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

Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn’t Have) by Sarah Mlynowski
HarperTeen June 2011
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn’t Have) is every teen’s dream come true….living with your best friend while you are in high school with no parental figure around whatsoever. Our main character April lives the dream for a semester as she and her best friend Vi have managed to convince her dad, who is moving to another state in the middle of a school year, that it is a good idea for April to finish out the semester there. The catch? Vi’s mom travels for work and will not be around at all. You can imagine the shenanigans that would have happened had your teen self been in this situation…and they do. AND THEN SOME.

I undoubtedly LOVED this book. It was a hilarious contemporary read that was just perfect for the summer. Mlynowski certainly knows how to write the kind of contemporary YA novels that I love — realistic, humorous, authentic to the teen voice, light yet with substance. And did I mention this book cracked me up?? The writing was just sharp and witty and the dialogue was perfectly delivered. Not to mention, I really really LOVED April and found her to be a wonderful main character and VERY relatable.

I know, the premise might be a bother at first and seem SO unrealistic that this would happen..that the stars would align for their lies to work out right and that Vi’s mother would not be at home nor care that they were on their own and that April’s dad would ACTUALLY leave his daughter to live with a friends family and not suspect that something fishy was going on. Get past that and you’ll be fine. It’s so funny because the way in which they go about setting all of this up is TOTALLY stuff I did back in the day. It’s just this tangle of lies and stories you have to keep up and so immediately I was able to look past the ease of which the scenario unfolded because I know sometimes how easy it was to sneak around on a smaller scale — ie saying you were spending the weekend with a friend and have them cover for you. Also, I feel like I knew A LOT of mom’s like Vi’s who worked a lot and were way laid back and trusting about things. So, unlike some, the fact that the parents were so easily out of the picture didn’t bother me so much.

I love the balance that was struck in this book. It wasn’t all fun and crazy times with no consequences because clearly, as you’ll read, April discovers some consequences to some of her actions. I think the tone of the book really helps delve into some of these important issues that are addressed (ahem..LOTS about teen sex!) and is much less in your face and preachy. Not only that but I really appreciated the fact that it DID show the downside to the dream of growing up and having complete freedom before it is your time. I thought that the author really showed, through April, how we truly still need to depend on the support, wisdom and direction from our family to help us come of age. Mlynowski pulled this all together really well and made for a read that simultaneously had me peeing my pants in a fit of laughter (ok I didn’t REALLY pee my pants!) and contemplating the world of hurt I felt as a teen trying to grow up too fast…although all the stupid “things I shouldn’t have done” made the journey worth it!

My final thought: Ten Things We Did was a delightfully fun read that tackled some issues in a heartfelt yet HILARIOUS way.ย  If you like smart and funny contemporary YA that will make you seriously DIE laughing, surprise you and find you thinking back to all those things that your parents STILL don’t know you did..this would be a greatย  pick!

Review On A Post-It:

What did you think if you’ve read it? What did you think about April’s BIG consequence to her actions? I know I certainly was shocked.

And for fun (for those who have read or haven’t): any things you did in high school or college that you probably shouldn’t have done?? I want to hear the crazy stories!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. Unfortunately, my college years thus far have been fairly tame. Guess I'll have to fix that. xD

    This book sounds like a lot of fun! I know I'd be a lot more trouble with no adults around.

  2. I've had this book for some time waiting to be read but this review is motivating me to pick it up sooner. One of my craziest things I've done was to tell my crush that he was hot. But I just went to where he was standing and straight up said,
    "you're really hot" and the "hot" word was shaky because I was so nervous. I don't have that courage now!


  3. Shannon@BooksDevoured says:

    I loved this one too! I agree with you about the teen voice, I believed it in this one. It reminded me of being in HS, and somehow that was a good thing! I felt the same way about the premise of the lie, it was hard to believe at first. Then again teenagers can be really sneaky and under the exact right set of circumstances, I can go along with it. I laughed out loud quite a bit with this one too! One of my favorite contemporary reads of the year!

  4. In high school. Drinking. In a cemetery. With my boyfriend. Cops came. Called my parents and made them come pick me up….not a good scene…. (don't tell anyone.)

  5. Jessica Secret says:

    Such a good book! ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. Farrah Penn says:

    Hilarious shenanigans…WELL SAID. I most definitely agree! Loved this book ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I have heard SO MANY great things about this book! I think I should move it up on my TBR pile ๐Ÿ™‚

    Great review!

  8. lisa [the nerd] says:

    i agree – the blend of hilarity and substance was just perfect for me. solid review!

  9. I still haven't been able to read this but I just put it on hold at the Library because of your review! I'm still desperately hanging onto the dregs of summer. Hopefully this book will help… ๐Ÿ˜›

  10. I wasn't suspecting the consequence at all. I was glad that it came out as a surprise for me as it would have changed the entire tone of the book had it been done differently. I think girls will be able to learn a lesson in a much more humorous way with this book.

  11. I do seriously need to read this one! It seriously looks awesome! It's not at all something I'm going to be able to relate to with personal experience but it sounds like a great book! ๐Ÿ™‚ If nothing else, I want to see what all the talk is about!


  1. […] Ten Things We Did And Shouldn’t Have by Sarah Mylnowski – This would be suuuuch a fun summer […]

  2. […] Ten Things We Didย  (and Probably Shouldn’t Have) by Sarah Mlynowski: This was FUN. A pretty outlandish plot, I’ll be honest, and my belief had to be suspended a […]