Pub Date: May 2014
Publisher: Orchard Books
Don’t Even Think About It has one of the most interesting premises in contemporary YA, but the problem is that it sets your expectations too high. Set in a New York high school, a class of students are given a tainted flu shot and all mysteriously develop telepathy. Now the idea of having twenty students with ESP is a great one. The execution of it wasn’t.
If you don’t go into this book thinking that the teens are going to use their new found powers for good and to save the world, then you’ll be fine. This book was a lot less X-Men, and more The Princess Diaries. Ultimately this is a teen contemporary with a twist.
Unfortunately the twist gave it too many complications to work well as a contemporary.
We have twenty-two kids with ESP. The book is written as a collective, using “we”, but then jumps around to different characters, with their points of views. We follow about 8 characters, which are too many for a book this short. Spreading out the book between so many characters meant none of them were fully developed past their vague stereotype: the cheating popular girl, the girl in love with her best friend, the pervy teenage boy, the smart girl who goes by “Pi”… Did I mention how clichéd it was? It was easy to get confused between several characters when you were following so many stories at once.
Then we had the ESP itself. Soon this book went from “oooh that’s an interesting thought”, to “I really don’t care about everyone’s every single thought”. It really captured the headache you would get being a teenager with ESP. Don’t get me wrong, teenagers having teenage thoughts is fine, everyone has really mundane thoughts. But I have no desire to hear or read about everyone’s mundane thoughts.
The main problem I had is that I just didn’t care. I couldn’t care about most of the characters because the plot was spread too thinly between all of them. I couldn’t care about the plot because it wasn’t explained well enough, and I didn’t care about any of the drama that was going on. This book read like it was written by someone who thought how teenagers thought, but I give teens a lot more credit to be more intelligent than they are portrayed in this novel.
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review