings attached, but it isn’t easy. Two other couples have been together for years and want to make the next step…but of course there are consequences for everything. The relationships feel genuine and I understand why the girls do what they do.
Finally, what really made this book unique was the structure. Each chapter was one thing they shouldn’t have done, so the reader gets a hint to what will happen in the chapter. It also goes into several backstory flashbacks that show how the girls and families got to this point in their lives. It makes everyone more complete characters that readers will care about.
I really enjoyed this book and you should try it too!