Don't Even Think About It
by Sarah Mlynowski
Pub Date: March 11, 2014
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
What it's about: This is the story of what happens when almost an entire homeroom gets a flu shot and ends up with the side effect of telepathy. Suddenly the group of students realize that they can't keep secrets from each other, and they also hear things they may not necessarily want to hear from crushes, friends, and family.
Okay, I've been waiting for a new Sarah Mlynowski book since I read 10 Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have). And this new novel didn't disappoint.
First of all, the super unique things about this story is the point of view. I want to label it collective first person, but my English degree might really be failing me here because I'm not sure if that's right. Anyway, the whole thing is narrated by a "we." Not only is this something I've never seen done before, but it makes total sense for the story! It is explained in the beginning that this large group of students considers themselves a "we" now that they have this telepathy. And since they can all hear each other's thoughts, they can narrate the story together in one voice. So cool!
Another cool thing about the story is the large ensemble cast. I have to admit that I cared about some characters less than others, and couldn't remember every character's individual story. But the author did give more focus to a smaller group and I liked all of these "main" characters. But I especially liked the changing dynamic between the members of the group. Because they didn't all start off as friends, but gaining this power bonded them. Bonus: there was one totally unexpected romance that bloomed by the end of the story and I really enjoyed that!
Finally, I loved all of the discomfort the situation caused for the characters. (Errr, maybe that sounds sadistic.) There were fights between friends and couples because they could suddenly hear what each other is thinking at every moment. And I think this is a really interesting thing to explore. Because, let's face it, we don't always have sickenly sweet thoughts about even our bestest friends 100% of the time. Imagine how hard it would be if you're friend heard your passing thought about how an outfit didn't look good on her. This isn't something you would actually say to her, so if she heard it you'd feel awful.
And then the author also explored more interesting dynamics between family members. It's interesting to think about all of the thoughts parents might keep hidden from their children because they just want their children to be happy and not have to share the parents' worries.
Overall, this was a really quick read. But definitely entertaining! And it just came out this week, so you can already check it out.