Monday, March 3, 2014

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

Don’t Even Think About It
By Sarah Mlynowski
Delacorte Press
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Publication Date: March 11, 2014

To Sum It Up: The students of Bloomberg High School’s Homeroom 10B pay little mind to the flu shots they’ve just received until they suddenly begin hearing each other’s thoughts. For some, this newfound ability is a boon; for those who have secrets they’re to desperate to hide, it’s a disaster. Even friends are shocked to learn what they’ve been withholding from one another as keeping anything private anymore becomes nearly impossible.

Review: I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be able to read minds, and that’s what immediately drew me to Don’t Even Think About It. The premise that a bad batch of flu vaccines causes the students in one high school homeroom to develop telepathy makes for iffy science, but that’ s not really the focus of the book. The heart of the novel is all of the drama that erupts from everyone unwillingly broadcasting his/her thoughts.

While some humorous moments result from the students’ situation, the novel also illustrates the downside of the mind reading. The prime example of this is Mackenzie, who is desperate to prevent her boyfriend, Cooper, from discovering a crushing secret. I appreciated the book’s efforts to add some gravity to the tone, but I thought it could have used some middle ground to close the gap between the more serious story lines and its lighter ones. Quite a few of the characters’ thoughts are devoted to wondering if another character likes them or not, and my over 30 self wasn’t too keen on the high school relationship melodramatics.

The book takes a rather unique approach to the narration, with all of the characters collectively telling the story under a unified “we.” Something that I didn’t care for narrative-wise was how clipped the rhythm of the writing sounded to me. There are a lot of short sentences, and maybe this was intentional to emphasize a rapid-fire stream of consciousness. I couldn’t quite get used to it, though, but then I’m always catching myself writing run-on sentences; this review is probably rife with them.

I absolutely loved the fact that Cooper was a diehard Yankee fan. The novel is very good at keeping its fairly large cast of characters distinct from one another, especially since they share a single narrative voice. This was a quick read that kept me hooked, but I did feel I needed a bit more from the story than couples getting together/breaking up.

All in All: Don’t Even Think About It has the overall feel of a contemporary YA novel with a sprinkle of paranormal. It’s not an especially life-altering read, but it is pretty entertaining.


  1. I would love to read other people minds but I can imagine if we all could hear each other. It will be a disaster.
    I'm sorry about the teenager drama, I'm having the same problem with most YA. too much drama for my taste.
    Great review

    1. Telepathy definitely does have both its advantages and disadvantages. Not being able to be alone with my thoughts would certainly drive me crazy, and quickly.

  2. I too like the sound of mind reading, but I wouldn't like it if I couldn't switch it off or if others could here me ;)

    Sounds like this was a light, fun read!

    1. It was! It's the kind of book that can easily be read in a day and would make a perfect beach read.

  3. I was really considering picking this one up because the telepathy part sounded fun, but I'm glad I didn't. It does sound interesting, but I probably would have liked it as much as you and I want to find books I will really love. Great review!

    1. I totally understand trying to pick up books you think you'll love rather than just like. That's one of the things I love about book blogging- reading reviews of titles I'm interested in and getting a feel for how much I think I'm going to enjoy them.


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