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.
For me, DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT started pretty slowly. It was hard to get into it at first. I kept on going because I was interested to see how Mlynowski would work with the idea of the story itself. I do have to give her credit for one thing–I loved the way that Mlynowski managed to incorporate humor into her writing as well as the deep and personal things. I felt like she really conveyed what it is to know someone else’s thoughts pretty well. Even though I felt like sometimes she could’ve gone deeper with that, I still enjoyed the way she did it. One major problem I had with DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT is the way Mlynowski wrote the characters. While I did think that it was clever of her to make it so that all of the kids “wrote” it together because it’s their story, it also confused me.
- The character development was muddled. I felt like it just wasn’t enough, especially because there are around twenty of these kids that you need to keep track of, and that’s only counting the ones who have ESP. A lot of them didn’t even have defining traits or voices, much less fleshed out as characters.
- When I did get to know the characters, I didn’t like a lot of them. The characters that were actually personable just got a lot of bad stuff done to them, such as Cooper. Starting out, Cooper is the boyfriend of one of the girls who gets powers. He’s friendly, kind and just an all-around good guy–but he gets cheated on. Of course.
I had a lot of problems with DETA, but the ending really wasn’t that bad. I expected it to be worse, but I do have to admit I enjoyed the way that the kids came together and the events that led up to that happening. It truly is about how they, just a group of kids placed in an awkward situation, became a we. There are happy endings for most of the characters, and even though I was pretty disappointed with the world-building and the reasons why things happened, I was glad to see that Mlynowski gave them the endings that she did. I can’t deny that I definitely wanted more here, and I wish that so many things hadn’t gone wrong, but unfortunately this one didn’t work for me. 2 stars.
pg count for the hardback: 320