Monday, January 27, 2014

Don't Even Think About It--Sarah Mlynowski

Title: Don't Even Think About it
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Publisher: Random House Children's Books, 2014
Pages: 320 p.
Source: VOYA
Compensation: None

When Homeroom 10B is scheduled to get flu shots, some of the students are nervous, some are nonchalant, but none of them expect to wind up with telepathy. That is what happens to all but two (who did not receive shots) of the New York City high school sophomores in 10B. They quickly discover that telepathy has both good and bad aspects and decide to keep their new talent a secret from the rest of the school and their parents. The “Espies” are so wrapped up in their own thoughts that they have become a “we” instead of 22 “I”s. Only a handful of the Espies are main characters—cheater MacKenzie and her loyal boyfriend Cooper, weight-obsessed Tess, overachiever Pi, and painfully shy Olivia.

Readers will not mind not having a clear narrator in this fun and funny quick read. Despite the occasional fluff, Mlynowski’s characters learn something about themselves and each other throughout the novel. Olivia’s transformation is the most striking and fun to watch. Her telepathy gives her a chance to relate to her classmates in a way the extremely shy girl could never do before. Teens will enjoy the hypocritical inner snarky judgments that the teen girls make of each other at the same time as vocalizing supportive comments. The inner thoughts of most of the boys are exactly as one would expect—crude and centered on one topic. Dialog and language are realistic and best suited for mature older readers and not for the tween audience.

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