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

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Title: Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have)
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Release Date: June 7, 2011 (hardcover)
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 368
Source: ARC provided by publisher 

Overall: 4 Stars

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. 

My Thoughts: 
In some ways, Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have) was exactly what I expected it to be... and in others, it took me by surprise unexpectedly. In any case, I've been ever so excited to read the novel and as soon as I read the prologue, I already knew it would be one I would truly enjoy as I eagerly continued flipping the pages for more! And, really, who can resist a bit of teen drama?

The novel was definitely a fun read that had me laughing out loud and waiting to see what kind of trouble April would find herself in next, but there were enough heavier topics broached and discussed that give pause. In no way did I think it affected the novel negatively, but rather, it gave me an appreciation for Sarah Mlynowski's storytelling all the more. She manages to weave sex, drinking, relationships and plenty of partying into a humorous tale while also tackling the effects divorce can have in dividing a family such as April's. Do you see what I mean when I said I was surprised? I liked how the novel went beyond being only light and had more substance to it.  

Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have) is narrated in a language that any teen could understand and take to heart. Despite some of the hysterical (but not necessarily always realistic) situations April finds herself in with her friends, it's still very much easy to relate with her as a character. She has a certain naivety of the world, but as she spends more and more time having to act independently and accomplishing one more "probably shouldn't have", her life begins to unravel.

I wish there had been more moments with Hudson! April may have had a longtime boyfriend, Noah, but it was Hudson who really stole the spotlight for me with his kindness and the way he always stepped up to help April when she needed it the most. Hudson and Noah weren't the only cute boys in the story either as April's best friend, Vi, had her own relationship doubts to worry about...

Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have) may have been my first time reading a novel by Sarah Mlynowski but it certainly won't be my last! There was never a dull moment and reading as April's life got steadily more complicated left my eyes glued to the page the entire time. If you're looking for a sweet contemporary novel that offers some meaning beyond just fluff in a funny tale, then I'm sure you'll enjoy Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have) just as much as I did!

Thanks so much to HarperCollins Canada for sending me this review copy!

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  1. Great review. I want to read this!

  2. Oh man, I want to read this one!! I was interested when I read the synopsis but I'm even more anxious now! Especially since there's substance and depth behind the sex, partying, etc. I'm really looking forward to reading about Hudson ;) Great review, Liz!

  3. Honey- Yes, don't get me wrong, there are plenty of fun and games but I liked how Sarah Mlynowski didn't let her characters get completly away for doing all those things. There were some consequences too and April definitely learned some things. I was expecting something really light and hadn't even thought there would be sex or that much drinking & partying. I guess I had more innocent thoughts in mind. -.-

  4. Love this review Liz! I have this book on my shelf and I am sooo tempted to jump up and grab it. I've been wanting to read this one so badly, I just may have to read more than one book at a time :P

    Thanks for another awesome review!

  5. This sounds so fun! Maybe not so innocent but I'm sure it's entertaining haha

  6. Loved this book and its a good one to pick up for summer reading. It was the first book I read by Sarah Mlynowski too.

  7. It sounds like such a fun book. Thanks for the awesome review.

    The only thing is that I don't like the cover, I think the 'guy' looks like a girl with short hair and stubble.

  8. I really want to read this soon. I feel like it's going to have this great vibe that's perfect for a summer read. I like that it does explore some heavier issues though.