Monday, December 8, 2014

Don't Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski | Book Review

TITLE: Don't Even Think About It
AUTHOR: Sarah Mlynowski
PUBLISHER/YEAR: Delacorte/2014
SERIES: As far as I know, no
SOURCE: I received this book for review from the publisher via NetGalley

Goodreads / Author's Website

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

Thoughts and Reactions

Going into this one I figured a book about telepathic high school students could go either way. On the one hand, telepathy could be kind of cool and science fictiony, but on the other, you've got the potential for some highly immature thoughts. Don't Even Think About it unfortunately veered towards the latter. 

A group of high school students gets the flu shot at school and one of the unexpected side effects is telepathy.  They can overhear each other, friends, family, cheat on tests. Of course, they decide to keep it a secret because who would believe them anyways? I love the premise of the book. It had the potential to be a sort of contemporary sci-fi mash up, at least in my mind, but something about it ended up rubbing me the wrong way. 

My first gripe is that it was written entirely with the we; it was as if they had a collective conscious and no individual thoughts. I suppose I understand why; they could overhear everything every other person in their direct vicinity was thinking, but it kind of got on my nerves. Just because you can hear everybody's thoughts, does that necessarily mean that individual thought is entirely gone? Doesn't one person still have to have the thought before it can be heard? 

It also seemed fairly immature. The telepathy was used only to get gossip and cheat on tests. There was no wondering why or how they got it. It might have been mentioned briefly, but then quickly glossed over. How could a government conspiracy or botched science experiment top who was cheating on who. I wouldn't have minded that so much had every chapter not been high school gossip, but it was. Maybe other reasons, perhaps the target audience actually, would understand these teenagers more than I do, but it certainly wasn't the book for me. 

I have to admit I ended up putting this book down for awhile before picking it back up. Reading every single thought, fully formed, as a sentence got to me after awhile and I just didn't think the premise was used to its full potential. I'm not saying that Don't Even Think About it doesn't have an audience, but I was definitely not among it. 

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