Title: Don’t Even Think About It
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Publication Date: March 11, 2014
Secrets. Scandals. ESP. A terrific and sexy new novel about a group of Tribeca teens from Sarah Mlynowski that will immediately appeal to fans of realistic fiction as well as readers who enjoy a little magic.
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.
This was the first Sarah Mlynowski book I have ever managed to finish, and it wasn’t even that hard, surprisingly. In the past, I’ve never been able to force myself to get through it. Maybe getting out of a not so great book helped, but I honestly enjoyed reading this one.
Let’s look at the not so great things concerning this book, first. What I liked the least was the pace. The plot was really fast at the beginning, not rushed, but it jumped into the plot pretty well and I was glad to be pulled along for the ride. Then it became pretty stagnant by the middle of book, with a lot of wallowing and inner turmoil that was pretty public. At the end, everything just hit the fan, where one thing was going to happen, but then something else happened, and it was just rushed. That was probably my biggest issue with the book. There were a number of petty issues that were featured in the book and I honestly just wasn’t that invested in finding out what happened in most of them, which was probably why the plot seemed so slow to me. There was a lot of back and forth and “does he love me or doesn’t he?” -insert depression and teenage angst here-
HOWEVER, I really liked the character development, as well as the writing and narrative style.
We meet the characters before the flu shots. We have Olivia, a shy girl who always worries about everything, especially about what other people think of her. Then there’s Mackenzie who harbors a secret and numerous insecurities with regards to said secrets. There’s Pi, who’s obsessed with becoming number one in her class. Then there’s Tess who’s in love with her best friend and not sure whether he feels the same way. As you can see, this book took all the archetypal teenage problems and rolled it into one book. However, Mlynowski used the whole paranormal aspect of the book to helped them sort through their problems.
I loved the way she spun the character development. Through the use of the whole telepathy concept, it really opens people eyes to see that human kind is in fact more selfish than we thought. It’s hard to explain this without spoiling everything. I’ll just say this: it was really well done, and it would really help some people who have similar problems to give this a read though ’cause it honestly gives you a lot of perspective.
Writing and narrative wise, I thought it was really interesting. The book is narrated as a collective “we”. It would often be like, “We thought this …” or “We agreed/disagreed with them…” but then there was also a third person omniscient type narrative for the book overall. It was intriguing and I really think that it added to the book’s character, as well as the characters themselves. This aspect of the book really peaked my interest, as a writer. It’s always cool seeing what other people have come up with (then again you sit there fore days wondering why you didn’t think of it), and then using it as potential inspiration for your own work.
All in all, this was a fun read, and I enjoyed it for the most part. The characters held my interest and the plot and writing, together, was enough to keep me reading. Did it blow me out of the water? No, but I have to say I am definitely happier with this book than I’ve been with her others.
World Building: 4/5
GoodReads Rating: 3.56/5
eARC obtained via Random House Children’s via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.