Don't Even Think About It

By Sarah Mlynowski
Published on March 11, 2014
Published by Delacorte Press
Source:Publisher for Review
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 starts out one morning at a high school. The school is giving out flu shots to each Homeroom class. Everyone in Homeroom 10B gets the shot this particular morning, except for two kids. Renee, who believes flu shots actually make you sick, and another kid who is out sick that day like he is most of the time. Everything is fine until the next morning, when all of a sudden, the kids who got the shot start hearing people's thoughts. And boy, do we have some major freak out moments. Olivia's ESP kicks in while she is standing in the front of a classroom, about to give an oral report. Several of the kids get their ESP at home, with their parents and siblings. Some get it at the school, during random times of the day. With some of them, like Cooper, they don't get it for a few days, and everyone starts to think they are immune. But alas, no one is immune.
 Once it becomes clear to the kids from 10B what is going on, their classmate Pi, the second smartest kid in school, decides to call a group meeting. They argue about whether to tell someone or not, and finally decide to just wait and see what happens. They start calling themselves Espies. And then..... well, they start using the ESP to their advantage, and it seems like, for the most part, everyone is enjoying their new found power. They learn how to close it off for a while, they learn how to use it to their advantage. And then the story becomes basically a contemporary high school story, with ESP as the backdrop.  
  There is Olivia, the hypochondriac, anxiety-ridden, never-been-kissed girl who is so incredibly self-conscious she passes out before an oral exam. We have Pi, the self-appointed leader of the Espies, who is generally a big old know it all, pain in the butt. There's MacKenzie, who is the class beauty/mean-girl, and her boyfriend Cooper, who is the bubbly, fun-loving guy that everyone loves, and who sings all of the time. And there is Mac/Coop drama, of course! Tess, Mac's BFF, who is weight-conscious and always thinking about the extra 7-10 pounds she needs to lose. It doesn't help that her mother and her best friend are constantly thinking about it as well. And Teddy, Tess's Guy BFF, who she is secretly in love with, and whom she hopes loves her too. Lets see, who else.... Ah yes, BJ the pervert, who actually turns out to be a decent human being. There are quite a few more characters that come into play, but these are the main ones in the story. 
 Don't Even Think About It is told in the perspective of a "we", instead of an "I". It is actually a pretty neat format, and had the story held more interest for me, it could have made for a really great read. But (yes, there is a but), this book just didn't work for me. It focuses so much on the teenage drama's, the romances and the fights between girls over guys, and guys over girls, that the cool part, the ESP, kind of loses out. It had so much potential with the perspective, and the idea, but it got bogged down with being a story about teenagers and their drama. The two story lines that I think hit the nail on the head were Cooper's and Olivia's. Cooper learns awful things about his home life, and it really affects him. And Olivia's issues were real issues that were incredibly difficult for her to live with daily, but she showed growth. It was very real life, and I appreciated it,  and their reactions. As much as I liked the "we", I think this story could have gained some serious ratings increase if it had alternated POV's between these two.
 All in all,  Don't Even Think About It is a fun, cute story that I think may have been a little too young for me. In a crowd of 13 and 14 year old's, I think it could be a hit. The writing was really, really good. The characterization was pretty spot on. It is a fast, un-putdownable read. I think it will have a lot of fans. I just wanted a little more than what I got. That's all! I would definitely say to anyone, give it a chance. It is not a bad book in the least, and maybe, just maybe, you might end up falling in love with "we"!

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