I recently joined NetGalley where I can (from publishers) request, read, and review books just before official publication. Random House Children’s invited me to review Sarah Mlynowski’s forthcoming title Don’t Even Think About It. Read below for my first NetGalley review.
Random House Children’s at NetGalley Summary:
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.
The Literary Atlas Review:
I enjoyed Sarah Mlynowski’s Don’t Even Think About It. I loved the humor Mlynowski injects into the story: it allowed me to sympathize with the characters and to laugh along with them; to find them endearing instead of overly dramatic. I decided to review Don’t Even Think About It simply because I found the book’s premise unique and intriguing. What would a bunch of high school students do with telepathic powers after receiving the flu shot? I had to find out.
Mlynowski deals with the usual subjects in YA: boyfriend/girlfriend trouble, fitting in, grades, college, and the like. However, three elements of Don’t Even Think About It kept me reading the book. First, it’s a quick read with a fast pace and simple plot. A straightforward plot (see above) and Mlynowski solves problems in short order. She mirrors the roller coaster ride of teenage friendships, and she does a great job capturing the inner thoughts of a teenager. For example, I found Olivia’s internal struggles and thought patterns with her various phobias believable.
Second, the humor. A lot of the narrator’s remarks put a smile on my face. Don’t Even Think About It entertained me and I laughed in all the right places. Again, the humor in the story allowed me to sympathize with the main characters. I entered their fictional world, put my adult self aside and went along for the ride.
Finally, Mlynowski uses an unusual narrator. Instead of first person I as the narrator, Mlynowski uses first person We. That change in pronoun from I to We adds a subtly creepy and slightly sinister atmosphere to the book that many teens enjoy in their books and movies. I enjoyed it myself. Using We instead of I also adds some distance between the narrator and the main characters. There’s a cold objectivity to the narrator’s voice in Don’t Even Think About It—a slight chill to the narrative voice that kept me on the edge of my seat turning page after page until the end.
I had fun reading Sarah Mlynowski’s Don’t Even Think About It. If you like YA, you will too.