Thursday, March 20, 2014

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

Source: Don't Even Think About It
by Sarah Mlynowski

Don't Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski

Series: Don't Even Think About It (Book #1)
Publisher: Orchard Books
Release Date: May 1 2014 [Already released in US on March 11 2014]
Tagged under: 2014 read, review copy, YA-fiction, contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, 3
Pages: 338

This is the story of how we became freaks...

When Class 10B got their flu shots, they expected some side effects. Maybe a sore arm. Maybe a headache. 
They definitely didn't expect to get telepathy. 
But suddenly they could hear what everyone was thinking. Their friends. Their teachers. Their parents. Now they all know that Tess has a crush on her best friend, Teddy. That Mackenzie cheated on Cooper. That Nurse Carmichael used to be a stripper. Some of them will thrive. Some of them will break. None of them will ever be the same.

Book Review [Relatively Spoiler-Free]

The premise of this book is what immediately grabbed my attention. A whole class of students who are suddenly privy to every thought that comes into your head - it gives a whole new meaning to thinking out loud. Secrets lose their definition. Skeletons in the closet come tumbling out. I was interested to find out how these kids would react to and utilise their telepathic powers. 

It is something we all do without much thought. Every year, with the flu season looming over the horizon, we all line up to get our vaccination. The students in Class 10B did so - some with less enthusiasm than others - but once the needle is in and a band-aid is slapped over the site, they all trickled away from the nurse's office thinking that's the end of it.

Except it wasn't.

Slowly, over the next couple of days, the kids started hearing thoughts from everyone around them. Whether they were benign comments like the tacos might look like cat barf, but they taste really good to serious bombshells such as spilling out the fact that you cheated on your boyfriend over the summer.

This book is a fairly easy read and is obviously targeting the younger end of the YA-market. The narration can be a bit odd but if you read with an open mind, you might find yourself actually enjoying it. For me, I found the we-narration of the book very interesting and potentially one of the highlights of this book. My favourite section is still the opening chapter where as a reader, you're trying to pin-point who's the narrator and then the author hits you with this -
Maybe you think Olivia is telling this story. Or Mackenzie, or Cooper, or someone else in our home-room you haven't met. It could be any of us. But it's not. It's all of us. We're telling you the story together. It is the only way we know how. This is the story of how we became freaks. 
It's how a group of Is became a we.
The book starts out strong and it's highly entertaining journeying with the characters as they all, one at a time, come into their powers. Their reactions are humorous (and juvenile at times, which is why I think the book is geared towards younger readers) and they realize straight away that they must come up with a plan of some sort in order to deal with this. The fact that they come together and discuss things and make decisions as a group makes it feel like a collective effort. 

Amongst all the collective thoughts, the reader never loses sight of the fact that these characters are all individuals that have their own problems to deal with. Mackenzie has to deal with the fact that now every mind-reader in her class knows that she cheated on her boyfriend. Tess is desperate to figure out if Teddy, her best friend who she has been crushing on for ages, likes her or not. 

What prevented me from enjoying the book more is the fact that as the story progresses, the majority of the characters stayed where they are. Apart from a couple of individuals who matured and grew from the experience, the rest were too busy caught up in their own issues. Pi, the ring leader, is sick of being number two in the school and used her abilities to her advantage on a test, yet she gets disgruntled when other telepaths used the same ability on her. There is a lot of how can this help me, revealing an ugly and petty side to having telepathy. In addition, the ending is a bit abrupt, leaving the story open for a sequel. 

Overall 3/5

Overall, it's still a fun easy story. It is not what I expected it to be when I initially started but I enjoyed it nevertheless. I definitely think it's more for an younger audience. 

Disclaimer: A complimentary advanced copy of the ebook was provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The views expressed above are entirely my own and are, in no way, affected by the source of this book.


  1. I nominated you for the Liebster Award!

  2. Sounds kinda intriguing, great review!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  3. I was excited to read this book before, but now I'm even more intrigued. I didn't realize it was written in such an original style with the "we" instead of traditional first-person. This kind of different narration always hooks me when done well - and the fact that all the characters are distinct makes it seem very well executed. It's too bad that the characters are a bit immature and don't grow a lot, but I'm glad you enjoyed it anyway and I'm sure I will too!