If Don’t Even Think About It was a movie, it would be the sort of teen movie that you would watch curled up on a Sunday afternoon (preferably with snacks and friends), a bit of contemporary + science fiction lite mixed with The Breakfast Club + Gossip Girl. I wasn’t having a brilliant week when I began reading and it turned out to be the perfect antidote. I started it on the way to work and finished it that evening, so if you want to just forget everything and delve into a fun, light-hearted and witty story, this could be what you’re looking for!
It’s time for Class 10B to get their flu jabs. No big deal, right? Wrong. It starts with Mackenzie thinking she’s going crazy, but then the whole class start develop telepathy, a kind of extrasensory perception (ESP). Awesome! But for 10B, life is about to get much trickier to navigate. We like to think that we want everyone to be honest with us. To tell us what we really look like in our favourite outfit. Or if we’re being embarrassing or stupid or annoying. But do we really? Now everyone knows that Mackenzie cheated on her boyfriend Cooper, that Tess has a crush on her best friend Teddy – and that he’s in love with someone else – and that Nurse Carmichael used to be a stripper. It’s light. It’s hot pink. And it’s full of high school drama. You won’t like all the ‘ESPies’, but you’ll revel in the fact that you’ve now joined their exclusive club.
Don’t Even Think About It is narrated by the chorus of ESPies after they’ve had a chance to spend more time as telepathic teenagers, which would have taken time to get used to if I hadn’t recently read David Levithan’s Two Boys Kissing. In fact, it worked really well and it was easy to see how the group of classmates became ‘we’. And it’s only just getting started as this is the first in the series. I loved reading the characters’ reactions to their new-found talent – and each others’ – plus reactions from those who were fortunate – or unfortunate, depending on how you see it – not to be able to hear everyone’s thoughts. Imagine watching two people who aren’t even friends stare at each other meaningfully, in silence, for no apparent reason. And as someone who struggled with shyness in school, it was refreshing to see one of the characters use her telepathy to overcome it. One of the reasons for shyness is the anxiety caused by not knowing what’s going to come next or how people are going to react. What if that was removed? Olivia, one of the Class 10B students, is constantly worried about what other people think of her, when in fact they’re not even thinking about her at all. She now always knows what’s coming next and can change her behaviour accordingly, so she never messes up, and she was one of the most interesting characters to follow as the classmates attempt to figure out how to live in a world without secrets.
Don’t Even Think About It is a sunny young adult contemporary novel with a fun science fiction twist that’ll get you thinking about how difficult it is not to think.
Published: 11th March 2014 (US) 1st May 2014 (UK)
Publisher: Delacorte Press (US) Orchard Books (UK)
Source: Thank you to the publisher for providing this book for review!