I just finished Sarah Mlynowski's newest book Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have) and really enjoyed it. Seriously, go get this book. It's such a fun read. I found myself laughing out loud, as well as emitting a chuckle or two in public places such as the subway and audition waiting rooms. And what I love about her stories is that, as usual, I also found myself tear up a little bit here and there.
The novel follows April, a girl who's still reeling from her parents' divorce, her mom's move to France, and her dad's recent bright idea to move from Westport, CT to Cleveland, OH. April has already stayed behind in her hometown once when her mother and brother moved away (and no matter what she claims, she stayed for a boy, let's be honest); and if she gave up Paris, she's certainly not moving to Cleveland. That's when she and her friend Vi hatch a plot to live together sans parental supervision... also when they begin their ten things that they did and probably shouldn't have.
One thing I really loved about this novel were the subtitles throughout. Besides beginning each chapter with something they shouldn't have done (i.e. "Buying a Hot Tub" or "Harboring a Fugitive"), Mlynowski handled flashbacks brilliantly with clever quips. For example, April is talking about how she would never leave her cat behind when she segues into the flashback of her mother moving away and doing just that... except that the segue is labeled "My Mom Went To Cancun And All I Got Was A French Stepfather." Still other times, Mlynowski makes the reader laugh out loud by adding a subtitle for no real reason other than comedy. For example, at the end of one scene, April's dad threatens to call the police if she doesn't answer or promptly return his phone calls, so she makes his ringtone a police siren. The next subtitle is "Why I Made My Dad's Ringtone A Police Siren" and then the entire scene below that is "See above." I just find clever moments like these to be nice surprises during a good read.
Besides all that, the characters feel real (Vi - piece of work; Hudson - swoon, work of art; etc.) and the obstacles they face are engaging while not far-fetched. This seems exactly like what would happen if two high school girls got to live in a house unsupervised - fun! with plenty of "oops" moments. I was definitely along for the ride the whole time.
Anyway, Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have) gets a gold star, folks. I'm a fan, Knox is a fan, and you should be, too. Check it.
|Sarah, me, & Knox at her pub party|
|Knox, the genius reader|