Sunday, 6 July 2014
Don't Even Think About It - Sarah Mlynowski
Publisher: Orchard Books
Synopsis: When class 10B of Bloomberg High School in New York get their flu jab, no-one quite the side effects they received. Aside from the sore arm, those that take the jab in this class suddenly start developing telepathic powers. It means they can hear what everyone around them is thinking, their loved ones, their family, their friends, strangers in the street, between themselves. It means they know everyone's secrets and scandals. They know everything, for better or for worse.
Sarah Mlynowski is an author I've always been intrigued by but never had the opportunity to try and read one of her books. When I saw DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT after seeing a few positive reviews across Twitter, I knew this was the chance to read my first Mlynowski book. I mean, telepathic powers? That's not something you see in books everyday!
I started this book quite critically. Telepathic powers in literature is something I haven't seen before as I think it's probably quite hard to get that across in writing. Add a bunch of teenagers in there and I was thinking this was going to be like a really, really bad teen movie trying to reinvent the genre or something.
I was pleasantly surprised, however. It was the perfect read amongst the remaining coursework, exams and a busy period getting ready for the end of university. It was something I could put down in the middle of a chapter and pick up a day later and understand completely where I was in the story. The writing and plot, especially finding out the consequences as well as the advances of having these powers, hooked me entirely throughout.
As many bloggers have pointed out, the novel is narrated from the whole class, which is about 24-odd people. I was thinking when starting this book that this could make the narrative incredibly jumpy and have characters where we only know the basic details. This was handled pretty well, I thought by focusing on a certain few students but also narrating as a general group. While there are certainly 'main characters' in the group that have a greater impact from the telepathy, there is a general feel for how something as big as this can affect such a large group.
The main appeal of this book is the brilliant concept behind the novel. Everyone dreams at some point of the benefits of being able to read each others minds. This novel really gets behind that dream and allows you to see the pros and cons if everyone knew our secrets and private lives. I admit that after finishing this book, I had moments of trying to miraculously turn on some hidden power to read my flatmates' thoughts on what I was wearing or my mum's thoughts on how clean she actually thought my room was.
This novel was such an easy, interesting and most of all fun read for a holiday or during a busy period. Sure, it's quite flouncy in its writing and plot, and it does skirt over a few of the minor details about how the telepathy works. However, if you're not too bothered by that or just want a FUN read, this is the book for you. I loved how it put a total different twist to YA by creating a book that is contemporary but also sci-fi and paranormal too. I liked this book, and I especially liked Mlynowski's writing. She will be on my to-read more now!
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for giving me the chance to read this title!
I give it a 4 out of 5