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Readers Advisory: Don’t Even Think About It

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Delacorte Press, ISBN-10 0385737386, $17.99 hardcover, March 2014

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.

The last time I got a flu shot, I felt sore, weak, dizzy, and queasy for three days. I didn’t manifest any super powers, though, and having read this book, I feel cheated.

If you go into this book expecting a lot of science or mystery surrounding the manifestation of ESP from flu shots, you’re going to be disappointed. Also, you shouldn’t be reading Mlynowski at all if that’s what you’re after. Instead, we get a fairly realistic look at what teenagers might do with ESP if they had it, as well as the drawbacks of hearing everyone’s thoughts. Guess what? Your parents have sex! Guess what? Your BFF actually does think you’re fat. On the other hand, it’s not all bad. Your ESP can help you land a date, know whether he has the right motives for going out with you, and find out that the guy you thought was a loser is actually a pretty nice catch. So while the plot premise may be far-fetched, the plot itself actually makes a lot of sense. Overall, a fun if forgettable tale of mean girls with mind reading abilities.

Recommend to: Chick lit and rom-com fans

To buy or not to buy: Popular author, decent story. Go ahead.

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