Review: Don’t Even Think About It (Don’t Even Think About It #1) by Sarah Mlynowski

April 19, 2014 Review 1

Review: Don’t Even Think About It (Don’t Even Think About It #1) by Sarah MlynowskiDon't Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski
Series: Don't Even Think About It #1
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on March 11, 2014
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 336
Source: NetGalley
Sexual Content: Kissing, references to sex
Reviewed by: Kate
2 Stars

Contemporary teen fiction with romance, secrets, scandals, and ESP from the author of Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have).

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 could have been so good- and it sounded so good, which is why I picked it up. Unfortunately, it felt like the author was trying to shove too many ideas into one book, and ultimately didn't succeed at making any of them super compelling. Though well-written, it just didn't offer many opportunities for the reader to really dig into the story, which made it less enjoyable than it could have.

I feel like DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT could have easily been split into two different books, one about teenagers with ESP, and one that focused on all the other teenager problems. Since an entire classroom full of kids could read minds, there were just so many characters to keep track of. Plus, there was the normal teenage drama, who liked who, cheating on boyfriends, petty friend fights, and the like. Now I'm aware teenagers aren't perfect, but there weren't many characters I enjoyed in the book, either. It was hard, since we couldn't spend that much time with each of them, because we were learning about all of them. The ESP factor also magnified all the negatives about each character, since nobody had any private thoughts- everything was out there for all of them to listen to.

Without spoiling the ending, I was really frustrated because the author could have easily tied up the ends and made it a stand-alone novel, but it felt like at the last minute somebody said, "hey we should really make this a series," and it was edited accordingly. The non-resolution was frustrating, because I spent the entire book wondering how it would be resolved, and I didn't get any sense of finality. Plus, the way the story was narrated, with a "hive mind" feel to it, was strange and took some getting used to. There were so funny parts that resulted though, so it wasn't all bad.

Overall, I feel like the story in DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT was just spread a little too thin - there were so many characters, and so many little stories between all of them, plus the ESP factor, made everything feel a bit superficial. This one may appeal to younger readers, but having been out of high school for almost a decade now, I wasn't so entranced.

Series Titles:
  1. Don't Even Think About It
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