Friday, February 21, 2014

[Review: Don't Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski]

"Don't Even Think About It"
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Series: None
Pages: 320
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Sci Fi,
Date Published: March 11th, 2014
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Format Read: eARC provided by publisher (via NetGalley) for honest review


Contemporary teen fiction with romance, secrets, scandals, and ESP from the author of Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have).

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.

My Thoughts:

An Open Letter To Don't Even Think About It,

The fact is, I think that a lot of people are going to think about you book.  I think a lot of people are going to want to pick you up and read you.  And I hope that most of them like you better than I did.  The thing is, I just didn't connect with you.  Maybe I'm too old for you?  Because, I didn't think you were terrible and you got pretty cute near the end, but we didn't click, did we?  No, we didn't connect at all.  Sorry about that... or am I?

-The White Unicorn 

I'm a huge fan of satire, a huge fan.  So I was excited to read this book.  It sounded like the perfect book for me.  Kids get a flu shot and then they can hear everyone around them.  Sounds perfect.  I'm not gonna say that this book didn't have a lot going for it, because it did, but I also have to tell you that most of the book irritated me.  Satire is hit or miss and for some reason I didn't click with the brand that Mlynowski came up with.  I think that it has to do with the confusing narration and really young elements of the plot.  Which makes me think that this book is going to be a hit with younger readers.

There are so many lead characters in this book and then a collective "we" who seems to be telling the story.  I want to tell you that this worked for me, cause I love when people throw a different form of narration at me, but it just felt confusing and jumbled.  We were in so many people's heads, seeing so many different things all at the same time that it got too chaotic.  I just couldn't connect with any of them on a personal level.  Sure, they were entertaining and they added to the plot, but there was wall there for me, that I couldn't break through it, no matter how hard I tried.  

Also, all these girls were attracted to jerks.  Okay, they weren't all jerks and not all the girls had clean slates either, but I wish that there would have been some version of a healthy relationship.  I mean, one showed up near the end that made me swoony for a total of 3 seconds, but over all I found all the relationship toxicity to be more than a little overkill.

I did like the idea that there wasn't a main villain.  The kids were each others villains and that actually really worked for me.  It created some pretty funny, yet juvenile moments.  They just couldn't hide from each other, ever.  This was probably the strongest element of the plot and I've got to hand it to Mlynowski for thinking outside of the box.

So, in the end I didn't connect with this one for all the reasons I mentioned above and the parts that did work were smothered in all the other things that didn't work for me.  Does that mean you shouldn't give this one a try?  No, you should, if you want to.  I believe this one has it's place.  It's place just isn't with me.

  2 Unicorns = It was okay, but something just didn't work for me!


Kirsty-Marie Jones said...

Awh, I wanted to enjoy this one too. I probably will read it eventually, when I'm in the mood for the type it is. But, I mean, flu shot induced mind reading. It sounded perfect. :( Shame you didn't enjoy it, though it does sound like it's perfect for younger readers.

Nicole said...

Hmm I read the synopsis and too thought it sounded like a lot of fun - but if it reads too young and a little confusing, it's probably not the book for me. I'll leave it on my TBR for now, but I'm not making any moves to read it soon.

Natalie Natflixandbooks said...

It is too bad you didn't connect with this one. I struggled a bit with it in the beginning, but after a couple of chapters it started to really grow on me. I didn't like any of the relationships, but I think it would be almost impossible to maintain any kind of romantic relationship if you could always hear what the other person is thinking--it doesn't matter if they can hear you back or not. Can you imagine? That would be the worst!! Great review!