Sunday, June 19, 2011

Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have)

Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have) by Sarah Mlynowski
HarperTeen, 2011
354 pages
YA; Contemporary
4/5 stars

Source: Received an ARC through Amazon's Vine program in exchange for an honest review.

When April's dad announces that they're moving to Cleveland in the middle of the school year, she is understandably very upset.  She petitions to be allowed to stay with her best friend Vi under the supervision of Vi's mother.  Except Vi's mother is about to go on tour meaning the two girls will be living alone and will almost certainly do ten things they shouldn't have (the moving in the middle of the school year also happened to me so I totally sympathized with April there; needless to say, I did not get to stay but instead had to move across the country.)

I had this on my radar for a while and had high expectations once I saw it compared to the work of Sarah Dessen (love) and E. Lockhart (haven't read very much but enjoyed what I have read).  And I loved the writing-so funny and absorbing; I flew through the book.

April is a hilarious character albeit one with very poor judgment and little common sense.  Girl is thrilled to live with her best friend without parental supervision until she realizes that real life is hard.  April does not know how to cook, clean, or budget, resulting in some shenanigans.  She does however know how to party, which also causes some crazy scenes.  One of my favorite aspects of the book was the presence of an adorable cat, which made me want to go grab mine.

April also takes advantage of the freedom to get even closer with her long-time boyfriend Noah; I appreciated Mlynowski's insertions of sex ed, describing April's trips to Planned Parenthood and real-life results of sexual intercourse.  She thinks carefully about her first time and plans for it, which I liked seeing.

Although there is a lot of fun bits in this book, there is also a deeper plot around the breakup of April's family and her feelings toward that and toward her town.  It didn't quite work in contrast to the hijinks and hilarity of the rest of the story although I appreciated the psychoanalysis of April's actions and mind.

It's fairly obvious as you go through the book that Noah is kind of sketchy, which only increases as you read further on.  April, however, does not figure this out until nearly the end, when she does dump him and ends up in a new relationship with hottie Hudson.  Alas there wasn't enough of their chemistry for me to fully root for this relationship.  I loved every little bit of time we got to spend with Hudson but I wanted more!

Content: Language, sex, underage drinking-a lot of all although not too explicit.

Cover: Reminds me of Not That Kind of Girl but fortunately I received this in the mail so no judgmental comments were made; in other words, dislike.

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