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Literature / Ten Things We Did

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Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn’t Have) is a young adult novel by Sarah Mlynowski.


This novel contains examples of:

  • Artistic License – Medicine: STD test results probably would not be given over the phone due to security reasons. Kind of lampshaded; Hudson is in the same room as April when she gets the phone call and thus overhears every word.
    • It's also unlikely that someone from a standard doctor's office would call her on a Saturday morning.
  • Almost Kiss: After April and Noah have a fight, April goes to Hudson for comfort, and the two end up next to each other in April’s bed. Although April admits to herself that she is attracted to Hudson, she refuses to cheat on Noah.
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  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Dean and Vi.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: April has seen Corinne this way ever since the latter hooked up with Noah while he and April were on a break. It’s subverted when it turns out that Corinne is only flirting with Noah for show, to hide the fact that she might be a lesbian.
  • Control Freak: Vi has shades of this at times.
  • Disappeared Dad: Vi’s father isn’t in the picture at all. It’s implied that her mother’s pregnancy with her was accidental. Lucy’s father died of cancer.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Dean.
  • Evil Stepmother: Averted with Penny; while she and April don’t really have a lot in common, they get along well enough, and Penny does her best to be supportive.
  • Foreshadowing: April notes that Noah seems to be acting strangely right after she moves in with Vi. Guilt from cheating will do that.
    • A couple times, Vi offhandedly mentions that Joanna has been hard to get hold of lately, because she's seeing someone new. That someone turns out to be Corrine.
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  • Friends with Benefits: Vi and Dean shoot for this for a while, but it doesn’t last long; Vi likes him but is fearful of being tied down, and so tries to hook Dean up with another girl to avoid having to commit to him. Once she comes to terms with her feelings for him, they get together.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: While in denial about her feelings for Dean, Vi encourages Pinky to pursue him, and is overcome with jealousy when she actually does.
  • Happily Adopted: Hudson.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: Vi in regards to Dean.
  • It Doesn't Mean Anything: Vi adamantly proclaims this about losing her virginity to Dean. April isn’t so sure.
  • Just Friends: Vi insists this is the case with her and Dean. It becomes obvious that she likes him after she loses her virginity to him, and by the end, they’ve gone through a Relationship Upgrade.
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  • Lets Wait Awhile: April keeps postponing sex with Noah, wanting to wait until she’s sure she’s ready, and Noah is always accommodating. Partially because he’s consumed with guilt over cheating on her.
  • Missing Mom: April’s parents divorced because her mother had an affair; her mother and younger brother now live in Paris.
  • Oh, Crap!: April has one when she finds out that her dad is on his way to the house the morning after she and Vi threw a wild party...and then right when he gets there, she gets a call from her doctor telling her she has chlamydia.
  • Parental Abandonment: How April interprets her mother’s affair and subsequent move to Paris. Near the end of the book, she starts feeling this way about her father as well, when he offers to set her up with her own apartment in Westport and is baffled when she begs him to let her move to Ohio instead. April then has to come to terms with the realization that she feels both of her parents have left her behind and are trying to move on without her.
    • Vi feels like her mother abandoned her as well, though she has trouble admitting it.
  • Parental Obliviousness: This is what April banks her living situation on; her father and stepmother think that Vi’s mother is living there with the two of them, and wouldn’t have let her stay in Westport had they known that the girls were by themselves. She manages to successfully keep her father in the dark for the entire novel, although the final page has her calling her dad and implies that she plans on telling him the truth.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Dean and Vi, Hudson and April.
  • Schoolgirl Lesbian: Joanna. And her new flame, Corinne.
  • Straight Gay: Corinne.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Discussed when April and Violet go to Planned Parenthood for birth control pills. April is surprised when Violet admits that she would choose to abort if she got pregnant; Violet brings up the point that she is only seventeen and doesn’t really have much of a support system to help her.
  • Their First Time: April keeps putting it off due to logistic issues and nervousness, but she and Noah finally do the deed on Valentine’s Day. It turns out, though, that it wasn’t actually Noah’s first time, which April learns when she gets chlamydia from him.
  • Too Much Information: Vi’s mother.
  • Your Cheating Heart: April’s parents got divorced because her mother had an affair with another man. Near the end of the novel, it’s revealed that Noah cheated on April over Christmas vacation.
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