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

Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have) - Sarah Mlynowski I LOVED this book. Or really, I loved how surprised I found myself loving this book. I had first seen the book while browsing through my local Barnes and Noble and while I remembered the cover I couldn't think of the title for the life of me. Until one day I was randomly searching my local library's online catalog and came across the book. So I went and borrowed it-and am now seriously considering not taking it back (kidding, of course I will...I just have to copy all the passages I adore first).

Like any YA novel the protagonist is a teenage girl. From what I gathered it's a story about a girl who somehow cons her way into living in a house sans parental supervision for six months. Hilarity ensues. I was expecting a quick read, something light and possibly funny.

My first big surprise was that the protagonist, April, has divorced parents. I cannot remember the last YA novel I read that if the main character did come from a divorced family it was done well. When I read this book, I saw myself in April. Suddenly I was back in high school making those same stupid decisions. No, I didn't finance a hot tub but each to their own.

Mlynowski does an amazing job of bringing April's grief and confusion left over from her parents divorce to life. How April searches for approval in her boyfriend, the bold statement of any divorce child proclaiming that they're going to make their marriage work. Miscommunication and the mistakes that the children and parents all make when going through this new, unfamiliar territory of becoming a family divided.

Being a product of divorce myself I connected with April and encouraged her. Some of her choices were stupid but they were justified.

Other parts of the book I'd like to give a standing ovation to the author for would be for cutting out the bullshit. Unlike other YA novels I've read Mlynowski does not beat around the bush when it comes to high school students and drinking. In other novels if the protagonists takes a sip she either instantly regrets it or becomes so stupidly drunk she vows to never make that mistake again. But Mlynowski is realistic and wasn't afraid to show that yes, high school kids drink (shocker) and they'll get mad wasted, get sick and then drink again next weekend. High schoolers have sex too, another area Mlynowski wasn't afraid to touch on. And again, like the drinking she wrote about teenagers having sex responsibly. They can use condoms. They do go to Planned Parenthood to get on the pill.

Lastly, the language used in this book was spot on to how teens talk today. I may even be guilty of throwing in a "Hells yeah" every now and then.

Ugh, I loved this book. It wasn't your usual piece of predictable dribble most YA's are. I'd like to see April's story continue to unfold as she enters college and finds herself in her first real, adult relationship.