Ten Things We Shouldn’t Have Done (by Sarah Mlynowski)

29 01 2013

10thingsTen Things We Shouldn’t Have Done is the British title for Sarah Mlynowski’s 2011 novel that was published under the title Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn’t Have) in the US. Sometimes titles just get changed from one country to the next, with no real explanation…

April’s world is about to be turned upside down for the 2nd time! First her parents divorced and her mom moved to Paris with her new husband, taking her little brother with her. Now, her dad is planning on moving to Cleveland right in the middle of April’s junior year. April – who has a complete support network where she is not to mention a boyfriend of 2 years – doesn’t want any of that, and intends to stay behind, on her own if she needs to. But, because obviously her dad wouldn’t go for that option, she’s found the perfect solution: she’ll stay with her friend Vi and her mother, her school year will not be disrupted, and she gets to stay with her boyfriend! Score! Convincing her dad that this is good idea takes all of 2 seconds… seriously, 2 whole seconds…

Now don’t be mistaken… Ten Things is definitely NOT realistic fiction, it would be impossible to find parents as clueless as April’s NOT to check out (i.c. actually MEET them) the responsible adult who’s going to take care of your 16-year-old teenager for a couple of months. Oh, and get this: Vi’s mother won’t even be around because she’s touring! So what do you get? Every teenager’s wet dream: NO parents, NO rules, big fat allowance (enough to buy a hot tub!!),… the works. What oh what in the name of what will they do to keep themselves busy? Right, that’s what…

Ten Things We Shouldn’t Have Done is such a light-weight read… with a premise that is so completely over the top that you just have to accept it or you won’t enjoy a minute of this hilarious little read… And this one, deserves to be read with shedload of suspension of disbelief.  It’s basically mindless entertainment, with a couple of real issues thrown in for good measure (parent-teen relationships; sex and teenage relationships; the value of money: etc.) … up until there’s the almost obligatory (so it seems) backlash at the end of the book… I’m talking about a “punishment” that seems to be there for all the wrong reasons. That’s a bit too bad, because Mlynowski’s style of writing isn’t half bad. Also, the minor characters she created (Vi, weird Lucy, Dean and Hudson) are definitely quirky enough to get me interested in another one of her books. I guess what it comes down to is that Ten Things We Shouldn’t Have Done is a book the cat enjoyed despite being annoyed by how much she seemed to enjoy it… does that make any sense?

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