Don’t Even Think About It is a quirky new YA title from Sarah Mlynowski in which almost an entire homeroom of fancy New York tenth graders is given a flawed batch of the flu vaccine, giving twenty-two students the power of telepathy within 24 hours after the shot. As you would expect, there are serious ups and downs to this new ability, and the group of students come together to figure out what to do about it.
Because there’s a whole group of twenty-two students that share this flu-vaccine induced ability to hear people’s thoughts, we really get to know more than just one protagonist. At first this threw me off – I like hearing and connecting to one character’s voice at a time. I do enjoy alternate POV books, but this was like an alternate POV to the extreme. By the time I got used to it, though, I actually enjoyed hearing everybody’s honest thoughts and opinions.
It would be impossible to read this book without thinking about what it would be like to have this ESP power. Would you even want to hear people’s thoughts about you? I’m thinking no… Especially as a teacher of 8th graders. I don’t want to know everything my students are thinking, whether it’s about me or not! But what if you couldn’t choose not to hear people’s thoughts? Your parents, classmates, boyfriend/girlfriend, random people you walk by… So many opportunities to hear things you don’t want to hear.
Of course, because our thoughts tend to be way more filtered than what comes out of our mouths, there was some language and content in this that I don’t normally choose to read and recommend, but honestly it was probably pretty tame in comparison to the actual thoughts of teenagers (and adults). Despite that, though, by the end of the books I found that I really cared about each of these characters and how this worked out for them. It was also really neat to see how hearing each other’s thoughts at first drove them further apart and highlighted their differences, but then brought them closer together as they began to understand each other better.
Overall, Don’t Even Think About It was definitely interesting and at times really funny, but I don’t think it’s one that I’ll want to reread. While the group protagonist thing was interesting, it did keep me from being able to really connect with one single character that would stick with me beyond the experience of reading it for the first time.
You can find it here on Amazon or at your favorite local bookseller after it releases on March 11!