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.
I don't want to even imagine what it would have been like to have ESP when I was in high school. Actually, I wouldn't want to have ESP regardless of when it was. In Don't Even Think About It, that is what happened to a group of sophomores at a high school in Tribeca, NY after receiving a tainted batch of the flu vaccine.
This book covered this reactions of the 24 different students who were affected by the vaccine. What if you were the incredibly shy student who spent the entire time wondering what everyone thought of you, to the point of almost completely isolating yourself? Suddenly, you wake up one day and realize that you no longer have to wonder what everyone is thinking. How about the one that is that is hiding a secret that is tearing you apart and now it isn't only your secret anymore, but 23 other people's secret too? Or even, god forbid, the one that gets to find out how much your parents love your dad's new Viagra prescription. I shudder at that thought and I'm 30.
Initially, this book was a little hard for me to get into it. For the first few chapters, you are trying to piece together all of the different points of view. The author tells you during those chapters that the kids go from being an "I" to a "we", but that doesn't make it any easier to follow. As you get to know the voices of the kids and the different issues that they are facing it becomes easier to decipher though. Part of that reason is that as the book goes on, the story lines narrows down to focus more on six of the kids rather than the entire group. We still get bits and pieces of the other 18, but thankfully it is only in small doses. It was hard enough keeping up with the six main characters.
Overall, Mlynowski's book was a really good escapist read. It contained a lot of realistic problems that teenagers have to deal with in high school, but with a good bit of humor in there to soften everything up. The ending was quite abrupt and left a lot open for the readers to imagine though. But I'd be down with seeing what all of these kids are doing with their ESP as they get older.
Arc received by NetGalley for a honest review.