Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Book Review: Ten Things We Did (and probably shouldn't have)

Ten Things We Did (and probably shouldn't have)
by Sarah Mlynowski
354 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: January 11, 2011
Source: Library
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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 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 her carefully constructed world just might be falling apart.. one thing she-shouldn't-have-done at a time.

Ten Things We Did (and probably shouldn't have) was one of those books that I originally was a little wary of. After all the cover is one of the "incest" covers I talked about in my sexy YA post last week! Hehehehe. But all the reviews were really positive and I thought it would be a fun little contemporary romp so I decided to read it. After all there was a hot tub. A HOT TUB. You can't go wrong with a hot tub right?

Wellll...... Okay I'm just gonna cut to the chase here. I was not a big fan of this book. I wanted to like it so bad! In fact I was looking forward to reading this book all summer long. But when it got right down to it Ten Things We Did (and probably shouldn't have) disappointed me. I guess it met my expectations in that it was "fun" but honestly I found the story to be rather shallow.

April was a really hard character for me to connect with. Straight off the bat she lied to her dad to get what she wanted and it was nothing but downhill from there. April made bad decision after bad decision and as the reader I could tell that I was supposed to have sympathy for her but instead I was just frustrated. *facepalm*

I probably should have guessed by the cover but there was this huge sex undertone that I wasn't expecting. On top of that most of the "fun" things that the characters did (like buy the hot tub and throw a crazy party) were done in a dishonest and somewhat illegal manner. I mean one of the characters literally paid off a police officer so he wouldn't crash their party and arrest them for underage drinking. Seriously?

I guess you could say that the title of this book says it all: these really were ten things the characters shouldn't have done. There was a message to Ten Things We Did (and probably shouldn't have) (mostly about forgiving people and "growing up") but it was so mixed up in the sketchiness of the rest of the story that it was hard to find.

Okay so maybe I'm being a little bit hard on this book. It was good for a laugh (even if I was mostly laughing at the characters stupidity) and I guess it could be relatable for a lot of other teenagers. I'm just not really the party-hardy-trying-to-figure-out-how-to-lose-my-virginity type that this book was catering to.

I give Ten Things We Did (and probably shouldn't have) 3 out of 5 ice cream cones.

If you're looking for a contemporary that is fun but doesn't really have a lot of substance then you might want to give Ten Things We Did (and probably shouldn't have) a chance. Otherwise, I would think twice about picking it up.

Julia :)


  1. it never piqued me interest. tnx 4 the review

  2. That's too bad the book's so shallow, it looked really-funny-coming-of-age from the blurb. Good, honest review though. Five points to you for not sugarcoating it. :)

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