My Book Rating System

My book rating system is based on 5 stars. The book must be rated at least 3 stars for a review.

3 Stars: Good story, good plot, good writing.

4 Stars: I was wowed, but something about the story fell short of perfection.

5 Stars: I was either drooling, on the edge of my seat, or falling in love.

If you would like me to review your book, please contact me at

Monday, October 15, 2012

Book Review: Thoughtless, by Jacqueline Gardner

Jacqueline Gardner

Star Rating: 2.5 Stars

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.

My thoughts:
First, I really like this cover, and the premise grabbed me immediately. Poor Bridget has an onslaught of thoughts running through her head, and they're not hers. It's especially hard in high school with aaalllll those hormonal boys with really only *one* thought on their minds. Hard to have a boyfriend. The plot was good for the most part...though I don't think I fully bought the reason Bridget felt like she couldn't tell anyone she'd found the dead cheerleader. Though Bridget works hard at keeping her mind-reading power a secret, to me that wasn't reason enough she had to hide...but of course I'm not a 17 year-old girl who just found a dead body. Maybe the right instinct is to run.

Bridget gains the aid and trust another student, and there's always her best friend, whom I'm happy to say both stick with her through the bad stuff that comes. Boyfriend Terrence is the stuff high school dreams are made, a.ka. yummy.

Here's what brings down the star rating. Basically, the writing itself. In short summary:

1. The author is addicted to exclamation points. Readers will be more engaged if urgency and excitement are shown through actions and facial expressions...rather than a reliance on exclamation points.

2. There was a lot of telling. ...looking shocked. ... looked confused. ... I found myself getting nervous. ... Rory was nervously waiting. The thing is, sometimes these types of phrases were paired with action. The action itself was showing how the character felt...the statement of how the character felt is redundant.

3. The amount of the main character's internalization distracted from the story...especially when large chunks of internalization were mixed with dialogue. The dialogue doesn't snap or flow at a good pace. Let the story play out and trust the reader to come to his/her own conclusions. Especially when at the climax of the book; all that internalization slows down the climatic ending.

4. A bit of passive writing. I felt his hand grab my ankle. I could hear the sirens. Passive writing makes the reader feel like he/she is reading a story, rather than being immersed in the story.

This one was just okay for me.

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