Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn’t Have)

Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn’t Have) by Sarah Mlynowski

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. (Goodreads)

I read this book nine months ago.  I talk about it quite often.  I recommend it to random people all the time.  I should probably review it, right?  I just thought this book was so completely fun and adorable that I found it hard to put into words.  I mean, if I told you the story with too much detail that would totally ruin it.  So, I’ll do what I love to do: I’ll make a list.

Here’s a quick recap.

PROBLEM:

April does not want to leave behind her friends, her cutie-pie boyfriend and her entire life to move to Cleveland with her dad and stepmom.

SOLUTION:

She’ll just move in with her fab buddy Vi and live in her basement. In a house on the beach. With no parental supervision.  Great plan. 

Vi’s mom is all artsy and flighty and is busy touring with a theater company, so she loves the idea of Vi having a roommate (I know, hello) and April’s dad, being the responsible parent,  gives April a ginormous allowance every month to cover rent and groceries and trusts Vi’s mom to take care of his baby girl (!!!!!!!!).  April may have left out that teensy tidbit about Vi’s mom not actually being there, but what could go wrong?

Obviously everything, which is why I love it. I mean these girls actually think they’re going to get away with this.  They really do! I mean, you gotta love ’em for that.  But I can’t tell you anymore so let me just list a few things I love about this book.

1. The Cover:  I know I’ve said this at least seventy billion times before, but I love this cover. And I usually hate covers with big heads.  It’s just that these people are so adorable. I sometimes stare at them and will them to kiss.  It’s weird. Why am I telling you this?

2. It’s Funny: Oh April, you and your silly thoughts and your crazy immature decisions…well, they just make me laugh.  And not in a slapstick kind of way, more in an OMG-I-can’t-belive-she-did-that kind of way.  All of the characters are pretty funny and the conversations are well-written.  Even when I wasn’t laughing, I felt totally happy and entertained.  I love books that do that.

3.  Vi is an Evil Genius: Now, I’m not advocating dishonesty or anything, but this girl has a knack.  She finds a way to convince her mother and April’s father that they are communicating with each other when in actuality they’re talking to April and Vi via fake e-mail accounts.  I can barely keep my current e-mail and social networking crap straight.  I have no idea how they managed two sets of accounts just to lie to their parents.

I’ve only come across this pure brilliance once in my own life, with my dear friend Andrea.  Unfortunately (or fortunately) I was quite the goody two shoes and therefore only took advantage of this amazing gift of Andrea’s once.  You wish you knew what it was don’t you?

4. They Have a Party. A Big One: As mentioned above, I was a very good girl and not really one for partying.  The one time I went to a party, I was wearing cowboy boots (because it was the 90’s, y’all) and someone flicked their cigarette ashes to the ground and they went inside my boot and burned my ankle.  Yeah, it was pure awesome.

Anyhoo, April and Vi have quite the lovely party.  And further, they have their friends over anytime they want.  They have Taco Night on school nights and stay up late and have movie marathons.  It’s totally crazy. And while the parent in me wants them to get to bed (ahem, alone) and get plenty of rest for school the next day, the former teenager in me is like, holy crap, they have no rules at all! Aw to the yeah!

Party Bonus Factor: They have a Mr. Teen Universe Contest. Yes, everything wrong with that sentence is exactly everything that’s right about it.  Objectify those guys!

5. The Relationships: I love the friendships in this book. Even though the story is light and funny, I thought that the conversations and girl talk totally rang true. And I even enjoyed watching April and her boyfriend’s relationship unfold—the love there, the insecurity, and everything else that happens. And then there’s the minor crush that a certain someone has on her…it’s sweet and I think that Mlynowski did a great job of showing those awkward moments of adolescence.

Crush Intensity: 4.5/5  Loved it! This was such a fun read. It had tons of funny moments and managed to convey a lot of heart without being too heavy or serious.  I would love to hear more from April in the future.

Personal Note: I’ve decided that this book is what me and Vee would have been like if we’d known each other in high school (we were “grown up”, a term I use loosely, when we met).  Yes, we would have been exactly like the girls in this book minus the drinking, the partying, the sex and the lying. Otherwise identical.

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14 thoughts on “Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn’t Have)

    • Ha! Sadly, I was a huge dorky lame-o in high school. I mean, I’m glad I was a good girl, but it’s funny because I was so sheltered (by choice, really!).

  1. I’ve discovered that the kids who were good two shoes in high school are often the most fun in adult world, and the kids who were most definitely NOT goody two shoes in high school are mostly dull in adult world. I very nearly bought this book a while back for my Kindle but decided no… I don’t need ANOTHER book added to it that I will probably never read. Now I’m wishing I had bought it!

    • I agree with you. My husband and I have discussed this before because I am constantly trying o get him to admit that I am the coolest person in the world. He admits that I’m nice and smart and all and he even says that I’m really cool (like fun and laid back) but he says that in no way have I ever been cool like Fonzie on Happy Days (I’m totally dating us here). Anyway, we decided that people who weren’t followers in high school and who did what they thought was right or just what they wanted to do back then are more fun now too because we are totally cool with just being ourselves. With letting that nerd flag fly.

  2. i bought this book for my nook a while back because you do go on about it (He he)…but i haven’t gotten to it. I’m actually ahead on my reviews right now, so maybe i’ll get to it soon.

    I agree with what candice said. I too was a goody two shoes in high school (that all changed in college), so I understand where you’re coming from. I just didn’t have the nerve to do anything that would a) draw attention to me; b)possibly get me in trouble and have it go on my “permanent record”; c) be bad for me; or d) be anything that anyone else was doing just because they were doing it (I’m not a follower). so I commend you for being a goody two shoes because it means that you weren’t a lemming. 🙂

  3. My sister just read this, and I was like — GO read Tee’s review. I was super “mature” but was also very much a goody two shoes (as you know by now) in high school. I loved this book, though, and thought it was ridiculously realistic. It just made me that much happier I didn’t lose my virginity in high school (sorry for the TMI). Fantastic review, as always!

    • 🙂 Thank you and yes on the not losing the big V in high school!!! Toward the end of the book when April’s stepmom tells her that her skin looks beautiful and in her head she thinks SPOILER ALERT…”it must be the clam” I wanted to die laughing. Those are just fears I just never had. Whew! It’s good to be a goody goody!

  4. hahahaha at the part where you say ‘they think they’re actually going to get away with it’ because that’s exactly what i thought at the time.

    it was a fast fun read. but i do think i expected more from it.

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