Don’t Even Think About It, by Sarah Mlynowski (2014)

Genre: Science Fiction
Interest Level: 14-17
Don't Even Think About ItHomeroom 10B in Trebeca, NY, is sent to the nurse’s office for a run-of-the-mill flu vaccine. Soon afterward, 22 teens find they have suddenly developed telepathic powers. We get to know a half dozen of them well as we experience with them the highs and lows of hearing the thoughts of everyone around them. Teachers are mulling odd dinner choices, nurses are thinking about their stripping career, Dad is hungering for his lover, and Mum thinks you are fat. Among your friends, one thinks you are bitchy and another wishes you hadn’t worn that. On the upside, sitting next to the smartest kid in class gives you an edge on tests, and suddenly the Grade 10 volleyball team is awesome, able to stop every opponent’s move. This is lightweight fare – it doesn’t really get any deeper than that. Think Gossip Girls with ESP – secret crushes and betrayals are no longer secret, and jerks are outed rather quickly. There is some character development (particularly with Olivia) but I wish Mlynowski (author of the junior series Magic in Manhattan) had given these first-in-a-series a bit more meat. Sure, hooking up is the dominant focus in high school, but at least some of us gave some thinking time to bigger ideas, around the meaning of life and religion, the existence of aliens, whether dogs can think, what happens after death, and that sort of thing. Not in this crowd. Too bad. What could have been a thoughtful introduction to the science fiction genre ends up being an easily dismissed quick read that will fade away much faster than the voices in their heads. My thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy in e-book.
More discussion and reviews of this novel: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17560541

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About Michelle Mallette
I'm just trying to keep track of the books I've read - what I liked and what isn't worth re-reading. My work as a librarian has included youth services so you'll find a wide range of interests from picture books and teen dystopia to adult sci-fi, road trip novels, and nonfiction. Comments and communication is always welcome.

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