REVIEW: Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn’t Have) by Sarah Mlynowski

Title: Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have)
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Format: ARC, 354 pages
Genre: Young Adult
Source: review copy from publisher
Published: June 7, 2011 by HarperTeen

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.

Why I Read this Book: I was in the mood for a fun and entertaining YA novel; a book where I didn’t have to think and I could just sit back and watch someone else’s life play out. Ten Things We Did was definitely that novel.

What I Liked: Ten Things We Did has a very interesting premise; you just know there’s bound to be trouble with that scenario. It’s fun to watch trouble play out for someone else, isn’t it?

Ten Things We Did is not what I would consider realistic fiction but in some ways it was. In a farfetched sort of way. I’m sure it has happened, somewhere, right? I guess what I mean to say is that the story in relatable with some of its plot points. But the whole premise of April being able to live 500+ miles away from her father is just so far out there. But at the same time it was fun to read about all the things happening with April.

While the book is a fun read, it also touches on some important topics. There’s teenage sex, unprotected sex, STDs, relationships, losing their v-card and ‘real life’ responsibilities. April and Vi have no adult supervision so they’re completely on their own. They have to make sure the rent and other bills get paid, take car of a cat they took in (there’s an emergency vet visit), and get themselves to school each day. I was really impressed with Vi taking the initiative, for not only herself but for April as well, in regards to having safe sex. 

What I Didn’t Like: There was a plot point surrounding April and Noah having sex for the first time that was a bit predictable. It was a shift in one of the character’s demeanor that gave it away. My suspicions turned out to be correct.

A lot of the book was heavily focused on sex and April losing her virginity.

Overall Impression: Ten Things We Did  was a very fun and entertaining read. Nothing riveting but I did enjoy it for what it was.


The Book Vixen’s Rating:

3 Frogs

About Brianna: Supermom by day, naughty reader by night. Addicted to chocolate, Twitter, her iPad, her Kindle, and 99¢ Kindle deals. You can follow Brianna on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.


  1. This is on my TBR list so thanks for the review.

  2. It started so good but then I came to that did not like part. Nope not into books where there is a lot of focus in sex and losing your virginity

  3. Yikes, sorry you didn't like this one. I don't care for YA books that focus on sex etc. I'll probably skip this one.

  4. This one looks cute, but as a mom of a young one (5), I'm not sure I'm ready to tackle a book with someone losing their virginity or lying to their parents so heavily. While I'm totally aware both happen (I did both), I'd like to stay in my bubble just a little while longer. I'll keep it in mind when I'm ready to make the leap though. :) Thanks for the review!

  5. I thought this sounded like a fun caper -- based on the title alone =) Can't wait to read it! I'm kind of sad to hear it's so sex-focused though. Honestly, there are other things to talk about in a YA book!

  6. Blodeuedd & Fiction Vixen - If the book wasn't so heavy on sex, I probably would have enjoyed it more. I don't read YA for steamy romance. I turn to adult novels for that.

    Mama Kitty - For me, it was definitely a book I had to lose the "mom hat" in order to read. I went in with an open mind and was expecting a whimsical read and I think that's why I wasn't too disappointed.

    Casey - I'm used to the more riveting, coming of age and less sex in YA novels so this one was a bit different for me. If I had known prior to reading it that it was so focused on sex, I probably would have passed on it.

  7. I also had the same problem when I read Hannah Moskowitz's Invisible Summer. It was supposed to be a story about failing relationship in family but in the end, sex related stuffs enveloped everything and that took away the joy of reading the book :(

  8. It's nice to have a 'no brainer' book every now and again. Great review, as always.

  9. I bought this in ebook version but I regret it. I'm disappointed. When I read the pitch I really thought it would be different. I don't know... maybe I was waiting for too much.
    I agree with you, some things were predictable.


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