This is the story of how we became freaks. It's how a group of I's became a we.
Class 10B got their flu shots, they expected some side effects. Maybe a
sore arm. Maybe a headache. They definitely didn't expect to get
telepathy. But suddenly they could hear what everyone was thinking.
Their friends. Their teachers. Their parents. Now they all know that
Tess has a crush on her best friend, Teddy. That Mackenzie cheated on
Cooper. That Nurse Carmichael used to be a stripper. Some of them will
thrive. Some of them will break. None of them will ever be the same.
I was really looking forward to this one; where an entire class gets telepathy? I mean, how can that not be a brilliant story? And it truly was, it was hilarious and touching and embarrassing and so much fun to read. Telepathy is one of those things that everyone wonders what they'd do if it happened to them; personally, I don't think I'd even know where to begin!
It started with the just a few of them getting assulted by stray thoughts but soon their entire homeroom could read minds. I loved the different directions it took, from Pi using for information, Olivia with the boy she likes, Mackenzie worrying about her boyfriend finding out the truth; everyone was so varied and used their powers for completely different reasons, although usually unintentionally, it was very entertaining to read. Plus it was written in this sort of collective third person, which took a bit of getting used to but was used very well, as they became almost one entity with each others thoughts in their heads.
Although a whole class of 22 got powers, we mostly followed the original 11 and I especially liked hearing from Olivia. She was incredibly shy and was paranoid to even open her mouth, scared of what others might think of her. So being able to see that she wasn't in many people's thoughts gave her a confidence boost. She was very sweet and grew quite a lot as a person throughout the book, as did Cooper, although for a very different reason.
The constant assault of stray thoughts was often too much to bear and many of them took to heart what they heard in their friend's head. Reading thoughts isn't like reading someone's diary, it's much more raw and, ironically, thoughtless what crops up in people's heads and I thought Mlynowski handles this very well. I
loved this book, it was just what I needed as the sun was coming out:
something that had me giggling on the train to work and cringing
alongside them all as they discovered things they didn't want to know. I am so looking forward to more adventures from the Espies!
Published 1st May 2014 by Orchard Books. Thank you to the publisher for my copy in exchange for an honest review.