Review: The Girl’s Guide to Summer by Sarah Mlynowski

If you love travel, or have been on a similar European tour, then this will feel like a Travel Diary and send you right back to your own adventures.

As someone who likes the idea of travelling but knows it’s definitely not for me, I have to admit I was bored at times. This is also from someone who loves DCOMs where travel is a huge part. (I’m talking Cheetah Girls 2, the Lizzie McGuire Movie, etc.) And let’s not forget my obsession with the old Mary-Kate and Ashley films. ‘When in Rome’ and ‘Winning London’ are pure classics. My favourite place the girls went to was probably Monte Carlo, only because I love the film ‘Monte Carlo’ and it reminded me how much I needed to rematch it. So, it’s not like I can’t enjoy travel stories, but this wasn’t the right one.

I don’t think the girls went through any character development. The ones that were in relationships ended up single and the girls not in relationships, found one. That was the only change. Personality wise, and friendship wise, they still seemed to be the same as page one. The friendship in general, though probably realistic, felt very imbalances. Leela had double standards and I wish the disconnect they were having could have been more of the centre rather than this Jackson guy who Leela kept calling a ‘Man Whore’….um no. You don’t get to judge someone based on how much sex they have! And they’d never even met! So, that was annoying.

I really liked what was going on with Sydney’s mother back home – her being agoraphobic and Sydney becoming the primary carer – and I would have much preferred to know more about that than their summer holidays. It felt like the most unique part of the story was happening outside of what we were being told.

I feel like their travels become a little dull, and kept hitting the same note. They’d struggle with money but somehow get through it, meet up with really kind people and sort of pick them up as they went along. (Even though there was this weird kissing contest that seemed to present itself at random times…) But there were no real stakes. We didn’t see the consequences of anything bad happening, so any sort of tension was completely lacking. Sydney and Leela had a few hiccups but nothing to stress over. I guess that’s because they were building this whole ‘perfect summer’ vibe, but maybe one instance of them having nowhere to sleep because they couldn’t afford it rather than some rich guy who fancies one of them coming in to save the day.

However thee final page did seem to suggest some kind of companion novel sequel about what was happening to one of Sydney and Leela’s other friends at the summer camp she was a counsellor at, which sounds 100% more up my street, so in the end, I’m glad I read this, so I could get the Easter eggs for the second book!

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Review: Think Twice by Sarah Mlynowski

april2Think Twice by Sarah Mlynowski
Genre: Contemporary, Magical-Realism
Published by: Hachette Children’s Group
Pages: 288
Format: ARC e-book
Rating: ★★★
Series: Don’t Even Think About It (#1)

Think Twice takes place two years after the class got telepathy, except…now they’re starting to lose it! It starts small, and suddenly the group have to question what really means more in life: the powers or each other? Losing power is a bigger problem for some, but we still get a glimpse into each Espie’s life and how things have changed for them, no matter how small. I didn’t realise this was going to be a duology but Think Twice is a pretty staple conclusion to the story, even if it did feel more character driven than plot driven.

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Review: Don’t Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski

Do21074867n’t Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Paranormal
Published by:
Orchard Books
Pages:
304
Format: Paperback
Rating:
★★.5
Where to Find:
Goodreads | Amazon

Don’t Even Think About It is about a group of students, from the same tutor group, that all develop telepathy and subsequently have to deal with that. They all have secrets that they don’t want shared, and they all have things they’d rather not hear. Lies can’t go unnoticed, and opinions can’t be hidden.

It’s hard to explain the narrative, because although it was third person, it was also collective. In the beginning of the book I found this strange because I wasn’t entirely sure what was going on, however once it had been explained as ‘if you can read each others thoughts it’s hard to know the boundaries of your own mind, and where your thoughts end and the next person’s start, it worked extremely well. I liked the majority of the characters, but would have liked to have read about some of the lesser characters too who also had telepathy. One of  my favourite story lines was Tess’ and Olivia’s because they both really grew as characters and their development was enjoyable to read. I also had a fondness for Pi’s story, because suddenly her intelligence doesn’t mean as much when everybody can just read her mind and copy her answers, and I really liked to read about how she dealt with the situation.

I loved how everyone’s thoughts were believable for their age group. The teenagers’ thoughts were pretty much along the lines of what I imagine other teens thinking, the adult’s thought, maybe not so much, but I think there needed to be that distinction between the age groups so the adults generally thought of more explicit things. Each of the main character’s thoughts were an extension of their personality as well, which might sound like a weird comment to make, but considering the majority of the conversations happened in listed italics the thoughts needed to be easily connected to the characters who were speaking.

Mackenzie’s was probably one of my least favourite story lines, which was a shame, because she had quite a significant role in the novel, but I just couldn’t connect to her attitude or character. I was intrigued by characters like Brinn and would definitely like to hear more about her, and others like Nike, in the sequels.

The pacing was quite slow, but everyone had to come to terms with their new super powers, so that’s understandable, but the drama was what made me keep reading! So much drama! At literally every corner something is happening to at least five of the characters that you can’t help but want to read. It was like reading one big book of gossip, rumours and opinions. Amazing.

Overall, I enjoyed Don’t Even Think About It, but I would’ve liked even more action from the sort of government agency and even more teamwork from class 10B.