Friday, March 7, 2014

Me on Don't Even Think About It

Title: Don't Even Think About It
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Release Date: March 11, 2014
Publisher: Random House Children's Books

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.

Don't Even Think About It is a quirky, funny, interesting look at possible downside to flu shots. What if after the shot you could read minds? Cool, right? But what if the other twenty people in your homeroom could also read minds? What if it then became impossible to keep secrets from them? What would you do?

The story is told by "we," by all of them, an ensemble cast from Homeroom 10B with a few stand out voices. Olivia. Mackenzie. Cooper. Tess. Pi. Because of the multiple characters, the book becomes multiple glimpses into their lives as their new-found ESP ruins their lives. They get caught up in secrets and truths, hearing what they don't want to hear from friends and family members. It was an interesting way to tell the story. Complicated and busy, but interesting. Everyone's voice was heard. Everyone has moments, quips, quirks, snide comments, and harsh realizations.

Secrets are a curious thing, and often painful when revealed. To the person who isn't supposed to find out. To the people around you who aren't part of the situation. When you're the one keeping it. When you discover those close to you are keeping it from you. Secrets can suck, they can stab deep into the heart of us, and they will always be revealed.

The idea of this book is what initially drew me in: flu shots giving a class of teens psychic abilities. Why not? I thought it was a great idea, very inventive. I was a little surprised at the collective narrator but not put off. I found this book to be very funny, very entertaining, and rather believable in terms of everyone's reaction and subsequent actions. This was my first time reading a book by Sarah Mlynowski, and if they're going to be this fresh and amusing, it won't be my last.

(I received an e-galley of this title from Random House through NetGalley.)

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