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

Sarah Mlynowski has a light breezy voice.  However, this book is anything but light and breezy despite it’s cotton candy looking cover and title.

Okay, so there are a lot of stupid teenage antics in this book.  But it’s really not about said antics.  Instead, the books about growing up, learning from mistakes, and learning how to deal with STD’s.

Yeah, STD’s.  And birth control pills.  And child neglect.

Big issues here.

With such a deep book. It must be reviewed.

General Summary: April is devastated when she learns that her dad and stepmom are moving to Cleveland since she’ll be leaving her friends and cute boyfriend, Noah.  But never fear, because April and her friend, Vi, come up with a scheme to keep April in town by having April stay at Vi’s house.  The only catch is, Vi’s mom isn’t home right now either.  Leaving April and Vi in a beach house to themselves.  Havoc and hot tubs then occur.

Review:  I had mixed feelings about this book.  I loved Mlynowski’s style.  It’s easy to read and her writing always makes me smile.  But I just had mixed feelings about the content of the book.  And it’s not that I’m a prude.  I’m alright with the sexual content in the book, I’m actually glad Mlynowski addressed such issues-though it seemed a tad bit PSA and I wish that one of the girls would’ve waited or at least contemplated about giving up their virginity a little more.  The partying was on the other end of the spectrum.  Yeah, I get they’re teens and that most likely they’re going to drink and do stupid stuff, unless they’re like me and played Boggle on Friday nights with my friends on Friday nights instead.  I just wish the constant partying would’ve been addressed a little better.  Have some lasting consequences, like April’s grades could’ve slipped from having one too many hangovers or something like that.  Nothing dramatic really was needed, just something that said getting drunk every night isn’t all fun and games.    However, the biggest problem I had with the neglectful adults in the book.  I’m surprised April’s dad didn’t get just a little suspicious.  And for that matter, I’m surprised Vi hadn’t been picked up by CPS already due to Sueanne’s  neglect.  These issues aside, the book was enjoyable enough.

Best Feature: April.  While I got annoyed with April many times throughout reading the book.  I liked the fact that she was a very complex character.  She did stupid stuff, but the stupid stuff she did made sense given her background.

Worst Feature: Reality.  This book is hardly realistic.  With all the complex issues it talked about I wished we had a bit of reality in here.  And how the hell did they get away with living alone like that wouldn’t one of the adult neighbors have noticed that Sueanne wasn’t at home and that some random teenage girl had moved in.  Seriously?

Blockbuster Worthy: Sure, why not.  This book would probably end up being a Lifetime movie of the week.  Seriously, I can just see it now.  Wild parties, teen drinking, teen sex that results in an STD,  and broken up families.  Sounds like one hell of a Lifetime movie to me.  Yet, April’s mom isn’t present.  And it’s required that there always be at least one proactive parent (usually the mother) in a Lifetime film.  So, maybe it would just have to be a normal teen movie.  Anyway,  here’s who I’d cast.

April: Shailene Woodley.  I think she can pull of the All-American teen look pretty well.  Plus, God knows she has played a sweet teen who’s gotten in trouble even if it’s on that insufferable ABC Family show that shall not be named.

Vi: For some reason I kept thinking of Heather Matarazzo circa when she played Lilly Moscovitz in this role.  Obviously, she’s too old to play the part now.  But one can always type cast, can’t they?

Noah: Van Hughes.  He seems to have the right look when it comes to Noah.  Brown eyes, brown hair check.  And he seems like he looks like the type of guy teenage girls would go gaga for.

Hudson: Eddie Redmayne.  A British actor/director, I think Eddie could play American born and raised Hudson.  It helps that both of them having rather sharp looking cheek bones.

Overall Rating: Five out of ten party streamers.  I really wanted to give this book a higher rating, but I just couldn’t.  

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