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

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

4.4 569
by Sarah Mlynowski
     
 

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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

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With wit, energy, and an uncanny understanding of teenage logic, Mlynowski (Gimme a Call) weighs the pros and cons of independence in this modern cautionary tale. April is thrilled when her father agrees to let her stay at her friend Vi's house while he and his new wife move from Connecticut to Ohio. There's just one little detail that April manages to keep secret: Vi's mother will be away, so there will be no adult supervision. Soon April is living a 16-year-old's dream: "House on the beach. No Parents. Parties whenever we wanted. Boyfriends whenever we wanted." But it doesn't take her long to discover that the price of freedom (both literally and figuratively) may be higher than she's willing to pay. Even though the message about growing up too quickly comes through loud and clear, Mlynowski avoids sermonizing, offering 10 madcap and remarkably tense escapades that will have readers laughing, cringing, and guessing how April will get out of the next pickle. Like all good things, April's freedom party must come to an end, but the way it does so will surprise. Ages 14–up. (June)
VOYA - Mirta Espinola
In Ten Things We Did and Probably Shouldn't Have, April's world is turned inside out once again when her father informs her that he and his wife, Penny, will be moving to Ohio for a new job. April feels the waves crashing down all over again as she painfully reminisces about her parents' divorce. With very little time to think, she pleads her case to live with her friend Vi to finish out the school year. After careful consideration, her father decides to allow her to do so. With a monthly allowance, a vow to keep her grades up, and a car for transportation, she moves in with Vi. Unbeknownst to April's father, Vi's mother has left to tour with a theatre production in Chicago. The girls are left to fend for themselves, push the limits of freedom, and incur a bumpy road of mishaps along the way. They are joined by neighbor, Lucy, and best friend, Marissa, and these four girls learn a lot about life, love, and making choices that can result in serious repercussions. Author of Bras and Broomsticks (Delacorte, 2005/VOYA February 2005), Mlynowski delivers another attention-grabbing novel that will undoubtedly entice young adults to read this tale about complex friendships and family relationships. Mlynowski is authentic in her writing as she draws the readers into a story, unraveling tidbits of the main character's backstory, adding depth to an already appealing character. This story leaves the audience wanting more of April and her friends. No follow-up to this book has been reported, but it would be a welcome treat for fans of Ten Things We Did and Probably Shouldn't Have. Reviewer: Mirta Espinola
School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up—While in bed with a boy, April, 16, wakes up to her cell phone ringing. She's busted as she hears her dad say, "We're almost to your place." Her father and his wife moved to Cleveland, allowing April to stay in Connecticut to finish her junior year. Supposedly she is staying with her friend, Vi, and her mother; however, Vi's mother is working on Broadway, leaving the girls alone. The teens create fake email addresses for the parents, who never meet, to communicate. This is only the beginning of the shenanigans. While alone, the girls spend money frivolously, have wild parties with alcohol, and lose their virginity. While their behavior might be typical of irresponsible teens who lack parental supervision, the adults in this novel are portrayed as beyond naïve. The author makes a case for teens using birth control before having sex, and no one drinks and drives, but other bad choices are made while under the influence. Mlynowski has made an attempt to explain April's behavior by relaying short flashbacks. At times they interrupt the flow of the story. At the end of the novel, readers hope that the protagonist has grown from her experiences, but it is hard to tell how much she has been influenced. While adults may cringe, teens will be engrossed.—Karen Alexander, Lake Fenton High School, Linden, MI
Kirkus Reviews

A teenager discovers independence isn't all it's cracked up to be.

When her self-involved parents split up and leave town, 16-year-old April maneuvers to stay behind in her hometown of Westport, Conn., with her friend Vi, whose mother is always on the road for work. With little preparation, she is thrown abruptly into the adult world of housekeeping and money management, with predictably disastrous results. April gets everything she thinks she wants well before she's actually able to handle it. As the title implies, April makes a series of poor decisions she eventually regrets when she finds herself mired in the consequences of her choices. Mlynowski deals sensitively with the pitfalls of adolescence—self-esteem, sex, drinking—with fluid prose and judicious use of profanity, giving her characters credibility without making the dialogue sound forced. Her pitch-perfect rendering of the utter self-centeredness of the teen experience makes April's gradual awakening feel genuine. While chick-lit, this is far more thoughtful and funny than such standards as Gossip Girl or The A-List.

Teen readers will respond to this entirely believable heroine as she navigates an at-times unbelievable situation. (Chick-lit. 14 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062084613
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/07/2011
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
38,157
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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