Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Publication Date: June 7, 2011
Links: Amazon | Goodreads
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.
I love April. She could be one of my best friends. Her voice is authentic and honest, and her character has depth and is realistic. She's a good girl at heart, but gets into some teenage trouble here and there - some of it minor, some of it less so. She's a great example of an average teenage girl. The supporting characters around her are awesomely done as well, from Vi the adventurous housemate who is perhaps a bad influence, to the crazy neighbor who is always spying on them. And of course there are boys, from moody to goofy to mysterious. Each character has his or her own distinct personality, which really makes them all come to life on the pages.
The plot moves along pretty quickly. It begins with April waking up after a party, with the house destroyed, hungover people passed out in random places, and her father calling to tell her that he's stopping in for a surprise visit. Oh crap, right? It then backs up and tells the story that explains exactly how April got herself into this predicament. Throughout the book, April and Vi get themselves into some interesting situations that will make you laugh some of the time and have you doing mental facepalms on their behalf the rest of the time. And of course, there's a bit of relationship drama, as well. Though they do get themselves into some ridiculous and potentially disastrous circumstances, April and Vi also learn from these things that they probably shouldn't have done, and they grow in the process. Both girls also have some issues, particularly with regards to family and relationships, but their problems do little to darken the mood of the book and the tone is kept mostly light rather than angsty and tormented.
If you love teenage girl shenanigans and hilarity and/or amusing coming of age stories, then you need to read this. It makes for a wonderfully quick (and mostly lighthearted) summer read, as well.