Book Review: Thoughtless by Jacqueline Gardner

Thoughtless #1
Author: Jacqueline Gardner
Reading Level: YA
Genre: Paranormal
Released: February 28th 2012
Review Source: Author
Available: Amazon

Summary: (from goodreads) When Bridget finds a dead cheerleader in the janitor’s closet, she becomes the killer’s next target. High school just got worse. It’s bad enough that she can hear the shocking truths that pass through her classmate’s heads. Now she has to worry about staying alive, and all clues point to the one person whose thoughts she can’t read - her boyfriend Terrence. Someone is taunting her, threatening to expose her secret. And when Bridget tries to single out her blackmailer, she’s nearly beaten to death by a mind controlled minion with fiery eyes.

But when Bridget finally comes face-to-face with the killer, suddenly a horde of brainwashed students programmed to destroy her life doesn’t seem so bad.

Thoughtless is the first in the Thoughtless series. The story centers around Bridget, whom is anything but just another teenage high school girl. In fact she gets headaches more often than the general population of your average high school combined. These aren't your average headaches though, Bridget gets recurring headaches because she can read the minds and constant disgusting and annoying thoughts of her peers. Most of us would kill to be able to read the thoughts of others but for Bridget this "gift" has been more of a burden since she was a toddler. Her mother keeps her mind on lock down and treats her daughter like she's a freak. You could compare her mothers reactions toward her ability to that of the frightened population when hearing about mutants in the Xmen movies. She doesn't want Bridget telling anyone about her ability, not even her closest friend, Emma. Emma is your typical airhead cheerleader, more concerned about her hair, makeup and whatever hot guy happens to take an interest in her that week. Bridget discovers a cheerleader's body in the gym one night before a football game and her life is never the same again. She becomes friends inadvertently with Rory, the nerdy, Science Lab junkie who walks in on her discovering the cheerleaders body in the gym and swears he won't tell anyone he saw her there. She then becomes romantically involved with the transfer student from London, the hottest guy in school, Terrance. He asks her to the Homecoming dance and of course its head over heels time for Bridget even though she's never really been interested in dating boys, mostly because of their disgustingly annoying and often kinky thoughts about the girls at their school. This boy is different though, Bridget can't read his thoughts and so she sees the quiet as a welcome reprieve from the usual chatter, instead of being suspicious as to why she can't hear him.

The mind reading aspect of the story has been done before but that doesn't mean that the way Gardner incorporates it into her story is any less worth reading. It is entertaining and has its moments of humor but it was fairly predictable even if you didn't read the summary before opening the front cover. You find yourself screaming in your head as teenagers will be teenagers and don't ever seem to contact the police or inform their parents when they are in grave danger. But this is what makes Gardners characters believable. Overall this was an enjoyable read. Compared to most YA novels I've read lately, this one is quite short at about 176 pages and would be a very easy read for middle school and high school students.

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