Monday, 2 January 2012

Contemp YA Month: Ten Things We Shouldn't Have Done - Sarah Mlynowski

Ten Things We Shouldn’t Have Done – Sarah Mlynowski

Pages: 328
Publisher: Orchard Books
Release Date: 4th August 2011

Other Titles by this Author: Bras & Broomsticks, Frogs & French Kisses, Spells & Sleeping Bags, Parties & Potions, Gimme a Call, How to be Bad

I was about to live a sixteen-year-old’s dream.

House on the beach.
No parents.
Parties whenever we wanted.
Boys whenever we wanted.

April and her best friend, Vi, are living by themselves. Of course, April’s parents don’t know that. It’s a little white lie that begins the ten things April and Vi shouldn’t have done – things that definitely make their lives a LOT more interesting.

From Skipping School (#3) and Throwing a Crazy Party (#8) to Buying a Hot Tub (#40) and, um, Harbouring a Fugitive (#7), April’s story is hilarious, bittersweet – and not for the faint-hearted...

The basis of this novel is every teenagers dream, and like most of those dreams, April’s doesn’t do quite as planned...

One of my favourite elements of Ten Things We Shouldn’t Have Done is the way it’s set out. Each chapter is one of the ten things that April and Vi got up to and each chapter is then broken down into subtitles of what made up the story of that number – it was very clever and unusual. I really enjoyed reading each title and wondering how on earth they got into each situation.

I have to admit that this novel wasn’t quite what I expected. I was anticipating a very light and slightly superficial story about two girls taking full advantage of living on your own at sixteen: boys, alcohol, parties and very late nights. And it was, but there was a bit more to it as well. I was constantly questioning whether Vi’s mum has been around very much at all and whether she was really touring in Mary Poppins as Vi was remarkably good at looking after herself and the house for a sixteen-year-old. There was also focus on losing your virginity and everything that comes with that and the serious responsibilities that living on your own brings. It was almost as if they were living university life a couple of years early.

Ten Things We Shouldn’t Have Done is a quick, fun and very sweet novel that I’d recommend as a brilliant way to spend a rainy afternoon.



  1. I really enjoyed this book too, and I agree with you about the way it was set out. It made it very hard to put down. Thanks for the great review!

  2. This looks really good! I love books where they give an outrageous statement and then work backwards. It's hard to do well, though.


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