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Don't Even Think About It #1

Don't Even Think About It

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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.

317 pages, Hardcover

First published March 8, 2014

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About the author

Sarah Mlynowski

130 books3,182 followers
Sarah was born in Montreal, Canada. After graduating with an honors degree in English literature from McGill University, she moved to Toronto to work for Harlequin Enterprises. While she never met Fabio, she used her romance publishing experiences to fuel her first novel Milkrun.

Since then, Sarah has written four additional novels for adults: Fishbowl, As Seen on TV, Monkey Business, and Me vs. Me; the New York Times bestselling middle grade series Whatever After; the middle grade series Upside-Down Magic (with Lauren Myracle and Emily Jenkins); and the teen novels Bras & Broomsticks, Frogs & French Kisses, Spells & Sleeping Bags, and Parties & Potions (all in the Magic in Manhattan series), as well as Gimme a Call, Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have), Don't Even Think About It, Think Twice, and I See London, I See France. Along with Lauren Myracle and E. Lockhart, Sarah also wrote How to Be Bad, and along with Farrin Jacobs, she wrote See Jane Write, a guide to writing. Sarah also co-edited two bestselling charity collections (Girls' Night In and Girls' Night Out), and has contributed to various anthologies (American Girls About Town, Sixteen: Stories About That Sweet and Bitter Birthday, 21 Proms, First Kiss (Then Tell), Fireworks, and Vacations from Hell).

Sarah is also a co-founder of OMG BookFest, a celebration of books aimed at the early to middle grade reader (ages 7-12) that brings together commercial and award-winning authors with underserved local communities for an exciting experience of books, games and activities.

Sarah's books have been translated into twenty-nine languages and optioned to Hollywood. She now lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,192 reviews
March 13, 2014
They stepped into the cafeteria. A cacophony of voices rushed at Mackenzie.
—five french fries today. Five. No more. My thighs are too—
—There’s an empty seat at Jake’s table! Should I take it? But Amanda said—
—Did I just get my period?—
As each thought hit Mackenzie’s mind, so did a stabbing pain in her forehead.
I know just how she feels. This is a "no-thinking-required" type of book. I suggest you read it with several aspirins or (not and!) a few shots of tequila.

This book is about a flu shot that went horribly wrong. I thought the premise was cool, why? Well, for one thing, I had a doctor's visit today.

A most belligerent patient. A most unhappy reader.

...and 15 minutes later:

You see that Band-Aid on my arm? That's for a very late seasonal flu shot. I had a flu shot! The teenagers in this book had a flu shot! What excellent timing. THIS IS GONNA BE AWESOME, RIGHT?!


This book was not what I wanted it to be. I wanted sci-fi. I wanted a conspiracy theory. I wanted bad-ass teamwork!

Instead, I got a whole lot of teenaged drama. A whole lot of romance. And the utilization of the awesome powers of ESP to...get a boyfriend.
Olivia felt a wee bit guilty that Lazar didn’t know she was reading his mind. But not too guilty. It wasn’t like she asked to be able to read his mind.
And she wasn’t trying to trick him. She was trying to date him.
If you wanted some cool shit to come out of the whole "ESP flu shot" premise, you're shit out of luck. This book is presented as a "contemporary teen fiction with romance, secrets, scandals, and ESP." Not really. The ESP is used as a plot device for all the romance, secrets, and scandals. That's all.

This book is what I like to call "Very YA," meaning there is absolutely no question that this book is written for a Young Adult audience. It is very juvenile. The teenagers act like the most clichéd of all teenagers. You will encounter no end to teenaged tropes in this book. There are not one, but several, instances of love-triangle-what-the-fuckery in this book. There is more romance, more worrying, more concerns over very teenaged worries than anything serious in this book. There is nothing but brain floss within this book. There is no sci-fi.

The Summary: It is a typically day at Bloomberg High School, with one difference. It's flu shot day! There are 23 students from homeroom 10B getting the flu shot that day. It's business as usual...until the next day. Until Olivia realizes something...odd, while attempting to give a speech in front of class.
Everyone in class continued to talk.
“It’s so hot in here.”
“Forgot my Spanish homework.”
“Should have had a third cup of coffee.”
“Why didn’t I pee before class?”
Olivia looked around the room. Everyone was talking, but no one was moving his or her lips.
Soon, it became obvious that something is very, very wrong. Certain people are able to hear peoples' thoughts. There's a connection between the people with "ESP": they all received the flu shot that day.

What follows is the forming of a secret society, the "Espies" (short for Extrasensory Perception) a group composed of the 23 teenagers who are now able to hear thoughts. And they're very, very teenagers thoughts, which is to say, they hurt.
As soon as Sadie stepped inside the classroom, Teddy’s brain went into overdrive. She’s here! Awesome. I hope she’s feeling better. Her hair is so shiny.
And they're very self-centered.

The Espies have to keep this secret. They have to protect each other.
Excellent point, Pi thought back. “One last vote. Are we all in it together?”
And we all raised our hands, Mackenzie included.
We would not tell.
With this awesome ability, they can conquer the world! Think of the possibilities! They can...um...use it to see whether a boy likes them?
As Tess put on a purple shirt, she thought about what it would mean if she found out Teddy didn’t like her. What if he thought she was ugly? Or fat? Did she really want to know what he thought of her? Was she opening some sort of Pandora’s box?
Or to make sure a date goes smoothly.
Every concern Lazar had, Olivia heard.
If she doesn’t walk faster, we’re going to be late.
Olivia walked faster.
What did she just say? She speaks so softly.
Olivia spoke up.
I wonder what her favorite band is. I hope she likes Delivery.
“I just love Delivery! They’re the best.”
“Did you like the new Thomas Allen movie?” It was so amateur. I hope she didn’t like it.
“No way,” Olivia said. “It was so amateur.”
But Lazar nodded, his eyes wide. It’s like she’s taking the words right out of my mouth!

We hear everything. From the most mundane thoughts of a 3-year old sibling ("Funny mousies funny mousies") to parents thinking about sex (ew).
Her dad patted her mom on the leg. I can’t wait to take off Linda’s robe.
Huh? Oh no. Mackenzie slammed her eyes shut.
Her parents. Were. Going. To. Have. Sex.
She backed slowly out of the room.
It's strange, considering that they can read minds, they can still get surprised by pop quizzes.
Third period, Pi had a surprise quiz in precalc.
She was not prepared.
It all leads up to the events of a Sweet Sixteen birthday party, where hearts (and jaws) will be broken.

That's it.

The Narrators:
Maybe you think Olivia is telling the story. Or Mackenzie, or Cooper, or someone else in our homeroom you haven’t met yet.
It could be any of us.
But it’s not.
It’s all of us. We’re telling you this story together.
I had a chill of foreboding in the back of my neck when the book began by telling me that there are multiple, ambiguous narrators.

I was right.

This book is kind of a mess. It is told in omniscient POV, there are multiple narrators. We see things from multiple POVs. There are 22 people involved in this book's core plot. Thankfully, not all of them are the focus, but it made things damned confusing.

The Plot: There are several main narrators in this book, like Mackenzie, Cooper, Tess, Olivia, Pi, among others. Almost all their stories revolve around romance. This is absolutely shocking, because, hello! FUCKING ESP-CAUSING FLU VIRUS. Shouldn't someone, I don't know, TELL SOMEONE ABOUT THIS? Ok, I understand why they wouldn't, because it's a pretty powerful ability, but there is so much possibility with this premise, and this book goes nowhere with it. The idea of ESP is completely undermined by a bunch of very, very self-centered, very immature kids.

There is no science in this book. Absolute none at all. The concept of the whys, the hows of the ESP is completely skipped over.

The ending also didn't make any sense. If you want to know what happened and my rant commentary on it, click the spoiler tag below.

The "Thoughts": They're dumbed down, simplified. The human mind works abstractly. We do not think in sentences, we do not think in segments, we do not think in order. When I have a thought, it's going to be fleeting; a thought is less a sentence than a concept, an idea in my mind that is not verbalized. This book completely verbalizes all thoughts, in a "stream of consciousness" dialogue that is completely unconvincing. Not to mention headache-inducing.

They're just teenaged thoughts. And they are so annoying. If I wanted my head to hurt this much, I'd volunteer at a middle school. They're childish, silly, catty without meaning to be, they're occasionally funny, but they grate on my nerves.
I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to think that! You’re very pretty! If you went to the gym twice a week, you’d be gorgeous! Shit, shit, shit. I’m sorry! I can’t help it!
Tess knew that Mackenzie was gorgeous. Everyone knew that Mackenzie was gorgeous. But Tess had always hoped that Mackenzie had thought Tess was gorgeous too. As is.
The Romance: Also known as: The Plot. We get to know these teens' love lives (SO MANY OF THEM) in intimate detail.

*takes a deep breath*

Mackenzie is dating Cooper who is the class clown and who adores her, while thinking of her hook-up Bennett, on the side. She now regrets it, and wishes she had held out. Now her secret's out! Everyone knows! Will Cooper ever find out?!
She wasn’t sure what to tell Cooper. She wasn’t sure why she’d done it. She loved Cooper, didn’t she?
Mackenzie couldn’t tell Cooper. He’d break up with her. And then what? She’d lose him. He’d hate her.
Tess is best friends with Teddy, only he doesn't know it, and treats her blissfully like a best guy pal instead of a...girl. Tess has ESP now! Tess can tell whether Teddy likes her or not. But then there are complications! There's Sadie, gorgeous, gorgeous Sadie. She's really nice, but it doesn't change the fact that Teddy is in love with her. But it's ok, Sadie is dating Keith! Oh, no!
He was her Teddy. Even if Sadie was dating Keith, it was still possible that she could fall madly in love with Teddy, right? Even if he was a sophomore and Keith was a senior? Unlikely, yes, but still possible.
There's Olivia, who desperately wants a date with Lazar. Thanks to her ESP, she can read his mind and become the perfect girl---in his mind.
Lazar cleared his throat. “Olivia?”
“Yes?” Olivia said. She turned around to face him. She tried to look surprised.
Oh no, she looks like she doesn’t want to talk to me.
No! No! I do want to talk to you! She tried to make her face look unsurprised. Expecting.
She looks like she’s in a hurry.
Ahhhh! What was wrong with her face?
Maybe I shouldn’t ask her out. He stood up. “Have a good weekend.”
No, no, no. That was not how this was supposed to go.

I don't care.
Profile Image for Ash Wednesday.
441 reviews525 followers
March 3, 2014
This whole thing makes no sense. I miss SARS.

It was good while it lasted. All two chapters of this.

In some ways, this reminded me of reading Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley books. In that series, each book focuses on Jessica, Elizabeth and the Sweet Valley crew getting into the shenanigan of the week: community play, the Unicorn Club going to Hawaii, Lizzie’s first kiss etc. In Don’t Even Think About It Bloomberg High School’s homeroom class of 10B collectively develop telepathic abilities after getting their flu shots. They can hear each other’s thoughts and the thoughts of those who haven’t been vaccinated.

I don’t know what everyone will expect from that premise, but I think I was sold on the sci-fi/paranormal potential of a group of high school kids with their freak abilities discovering something sinister and going against it.

Instead, this featured the repercussions of their collective telepathy in the lives of a handful of them: the shy hypochondriac who has to deliver a speech on Lyme Disease, the Queen Bee who cheated on her boyfriend, the girl with weight problems in love with her best friend and the class’ neurotic, know-it-all class number 2 who wants to be number 1.

This was unusually told from the perspective of the homeroom class as a single entity narrator much like a greek chorus occasionally dishing some snarky peanut gallery observations. And it was funny, I suppose, for a stretch as they realize what has happened. There were a lot of hilarious one-liners courtesy of the fifteen-year old brain picking on another fifteen-year old’s brain and embarrassing situations with the parents and their thin-walled bedrooms… but it just went on and on and on. It felt like the creativity peaked early on then stopped to wallow aimlessly in all that juvenile humour. It was all a one-note fail once everybody became “Espies”, alternating between unimpressive teen drama and unimaginative dilemmas.

It was bad enough when this flat out shifted from funny to annoying but the characters’ personality just made this barely tolerable. Mackenzie (the Queen Bee) cheats on her boyfriend, Cooper and gets vilified by the rest of the class for it when my question is why is she even with the guy in the first place?
Cooper cupped his ear with his open hand. “What’s up, 10B, can I get a boo-ya?”
“Boo-ya,” called out Nick Gaw from the side of the room. Nick was one of Copper’s good friends.
Cooper sighed with exaggerated disappointment. “That was lame, people. Lame. Lame-o. The Yankees won last night! I said give me a boo-ya!”

I have to like THAT guy? Pro-tip: should anybody meet me in real life, I am totally judging you if you say “boo-ya” to my face and smacking you should you expect me to respond in kind.

There’s shy, hypochondriac Olivia who finally bags a guy to date her…. by using her abilities on him to like her. And of course Tess, mind slut-shaming Sadie just because her best friend Teddy likes her more.

I mean, give me something to work with here.

The telepathy business will keep some interested enough (as I was) to finish this… I kinda wish I wasn’t. The semantics is just begging to be mocked but I’m going to leave that to someone else with enough fucks to give about this book to waste neurons on. The mystery about their uncanny abilities get picked up again as if an afterthought and resolved in a completely ridiculous manner. Just know it wasn’t worth sticking around for.

The good news is that this was pretty short and it did manage to deliver the unimpressive story quite clearly giving me very little conflict with myself while writing this.

ARC provided by Random House-Delacorte Press thru Netgalley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. Quotes may not appear in the final edition.

Also on BookLikes.
Profile Image for Stacey.
550 reviews1,550 followers
July 29, 2016
If Don't Even Think About It was a movie, it would be the sort of teen movie that you would watch curled up on a Sunday afternoon (preferably with snacks and friends), a bit of contemporary + science fiction lite mixed with The Breakfast Club + Gossip Girl. I wasn't having a brilliant week when I began reading and it turned out to be the perfect antidote. I started it on the way to work and finished it that evening, so if you want to just forget everything and delve into a fun, light-hearted and witty story, this could be what you're looking for!

It's time for Class 10B to get their flu jabs. No big deal, right? Wrong. It starts with Mackenzie thinking she's going crazy, but then the whole class start develop telepathy, a kind of extrasensory perception (ESP). Awesome! But for 10B, life is about to get much trickier to navigate. We like to think that we want everyone to be honest with us. To tell us what we really look like in our favourite outfit. Or if we're being embarrassing or stupid or annoying. But do we really? Now everyone knows that Mackenzie cheated on her boyfriend Cooper, that Tess has a crush on her best friend Teddy – and that he's in love with someone else – and that Nurse Carmichael used to be a stripper. It's light. It's hot pink. And it's full of high school drama. You won't like all the 'ESPies', but you'll revel in the fact that you've now joined their exclusive club.

Don't Even Think About It is narrated by the chorus of ESPies after they've had a chance to spend more time as telepathic teenagers, which would have taken time to get used to if I hadn't recently read David Levithan's Two Boys Kissing . In fact, it worked really well and it was easy to see how the group of classmates became 'we'. And it's only just getting started as this is the first in the series. I loved reading the characters' reactions to their new-found talent – and each others' – plus reactions from those who were fortunate – or unfortunate, depending on how you see it – not to be able to hear everyone's thoughts. Imagine watching two people who aren't even friends stare at each other meaningfully, in silence, for no apparent reason. And as someone who struggled with shyness in school, it was refreshing to see one of the characters use her telepathy to overcome it. One of the reasons for shyness is the anxiety caused by not knowing what's going to come next or how people are going to react. What if that was removed? Olivia, one of the Class 10B students, is constantly worried about what other people think of her, when in fact they're not even thinking about her at all. She now always knows what's coming next and can change her behaviour accordingly, so she never messes up, and she was one of the most interesting characters to follow as the classmates attempt to figure out how to live in a world without secrets.

Don't Even Think About It is a sunny young adult contemporary novel with a fun science fiction twist that'll get you thinking about how difficult it is not to think.

Thank you to the publisher for providing this book for review!

I also reviewed this book over on Pretty Books.
Profile Image for Robert.
Author 10 books423 followers
September 8, 2016
If God wants to punish some poor bastard, I mean really punish him till he’s ready to poke out his own eyeballs, swallow a .44 Magnum, slit his own wrists, or end his own life in front of a city bus, he should force him to come back to earth as a teenage girl. In less than a month, you’d read about the extravagant deaths of Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer and even Hannibal Lector. Yeah, and those sonsofbitches never stood a chance either.

But the true beauty in this novel, aside from the sudden death experience, is all the voices inside the heads of the characters. I happen to hear a voice of my own (my muse), and no, I’m not crazy. But sometimes it feels like I am, so I can’t even imagine what it must be like to walk around LA and hear the voices of poodles and porn stars and strippers and businessmen and models and actors and who the fuck knows what else. If I could end my life in Santa Monica or on the Redondo Beach pier, it’s an offer I’d probably consider, just to make all those bastards shut up. So, yes, one voice is more than enough.

Not all writers can pull off first person plural (in fact I can’t recall another book I’ve read off the top of my head that uses this particular device), but Sarah Mlynowski pulls it off to perfection in DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT. Even when she drifts a bit into first person, you’re more than ready to go along for the ride. So while you may not want to think about this story, or have it stuck in your head, in the end, it just does.

Other than Cooper and Olivia, I wouldn’t say any of the characters are particularly loveable. In less deft hands, this could be a detriment to the story, as a number of characters spring off the pages clamoring for attention, but I found myself in a happy state of ignorant oblivion, where the pie was sweet even if the characters always weren’t.

This novel is sassy and flirtatious and coy and just downright fun all rolled up into one blast from the first page to the last.

I received this book for free through NetGalley.

Cross-posted at Robert's Reads
Profile Image for Larissa.
264 reviews42 followers
February 26, 2014
More like 1.5 stars

You can also find this review at YA Midnight Reads

Don’t Even Think About It had quite an interesting premise (which was completely unrealistic but I was willing to put that aside) to me which happened to grab my attention. After reading a lot of more serious books recently, I needed a light and fluffy contemporary to switch things up.

Sadly enough Don’t Even Think About It didn’t do that for me. Contrary to the title, thinking was very much involved with this novel. It’s told in a sole shared point of view to begin with, one where everybody who has contracted ESP tells the story.This means the story isn’t narrated by a single person but rather as a collective group, using the pronoun ‘we’. This definitely took some getting used to, as I’m not used to stories being told this way so it was initially off putting. However it made sense in the fact that these are a group of people can all read each other’s mind, therefore one person’s thoughts are heard by everybody. This point of view still managed to be hard to keep track of though, as 22 plus people had contracted ESP. They would also interject random thoughts that didn’t really seem important or necessary to the story.

Once you finally got used to the odd ‘we’ point of view, Don’t Even Think About It decided to move on. It went on to focus more on six particular students who had ESP, with the other “espies” interjecting their thoughts. A few times it would jump back into the ‘we’ point of view, but for the majority of the time it focused on the six students.

I wish that the six students had been better picked, I really enjoyed only two of them. The rest felt undeveloped and bland. I didn’t feel any connection to them nor did I relate to them. I simply just felt like an uninterested outside observer. It made most of the characters not very memorable and very vanilla. Most of them didn’t have great character development nor any sustenance to them. Backstory was non-existent for the majority of the characters. I wish the author had chosen other characters to focus on. Some of the ones she rarely used actually interested me the most and I believe had great potential.

The one character I quite enjoyed was Olivia. She was a character who suffered with anxiety. I believe the portrayal of this was realistic and so was her development throughout the story. Her concerns felt like ones that I could sympathize with. She doesn’t magically become void of anxiety, but does grow a bit of confidence as the story goes on. Olivia seems to be the most round character in this story. She was also one of the few characters who actually had a relationship with her family. For the majority of the characters in the book, their parents seem to be non-existent.

Mackenzie was a character I couldn’t stand. She was flat, there was really nothing more to her then a pretty face. Oh, and a horrible personality prone to making stupid decisions. Mackenzie has a super sweet boyfriend, whom she cheats on. This isn’t a spoiler as you’re made aware of what happens fairly early on. The person she cheated on her boyfriend with? Somebody Mackenzie had a previous fling with who had clearly displayed that he had zero interest in having an actual relationship with her, other than one that was purely sexual.

Makes sense, right? You’re dating a perfectly sweet and understanding guy, so cheating on him with a total skeezeball is the only thing to do.

Not only did Mackenzie make that awful decision, she’s also a horrible best friend to Tess. Mackenzie continuously lies to Tess. Even worse then that is Mackenzie’s rude and uncalled for comments about her weight, a subject that Mackenzie would definitely know that Tess is highly self-conscious about. Why would Mackenzie know about her Tess and her previous issues with her weight? Oh, maybe because Tess actually trusts undeserving Mackenzie with the fact that she previously suffered bulimia. Yet Mackenzie continues to treat like horribly.

“If you went to the gym twice a week, you’d be gorgeous!”

“Your mom is crazy, I’m not siding with her,” Mackenzie said, but she couldn’t help thinking, eight pounds, maybe.

The above quotes clearly showcase Mackenzie’s truly disgraceful attitude. It’s bad enough that Tess has her mother bitching on about her perfectly fine weight, but having your supposed best friend join on it? Unforgivable. I couldn’t stand the book whenever Mackenzie was involved and even though there was a supposed reason for her behavior, it felt weak. I don’t think much could make me enjoy Mackenzie’s character, but the flimsy excuse for her actions definitely didn’t make me enjoy Mackenzie. Sadly Tess didn’t feel the same way and would continuously forgive Mackenzie after being angry for about 5 seconds. Then Mackenzie would go on to insult Tess again, it was all a vicious cycle. The fact that this poisonous friendship was presented in a novel marketed for young adults was frankly disconcerting for me. Since nothing was done to prove that friendship wasn’t in fact okay, it was like Don’t Even Think About It was perpetuating that toxic friendships are okay. Promoting this to potentially impressionable teens doesn’t sit right with me at all.

Another thing I had a quibble with was how this book is garnered for teens. As a teenager myself, I found myself not enjoying the book. I found the book to have a very immature tone, the humor was quite juvenile. I was definitely rolling my eyes more than laughing. One of the characters has a nickname of BJ, something that is supposed to be a joke. Yeah, I think my 12 year old brother is the only person who would find that hilarious. You can tell this book tries soooooo freaking hard to be relatable to us young adults and it simply doesn’t work. It came out contrived and stereotypical. I honestly think that this book would be better suited for middle grade audience, if you took out Mackenzie’s character and toned down a few other aspects. I feel like that audience may have enjoyed it more? Or not, maybe no age group would be able to connect with this one.

The premise? Honestly it took a backseat to juvenile drama and romances that were so plain and suffered from a lack of chemistry. If the premise lived up to it’s potential then perhaps I would have enjoyed the book more.

Overall this a book that is highly character driven, which is a pretty big issue when the characters are either completely vanilla or unlikable. The humor and target age for this one seems completely off base. The odd way the POV was done was pretty distracting and led to a whole lot of run on sentences. Sadly, I wouldn’t recommend this one.

~Thank you Random House Children’s for sending me this copy!~

Profile Image for Anna Janelle.
155 reviews36 followers
February 11, 2014
I was lucky enough to receive an advanced reader's copy of this book through Netgalley. I'm really pleased with my decision to see this edgy, quirky YA novel through to completion. It was enjoyable throughout, but it wasn't until the end of the novel that I realized that I was really emotionally invested in these teens' drama that was cleverly hidden a midst a backdrop of comedy and quips.

At BHS, the students in Homeroom 10B are close. Really close. There are NO secrets between them; in fact, there can't be. After receiving a contaminated batch of flu shots, these twenty-two teenagers developed the ability to read minds - for better or worse. While they quickly realize the advantages of their situation, unwanted knowledge bombards the telepathic teens, leaving them questioning if they were better off before they developed this accidental talent. By the end of the tale, they'll be questioning whether it is a blessing or a curse to know exactly what is on everyone's minds.

It was really fun. Flat-out fun times - even for an ancient thirty year old like me. I had worried that I may be too old to enjoy YA stories set in high schools, but, thankfully, this book was just edgy and mature enough for me to enjoy it. If anything, I might complain that it was just a little too mature for the intended audience - what with all the sex talk and four-letter words. The author didn't spare any detail when it came to revealing what can be on the minds of adults and teenagers. And, as an adult reader, I was okay with that. Would I want my middle-school aged daughter reading about sexy lingerie and condoms? No. (Side note: perhaps I'm only thinking this because I'm in mom-mode constantly now, and the thought of my three-month old daughter being exposed to anything racy or unclean makes me want to have a panic attack. It wasn't really that explicit. I was just surprised by how nonchalant and hip sex could seem in a YA novel. Aside from that, I totally loved all the relationship drama - with Connor and Makenzie, with Tess and Teddy, with Olivia and Lazar. In some ways, their twists and turns were a bit predictable, but it felt cute and comfortable in this novel.

Overall, it was a super fun flashback into the drama and worry of balancing family, friends and schoolwork as an emotionally turbulent teen. The science-fiction/fantasy edge really reanimated and re-energized what could have been just another all too familiar story about high school heartache. I would have no reservations recommending this to my girlfriends looking for a fun, easy read.
Profile Image for Paula M.
553 reviews638 followers
October 6, 2014
Maybe you think Olivia is telling the story. Or Mackenzie, or Cooper, or someone else in our homeroom you haven’t met yet.
It could be any of us.
But it’s not.
It’s all of us. We’re telling you this story together.

..and I was not happy about it.

What a letdown..

I started reading this with high expectations. But I guess the cover should've gave me a hint already that it wasn't gonna be that good as I was hoping for.

What is the story anyway?

They all got flu shots and then after that, they started hearing other people's thoughts.

Ooooh. How exciting, right?!

Then, what happened next?

I'll tell you, Nothing.

At least not what I'm expecting for. Instead of using their ESP for useful things, they used it to:

- know if someone likes them.
- cheat on a test.
- know who cheated on who


Seriously. This has no plot at all. It didn't say how they got the 'ESP' (just that there was something wrong with the vaccine.) Well, DUH and that's that. No explanation.

I should've just skipped this. I remember thinking that I didn't really care what happens at the end, I just want it to be over.

The Ending? YAWNFEST
Profile Image for Read InAGarden.
943 reviews12 followers
October 12, 2013
The students in one homeroom all get tainted vaccines that give them the ability to read the thoughts of others. At first they each think this ability is great. As time progresses, though, they each begin to realize that this ability has definite drawbacks. When everyone you hang out with knows all your thoughts you can't keep any secrets, think catty thoughts, hide your pain, have a hidden crush, and more. And then there's the opposite side of the equation: when you can read the thoughts of others, you always know the secrets others are trying to shield from you. An intriguing concept told from multiple viewpoints. While there are many characters in the story, they are all well developed and it's not difficult to keep track of all the individuals.
Profile Image for Susane Colasanti.
Author 21 books4,015 followers
March 21, 2014
Don't Even Think About It is Sarah Mlynowski's best teen novel yet! I absolutely adored it.
Profile Image for Georgia.
261 reviews
April 26, 2018
Not the best. Got bored and couldn’t finish it. Couldn’t get attached to any of the characters, storyline didn’t make sense and felt abit silly.
Profile Image for Odette Brethouwer.
1,450 reviews237 followers
January 11, 2020
Met een longonsteking ziek thuis, behoefte aan licht en luchtig leesvoer. En dit boek bracht precies wat ik er van hoopte en verwacht had! Heerlijk!

Het is een origineel plot. Ik werd meegesleurd in het verhaal en de consequenties ervan voor de hoofdpersonages en hun omgeving.

Mooi coverdesign ook, trouwens.

Als je houdt van het sfeertje in de tv serie van Pretty Little Liars, dan houd je ook van het sfeertje in dit boek. Het 'wij tegen de rest van de wereld met onze geheimpjes'-sfeertje. Verder is het natuurlijk heel anders en niet te vergelijken.

Ik ga meteen door in deel 2, die ik ook in de kast heb staan!
Profile Image for Jasprit.
527 reviews771 followers
November 5, 2014
3.5 stars

Don’t Even Think About it, was a super surprising read. For me it had started off as if it was suitable for a much younger reading audience, but I’m glad that after seeing Mlynowski’s name on the book I decide to give it a go.

Classmates in class 10B were scheduled to get their flu shots like normal, however they didn’t expect to end up with telepathic skills, some students develop in a day or two, whereas others take much longer, but what is meant to be a really scary situation ends up bringing a whole class who never knew each other together. Don’t Even Think About it, was an unusual book to get into at first, as you don’t know who was actually telling the story, as I started to get to know the characters a bit more though things started settling down for me. Overall there were around over five different perspectives in this book. On top of this add all of the other opinions coming through the telepathy, it could sound slightly overwhelming. But this wasn’t the case at all once you get to know the characters. Of course as the story progressed I ended up finding a few favourites and did prefer reading what was going on in their life. (Tess and Oliver). But I didn’t mind reading about the characters when they were all together either, with so many different personalities, they were able to bring a lot of quirkiness and fun to whenever they hit a hurdle in their situation. And I loved it when they had to deal with so many situations with their new found ability, secrets were no longer secrets any more, they had to consider how they could continue to progress without giving away their ability and also develop some techniques of not getting totally overwhelmed with everyone’s thoughts. Some of these kids despite showing some classes didn’t talk to each other much, so it was fun seeing this ability break some bridges that had stood in the way before. Yes this ability wasn’t always peachy especially when what you were actually thinking about one of your friends everyone knew about in a matter of seconds including your friend. But I liked how most of these characters tried to be there for each other.

I also liked how this ability was able to give a lot of confidence to those who had been lacking before, but also a lot were able to realise that the person they thought they were meant to be with wasn’t actually the one. Some of the scenes could be heartbreaking at times (imagine you thinking the guy you like likes you back, but then you hear him pinning over someone else) but overall I think some of the relationships we ended up with were much better,

Overall Don’t Even Think About it, was a super fun read, even though it’s not one of the books I would normally go for, the wide range of characters certainly made this book a worthwhile read.

This review can be found on The Readers Den
Profile Image for AH.
2,005 reviews373 followers
February 24, 2014
Initial Thoughts: About a 3.0-3.5 star read for me. I think that this should appeal to both male and female young adult readers. The book is entertaining, but you do need to suspend belief just a little. Basically, a bunch of kids discover that they now have telepathic abilities after receiving the flu shot. While they are initially ecstatic about their telepathy, it does cause some problems and a case of too much information. There's also some ethical issues about cheating as well.

The Review:
This was a fun little read.

A scene repeated at many schools throughout North America: Kids line up for the vaccinations and in 99% of the cases, everything is fine. For Bloomberg High School Homeroom 10B, their flu vaccinations came with an unintentional side effect: Telepathy!

It is kind of amusing as the students learn about their newly found powers. At first it's overwhelming - so much noise. Then they are elated as they can now read each others' minds. Then, not so excited, as they don't really want to know what is on each others' minds. Some of the situations are quite hilarious, as the kids listen in to the mind of the school nurse as she plans on buying condoms. In other cases, as students learn what is going on in their parent's bedrooms, it is a case of way too much information. Then there's that pesky little ethical question. Is it still cheating on a test if you can read the smartest kid's mind for the answers. Telepathy also takes a toll on a popular couple as one learns that the other had cheated on him (and everyone else knew about it).

I loved how the kids handled their secret, organizing themselves into a small club to work on controlling their telepathy.
It was quite interesting to see how they figured out that the power works only if their eyes are open.

There is a large cast of characters in this book and keeping track of various characters was a little difficult at first.

Don't Even Think About It should appeal to both male and female young adult readers. Older readers may also enjoy this book but may need to suspend belief just a little.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Childrens for a review copy of this book.

Review posted on Badass Book Reviews. Check it out!
Profile Image for Liviania.
957 reviews64 followers
March 24, 2014
Sarah Mlynowski's newest novel, DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT, pulls off a very neat trick: it's written in fourth person. It's a little disorienting at first, but then I started going with the flow of dipping in and out of heads and sometimes getting an opinion from several narrators at once.

You see, in DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT, a group of high school students gain telepathy from a tainted batch of flu vaccine. This leads to some fun, but it also leads to them leaking all their secrets, learning nasty things people think about them, and never being able to hide when they have an ugly thought about someone else. (Or a sexy thought.)

Mlynowski does focus the chaos by keeping the attention on a few storylines revolving around four or so of the newly telepathic kids. It does still feel a bit scattered due to the nature of the narration. There's a girl who is super shy and nervous, one who is super driven and determined to use her power to get ahead, and one who just wants to keep her boyfriend from knowing she cheated on him. Then there's her boyfriend, who learns that is not the only secret people have been keeping from him.

I thought that DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT was inventive and fun, albeit with a mildly sinister undertone at times. This novel doesn't overthink the teens' powers, but that doesn't mean there are no consequences. YA fans will enjoy Mlynowski's sly references to other popular titles in addition to the story itself. This is lightweight sci-fi with appealing characters, even if I did wish for a little more time inside individual heads. But hey, that does give you an idea of what it feels like for the characters.
Profile Image for Ruby Rose.
269 reviews77 followers
September 8, 2020
There are definitely some things you need to know about this book, and classically none of them are mentioned in the synopsis and any of the other reviews that are harder to find.

PARENT NOTE: This book has a lot of mentions of IT happening, as well as thoughts by some of the main characters that might not be appropriate for younger audiences, and thoughts of one of the parents of one of the main characters. This book also is based on a flu shot gone wrong that might give some younger audiences fear and nightmares with different things that might happen with there shots. This book also talks about how one of the characters thinks she is overweight and her mom thinks and tells her about it constantly.

AGE RECOMMENDATION: 13 and up for mature content.

VIOLENCE: Punches are thrown.

ROMANCE: Sweet romance. See notes above.

LANGUAGE: Almost too much. Multiple per page.
Profile Image for Donna .
485 reviews125 followers
Shelved as 'dnf-not-for-me'
March 3, 2014
Messy. That is the word that comes to mind when thinking about this narration. I'm not necessarily blaming the narrator. I think that the plot & POV is so jumbled and scattered that the best it can aspire to be is Messy. Too bad. The summary & premise seemed like it could have been fun. When I first read the summary, it seemed like possibly a teen girl version of "What Women Want" - not so much. My advice if you're considering picking this one up - See the title.
Profile Image for Chloe.
85 reviews73 followers
August 15, 2015
Super unique! I originally thought I would hate the "we" perspective but I ended up loving it.
The characters were all very different even thought there was over 20 of them. I recommend :)
Profile Image for Michelle (Pink Polka Dot Books).
518 reviews345 followers
March 29, 2014
3.5 Stars

A homeroom in a NYC high school goes to gets their flu shots at the nurses office. Everyone knows there are potential side effects with flu shots (fever, aches, etc.), but telepathy isn't supposed to be one of them. The next day everyone in the class who got the shot show up to school with ESP. "The Espies" as they come to call themselves, know everything you are thinking. They know everything that each other is thinking. This is not good if you have secrets that you want to stay hidden. And it's also not good if you don't want TMI about your school nurse or your mom and dad. But the upside is you don't have to keep guessing if that boy likes you... and you forgot to study for that big test?? No problem, just sit beside the class brain!

The group decides to keep their ESP a secret. But how long will this go on? And what if people find out?

My Thoughts:
I'm a big fan of Sarah Mlynowski's YA books. I hard-core loved Ten Things We Did. I also thought Gimme a Call was adorable. This one was equally as cute and had that little extra humor that this author writes with that always gets me smiling... but I felt like it was missing something.

The homeroom that is affected by the flu shot is full of interesting characters. The main story seemed to focus on Mackenzie and her boyfriend Cooper. Before the ESP kicks in, Mackenzie had been hiding something from him... afterwards, well it's pretty hard to hide ANYTHING when 20 other people can read your mind. Cooper finds out the secret, plus a whole bunch of other things he really didn't want to know. And it really turns him from a happy-go-lucky type of guy to someone who questions the truth about everything.

I wasn't sure if I was going to get into the narration of this book or not. It's narrated in a first person plural narrative, that I did end up liking. Everything in this book is told collectively by an all-seeing "we". And it worked because these kids were all basically all-seeing. They knew everything that went on with each other, whether they liked it or not. I found the narration unique and wouldn't mind more books like that if it goes with the story.

Like I said earlier, there were some hilarious moments in this book. Being able to read other people's minds will definitely bring out some interesting information, and there were plenty of TMI moments. It was also cool to see how having ESP changed some of the "Espies" for the better. I really enjoyed seeing how some characters were able to come out of their shells and have more confidence. Of course for others, almost everything about it became a nightmare, but it was entertaining to read about that too.

The thing that holds me back from loving this book is that not a lot happens. A few relationships start, a few end, people fight, they make up... that's about it. I think this book needed just one more MAJOR story line for it to be completely engaging. The way it is now, it's a nice, fluffy, fun read.... nothing that I'm going to be remembering in a few months. But no matter what, I was happy to be reading another Sarah Mlynowski book, and I hope she writes a lot more YA in the future! Her signature way of writing always makes me happy.

OVERALL: I really enjoyed reading about teens who can read everybody's minds! I just wish that there was more going on in the story. It was cute, enjoyable, entertaining, readable, and fun, but it wasn't as great as I wanted it to be. There was still that Sarah Mlynowski writing-magic in it though... and some definite LOL moments.

My Blog:

Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,743 reviews1,305 followers
March 8, 2014
2.5 stars
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Hachette Children's Books and Netgalley.)
A group of teens discover that after a flu jab, they can suddenly hear everybody’s thoughts.
Who has secrets that they need to hide from their friends though? How long will these abilities last? And is this new-found side effect a good thing or a bad thing?

Oh dear, yet another pretty cover, with a not-so-entertaining story behind it.

I felt like I couldn’t really connect with the characters in this book, they came across as very immature and spent most of their time arguing with one another. I didn’t feel like they really approached their problems in the best way, and the constant arguing (even if it was in their heads) got annoying quite quickly.

The storyline in this should have been good, but instead became petty. Every tiny little thing was nit-picked, and the most anybody ever found out by listening to someone else’s thoughts was that they were cheating on their significant other. I did appreciate how awkward it would be to overhear your parent’s thoughts while they were having sex, and some other embarrassing situations, but most of the time the story just dissolved into petty name-calling, and making fun of people.

I think what this story needed was a good old mystery. If there had been a murderer running round, and they could hear his/her thoughts, then that would have much improved the story, and given the characters something to actually think about other than who picks their nose, and who thinks they’re fat. But unfortunately, nobody died.

There was some romance, but not a lot, and it mainly consisted of people thinking about kissing other people. For pity’s sake, if you know the boy is trying to psych himself up to kiss you, put him out of his misery and do it for him already! Especially if you want to kiss him as much as you seem to!
The ending was okay, but I was glad that I had gotten to the end to be honest. I really didn’t want to listen to their petty arguments any more.
Overall; a little immature, and with too many petty arguments,
5 out of 10.
Profile Image for Debbie.
295 reviews127 followers
March 8, 2014

2.5 Stars!

Can you imagine ever reading someone’s mind? I mean, there has to be at least one person that you thought, “Man, if I could only know how they feel about…” that would just solve a few of your problems, right? Well, Don’t Even Think About It is like that. Sarah Mlynowski takes readers on a light-hearted ride into that What if world and shows us the good as well as the bad.

Unfortunately, this book is all it’s cracked up to be. Sure it’s entertaining and stuff (I’ll get into it later) but many of it is half-assed. The characters feel so flimsy and their relationships even more so contrived. I couldn’t bring myself to believe any of them, especially between Cooper and Mackenzie. They all felt like they’re in grade five rather grade ten by the way the talk about their crushes as well as the way they talk to each other. Another problem that I had with Don’t Even Think ABout It, was the ending and how unrealistic it is.

It’s still such a fun story though. I loved the writing style, the “we” tense is something new to me and I only read it briefly in Two Boys Kissing and I enjoyed it. It made me feel like one of them. The mind reading was the best part of the novel, people think all the time and I loved how Mlynowski showed this by adding random thoughts as well as serious one to the bunch. I read how certain thoughts relieved as well as crushed the characters and how this strange yet awesome ability changed their lives in more than just one way.

Mylnowski creates a hilarious world with realistic thoughts and albeit the characters are a bit one-dimensional, I enjoyed reading their powers and all the things they could do because of them. I recommend this to anyone who’s looking for a novel that doesn’t involve too much thinking. Because you may never know who’s listening
Profile Image for Lucy Powrie.
Author 5 books5,584 followers
February 23, 2015
What would you do if you could read the minds of the people around you? It sure would be handy when you’ve fallen out with someone and don’t know what you’ve done wrong, or need to tell if someone is lying. Don’t Even Think About It explores this in a fun and gripping way.

When Class 10B have their flu injections, things seem normal at first. Then they start to hear the voices. With all of their secrets laid bare, how will this group of students cope as they’re forced to cooperate by something completely out of their hands?

Although I’m sure there are many novels about telepathy out there, Mlynowski has taken on a very contemporary attitude in Don’t Even Think About It so, even if we take the telepathy out, it still stands on its own with other things going on that are equally as interesting to read about.

Don’t Even Think About It is unusual in the style it is written. Instead of your conventional first or third person, it is written in a collective third person, from the perspective of the group of students as a whole.

My favourite characters by far were Mackenzie and Cooper, who I wholeheartedly ship, no matter what happened during the novel.

Even though there are a lot of characters to get to know and get used to, you learn to love each one individually, despite the manner of the narrative. There’s betrayal and drama, but there’s also a sense of the cute and sweet side to contemporary fiction. It’s a perfect mix!

Whilst reading, I was constantly thinking: How would I act if I were in the same situation as the ESPies? I know I’d freak out big time!

I really, really, really can’t wait to read the next instalment from Mlynowski because I can already tell how much I’ll love it! If it’s half as good as Don’t Even Think About It, it will be amazing.
Profile Image for Anne.
4,060 reviews69.5k followers
March 5, 2014
It was a cute story about a group of kids who get telepathic abilities from a flu shot.
It's a solid 3 star read, and I think it will do very well with the younger readers. However, I doubt that this will crossover well into the adult market, or even into the older YA audiences.
It's got a teeny bopper flavor to the story that kept me from fully caring what happened to the characters, but I'm not the target audience, so I'm not trying to be insulting. The closest I can come to describing the story is by comparing Mlynowski to Ally Carter. I thought Carter's books were cute, but too young for my taste. I think it's more for the 12-15 year old crowd?

There are some somewhat 'mature' subjects that are discussed, but I would feel comfortable letting my girls read this in a few years, especially since there isn't anything graphically portrayed.
It seems like the author tried to deal with every imaginable problem that a young teen could be facing. Body image, popularity, parental abandonment issues, adultery (among parents), social anxiety, unrequited love, cheating, self-sabotaging behavior, etc.. And since there is a large group of kids to work with, every social group is pretty much represented. It's pretty cliche, but for someone younger (who hasn't been reading for decades), this could be a very good book.

I'd recommend this one for girls who are about to enter high school, or maybe who just started high school. The book has too much female flavor for me to think that a lot of boys are going to like this one, and it's too simple for me to recommend it to adults who like YA.

I received a digital arc from NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Alicia Bayer.
Author 8 books210 followers
December 8, 2019
This is not the sort of book I'd ever read on my own and I'm not sure how I ended up with it in my NetGalley requests back in 2014. It's been sitting on my Kindle with some others that I found recently and I've started making myself read them.

The basic premise is that a bunch of rich NYC kids in a high school homeroom end up getting a flu shot that mysteriously gives them ESP. They then spend the book adapting to their new abilities and the ways they all can hear each other's thoughts. The girls mostly use their abilities to try to get boys and keep boys. There's lots of talk about "hooking up" and whether one friend really thinks the other friend is fat and things like that. There is apparently a sequel that came out two years later, but the author seems to have busied herself writing a bunch of other YA series instead. I can't speak to the quality of those, but this is pretty insipid stuff. It was also really hard to keep track of who was who, and what their crisis was (Would Cooper find out that Mackenzie cheated on him last summer? Would Olivia get up the nerve to ask Lazar out despite her shyness? Can Tess convince whats-his-name to like her as more than a friend? What if she shows a bunch of cleavage? Oh, now she can hear him admiring her cleavage but still thinking about the cuter girl...).

Kind of a miss for me. I think even me as a teenager would have been let down by this one.

I read a digital ARC of this book for the purpose of review.
3 reviews9 followers
June 29, 2016
Don't Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski is a story of a regular class who turn into freaks because of one flu shot they can hear everyones thoughts and everyones secrets. Will they tell someone? I recomend this book to ages 13 up and people who like intriguing book. There is another book in this series called Think Twice.This is a great book and you don't want to stop reading the book.
Profile Image for huriya.
85 reviews
March 23, 2022
LMFAOO what is this book
olivia is a wuss, mckenzie(??) is an annoying self entered brat, tess is a doormat and pi(what kind of name is that?!) is an obnoxious tryhard
book is so bad cuz all the characters are unlikable and they think about the most mundane things so there was like no drama
Profile Image for Phawe Phawe.
17 reviews2 followers
April 22, 2019
I enjoyed reading it over the holiday. When I started reading it, I felt a little dizzy because so much was going on, but when you more into the book, later on, it will get more interesting,
Profile Image for Sarah.
269 reviews115 followers
October 23, 2017
Picked this up at a used book sale but I'm clearly not the intended audience. I probably would've enjoyed this if I read it at as 14 or 15 year old. I was able to read it in one sitting though which is great, I love short books.

Going to donate this book back to my library so hopefully someone else can enjoy it!
Profile Image for Emily.
5,111 reviews542 followers
January 30, 2016
There are a lot of characters in this story, Cooper, Mackenzie, Pi, Teddy, Olivia and more. I gravitated to Olivia's part of the story, her mother is highstrung and Olivia often spends her in the nurses office. When a flu shot leads to hearing everyone's thoughts everything changes. Relationships become strained and the aftermath of having everything out there in the open, causes hurt, hope, and a stream of frantic teenager emotions. When push comes to shove, they will have to decide if they want the cure to stop the ESP or continue to hear everyone's thoughts.

There was a ton of stuff going on in this book. I felt it was almost a frenzy with so many characters and plot lines going on. I did like Pi, Cooper, and Olivia and would be interested in seeing where their stories lead to.
Profile Image for Jen Ryland.
1,551 reviews903 followers
July 12, 2014
Thanks to Random House for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book. Find more reviews, book discussion and great giveaways on my blog, YA Romantics.

I really liked this one. At first the all-over-the-place-in-everyone's-head multiple first person POV was driving me batty, and yes, there are a lot of characters, but then it all started to come together and I was engaged. Given the premise, these choices make total sense.

For me, this is the 21st century heir to one of my favorite childhood books of all time -- Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers.

Yes, DETAI has its quirks, but give this book a chance. It really won me over in the end.

Longer review soon.
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