Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have) by Sarah Mlynowski

When April's father announces that he's gotten a new job in Cleveland and that they are going to have to move away from Connecticut in the next few days, April is devastated. She's just gotten up the nerve to have sex with her boyfriend Noah and there's also a lifetime of friends that she will miss. But her best friend Vi has another idea: April can come stay with her. The problem: Vi's mother is going to be gone as well so the girls will be alone in the house. While it seems impossible at first, April manages to convince her father that she'll be properly chaperoned and the girls embark on a teen's dream of home alone and unsupervised parties.

However, the independence is not anything like April imagined. She has to struggle to sort through her life (learning to cook, start a dishwasher, etc.) and makes plenty of mistakes along the way. While she makes some bad decisions, she also learns that she can live with the consequences. What she doesn't count on is how lonely it is to live on your own.

This is a book to give any parent the chills to imagine, but moving beyond the premise, there's a nice story here about growth, making a few mistakes, but overall owning your life. It could have all turned out a lot worse, but there are enough downturns to be realistic without melodrama. Things do wrap up a bit too sweetly in the girl (with life's problems solved through girl bonding and donuts) but you root for these kids and their path to self-realization. Fun!

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