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 received Don’t Even Think About It from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
What if you knew everything that everyone around you was thinking? Everything. From the mundane to the biggest secret. You would know what everyone really thought about you, who cheated on who and what your parents were thinking about as they were having sex in the next room. You might even find out things you didn’t want to know, like that your crush didn’t like you back or that your dad was cheating on your mom.
It happened to homeroom 10B at Bloomberg High School sophomores in Don’t Even Think About It, and one of the best parts of the book was the initial discovery of each of the main characters that he or she can hear what classmates, parents, doormen, and even strangers on the street are thinking. There were twenty-four students in 10B (two opted out of the flu shots and therefore didn’t develop the telepathy), but the book mainly focused on a few of the students, with others barely even being mentioned by name, so it wasn’t too overwhelming.
We might not have all been friends before this, but there was nothing like having ESP to bond you to a person.
What I really loved about Don’t Even Think About It was watching the kids bond over their newfound telepathy. Every homeroom has a range of different types of kids: popular kids, smart kids, jocks, stoners. Well, I don’t think there were any stoners in this group, but they were a good mix of the school population. They weren’t all friends, although some were. They were just a classroom of teenagers sharing space. Some of them had barely even spoken to the others before that day, but as they figured out what was happening to them and learned to deal with it, they became a solid group of friends.
We didn’t wait too long to use our ESP to take over the world. Domination began during gym class.
That use of we in narration was interspersed throughout the book. It reminded me of The Breakfast Club:
What didn’t I like? It took a while for the story to get going, and even when it did, it didn’t seem to be going anywhere. It lacked much of a plot. Kids got flu shots, developed ESP. And? Not much really happened.
Because the book had multiple main characters, it had to cover each one of them and I wasn’t equally interested in all of them. It was harder to empathize with Mackenzie, who cheated on her boyfriend, than with shy Olivia, who was mortified that her classmates were in her head during her first relationship with a boy. For a time, I wondered why the group wasn’t working to figure out how to get rid of the ESP, then I remembered that I wasn’t reading a dystopian where teenagers lead rebellions. These were just your normal, everyday high school students and they didn’t even know where to begin with that.
Don’t Even Think About It was a fun read, despite the slow pacing at times, and it made me think about how I would deal with it if something similar happened to me.