Friday, 30 September 2011

Review: Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn’t Have)

Title: Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn’t Have)
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: June 7th, 2011
Genre: YA, Realistic Fiction

The past few years of April’s life have been complicated, with her parents’ divorce and their respective remarriages. She chose to stay in Connecticut with her Dad, rather than move to Paris with my Mom. When her Dad and Stepmom want to move to Ohio half way through April’s junior year, she works out a plan to stay at her friend Vi’s house. The only problem is that Vi’s Mom isn’t going to be around and there is no way April’s Dad would let her live without parent supervision for a whole semester. By simply creating two fake e-mail accounts, April and Vi lie to their parents and manage to have the whole house to themselves. This leads to April breaking nearly all of her Dad’s rules and doing a lot of things she probably shouldn’t have. But who could blame her for skipping class on occasion? Or maybe buying a hot tub? And she never would have thrown a huge party if it hadn’t been for a very good cause. April quickly makes use of her new found freedom, and who can blame her for making a few mistakes along the way?

Ten Things We Did was so much fun! For some reason I thought it was going to be a let down, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I really wish that I’d read this book over the summer, since it would have been a great beach read. The concept sounds a bit unbelievable at first (two teenage girls with a house to themselves for a few months) but the author made it work. It was easy to suspend my disbelief while I was being pulled into this story. The plot mainly centres around April and her friends taking advantage of their new found freedom by doing some things they definitely wouldn’t have done if their parents were around. April and Vi’s escapades were amusing without being too ridiculous or over the top. A lot of the plot focuses on April deciding whether she should lose her virginity to her long-term boyfriend, Noah. The flashbacks of their relationship and of April’s family added a lot to the story. Although this book isn’t what you’d call deep, April has to address her abandonment issues and other problems that stemmed from her parents’ divorce. Adding some of these bigger issues to a light and fun novel is one of the things I loved about this book.

I really didn’t think I would like April, but I did. Sure, she made some mistakes, but that’s kind of the point of this book. Somehow with all that lying she still managed to make me feel bad for her, since her Dad was being unfair in asking her to move to Ohio a few days before school started again. The secondary characters were great, although at the end of the book I still felt like I knew next to nothing about Marissa, even though she was April’s best friend. However, the other characters felt real. I especially liked how things were wrapped up in the end and the revelations that were made about different characters.

This was a quick read that was light and fun. It wasn’t laugh out loud funny, but I enjoyed it all the same. In fact, I didn’t want it to end.


"You know, April," he said. "Sometimes you don't need lightening to start a fire. Sometimes, it builds on its own." 

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