Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Publication Date: 7 June 2011
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Harper Teen
Rating: 3/5 stars
Summary (from Barnes & Noble): 2 girls + 3 guys + 1 house – parents = 10 things April and her friends did that they (definitely, maybe, probably) shouldn’t have. If given the opportunity, what sixteen-year-old wouldn’t jump at the chance to move in with a friend and live parent-free? Although maybe “opportunity” isn’t the right word, since April had to tell her dad a tiny little untruth to make it happen (see #1: “Lied to Our Parents”). But she and her housemate Vi are totally responsible and able to take care of themselves. How they ended up “Skipping School” (#3), “Throwing a Crazy Party” (#8), “Buying a Hot Tub” (#4), and, um, “Harboring a Fugitive” (#7) at all is kind of a mystery to them. To get through the year, April will have to juggle a love triangle, learn to do her own laundry, and accept that her carefully constructed world just might be falling apart . . . one thing-she-shouldn’t-have-done at a time.
My Review: This was a fun and lighthearted read that was perfect as a “end of the semester celebration read” that provided an escape from the heavier graduate school reading. It’s not heavy handed or overly dramatic, it accomplished it’s task of providing me with a decent escape when I needed it.
Sarah Mlynowski created a perfect voice for April, it felt and sounded like she was 1/3 teen, 1/3 scared young girl and 1/3 young adult. That is exactly the voice you expect from a 16 year old girl still trying to navigate through those awkward late teen years.
The book was both smart and funny and it was full of authentic and real characters. I often found myself laughing out loud at lines I felt could have been pulled from the mouths of my friends and I as teenagers. However, in a few spots I found myself rolling my eyes at the ridiculousness and implausibility of the situations that were often imposed upon April. I occasionally found myself exasperated at how immature and demanding April could be, but that’s exactly what most adults would expect from a sixteen year old. Especially one who is now living on her own and is trying to prove her maturity.
At points I had a hard time with the flashbacks as though they did help move the plot along they appeared to randomly that they succeeded in jarring me out of the natural rhythm of the story. I felt that these could have been better organized and written more fluidly into the story as they information they displayed provided valuable character building information.
Overall I enjoyed Sarah’s writing style and definitely plan to check out other books she’s written whenever I’m in need of an escape from my reality!