Title: Ten Things We Did
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
First published June 7, 2011
368 pages, Hardcover
ISBN: 9780061701245 (ISBN10: 0061701246)
When April moves in with her friend Vi, she knows it’s going to be a wild ride. With no parents to tell them what to do, they can finally experience the freedom they’ve been craving.
But as they embark on their newfound independence, they quickly realize that they may have taken things a bit too far. From lying to their parents to harboring a fugitive, April and her friends find themselves in a whole lot of trouble.
Ten Things We Did is a hilarious and heartwarming story about friendship, growing up, and the crazy things we do when we think no one is watching.
About the Author
Sarah was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. She obtained an Honors degree in English literature from McGill University before moving to Toronto to work for Harlequin Enterprises.
Although she never got the chance to meet Fabio, Sarah used her experiences in romance publishing to inspire her first novel, Milkrun.
Since then, Sarah has authored multiple novels for adults, including Fishbowl, As Seen on TV, Monkey Business, and Me vs. Me. Additionally, she has written the best-selling middle grade series Whatever After, the middle grade series Upside-Down Magic (co-written with Lauren Myracle and Emily Jenkins), and the teen novels Bras & Broomsticks, Frogs & French Kisses, Spells & Sleeping Bags, and Parties & Potions (all part of the Magic in Manhattan series), as well as Gimme a Call, Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn’t Have), Don’t Even Think About It, Think Twice, and I See London, I See France.
She has also co-written How to Be Bad with Lauren Myracle and E. Lockhart, and authored See Jane Write, a writing guide co-authored with Farrin Jacobs.
Sarah has also co-edited two charity collections, Girls’ Night In and Girls’ Night Out, and contributed to various anthologies, including American Girls About Town, Sixteen: Stories About That Sweet and Bitter Birthday, 21 Proms, First Kiss (Then Tell), Fireworks, and Vacations from Hell.
Sarah is also one of the co-founders of OMG BookFest, a book celebration aimed at early to middle-grade readers (ages 7-12), which brings together commercial and award-winning authors with underserved local communities for an exciting experience of books, games, and activities.
Sarah’s books have been translated into twenty-nine languages and have been optioned for Hollywood. She now resides in New York City with her husband and two daughters.
Ten Things We Did by Sarah Mlynowski is a young adult contemporary romance novel, published on June 7, 2011, that tells the story of sixteen-year-old April Bowers, who moves to New York City with her dad to start a new life after her mom has fled to Paris with a younger man. April then enrolls in a new school where she meets Vi, a popular girl who is drawn to her quirkiness, which leads to a whirlwind of events where April must navigate friendships, family, and first love while still coming to terms with her parent’s separation.
Mlynowski’s writing style is both accessible and engaging, delving into themes such as teenage rebellion, friendship, and love without ever feeling cliché or trivial. The novel is packed with witty conversations, vivid descriptions of New York City, and a cast of dynamic and relatable characters.
Although the target audience is young adults, the book is enjoyable and insightful to anyone who has experienced teenage life and its complexities. One of the novel’s strengths is the way Mlynowski handles character development.
April’s transformation is authentic and compelling, and her individual relationships with her peers are well fleshed out. Vi, in particular, stands out as a complex and genuinely likeable character, defying the typical ‘mean-girl’ trope found in many young adult books.
In terms of pacing and plot structure, Mlynowski manages to keep the story moving forward, with each chapter adding an exciting new layer to the main narrative. The only drawback is that the ending feels somewhat rushed, with some plot points left unresolved.
Moreover, the book’s cultural significance cannot be ignored, with its depiction of a racially and culturally diverse cast of characters who live in a city famous for its melting pot of cultures. This representation alone is enough to recommend the book, as it humanizes the diversity and complexity of New York City.
Overall, Ten Things We Did is an excellent young adult novel that captures the essence of being a teenager in an engaging and relatable way. Mlynowski’s writing combined with its rich themes, makes it an unforgettable read.
I recommend this book to anyone looking for a light-hearted-yet-complex read and give it a rating of 4 out of 5.