Title: Don’t Even Think About It
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, magical realism, young adult
A contemporary teen novel with romance, secrets, scandals, and ESP from the author of Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn’t Have) and Bras & Broomsticks!
We weren’t always like this. We used to be average New York City high school sophomores. Until our homeroom went for flu shots. We were prepared for some side effects. Maybe a headache. Maybe a sore arm. We definitely didn’t expect to get telepathic powers. But suddenly we could hear what everyone was thinking. Our friends. Our parents. Our crushes. Now we all know that Tess is in love with her best friend, Teddy. That Mackenzie cheated on Cooper. That, um, Nurse Carmichael used to be a stripper.
Since we’ve kept our freakish skill a secret, we can sit next to the class brainiac and ace our tests. We can dump our boyfriends right before they dump us. We know what our friends really think of our jeans, our breath, our new bangs. We always know what’s coming. Some of us will thrive. Some of us will crack. None of us will ever be the same.
So stop obsessing about your ex. We’re always listening.
Source: School library
How I Found Out About It: By browsing the shelves of my school library
Magical realism is one of my favourite genres. Magic in fantasy books doesn’t always work for me, but I adore when tiny sprinkles of magic are added into contemporaries. Thus, when I read the synopsis of this book, all I expected were good things.
Unfortunately, Don’t Even Think About It lacked that- dare I say it- magical touch. The tone and the writing style were both very juvenile-sounding and the plot was strange and more dramatic than expected.
This book is all about the sophomores who attend a New York City high school. When they get flu shots one day, the side effects include extreme telepathy- soon enough, everyone could hear each other’s thoughts. This causes a lot of drama to the point when the teens no longer know who to trust. Will the telepathy be fixed, or if not, will the students learn how to use it properly and effectively?
As I write this review, I finished reading this book less than a month ago, but I can’t remember any of the characters for the life of me. There wasn’t even really a protagonist, for goodness sake! The characters were all so bland and forgettable and they made no impact on me as a reader; I remained unmoved. I need to oversee good character development in order to fully enjoy a book, and in this story it was just completely absent.
Hence the juvenile writing style, the plot was just as weirdly young-sounding and basic. All it revolves around is the students’ telepathy; that is literally it. Although the book was under 300 pages, the redundancy of all the telepathy drama made it seem much longer!
To sum it all up, I’m afraid that I just didn’t find too many redeeming qualities about Don’t Even Think About It. It didn’t work for me, and thus I am handing it a
(probably too generous) 2.5 star rating. Because of the one-dimensional characters and repetitive storyline, I don’t think that teens will appreciate it as much as tweens getting a head start into YA will.