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Radiant Shadows

Thoughtless (Thoughtless, #1)

Thoughtless (Thoughtless, #1) - Jacqueline Gardner With an action-packed beginning, Thoughtless immediately grabbed my full attention. It's sassy, yet frustrating, female protagonist had me simultaneously eager for more and frustrated enough to walk away. But even with a slightly predictable plot, scattered with some minor plot holes, I still found Thoughtless to be a mostly enjoyable read.Bridget is not always an easy protagonist to like. I want to say she's a good friend to Emma, but other then relying on her for rides to-and-from school, rolling her eyes at her enthusiasm over homecoming, and using her as someone with whom to eat lunch with, their friendship seems to exist out of habit or convenience. Her eventual friendship with Rory is also one of convenience, as he's always available to rush to her rescue - whether it's from an alleged attacker or as a cover so she can go out on a date. She seems to be allergic to any form of physical exertion, bending over in pain after running down a hallway for example, and though she lives in fear of someone discovering her secret, she's quick to use it to her advantage. Those small annoyances aside, I can also see how hard she's trying to just be a normal teenager. She does her best to give her friends their privacy and it wasn't surprising that she jumped at the chance to date a boy who's thoughts she couldn't read - someone with whom she could truly feel normal. She's quick witted, and has some comical one-liners:My legs wouldn't move - they were frozen. What a great time to become the cliche girl I always criticized in horror films.She's also humble enough to admit when she's wrong or has made a mistake - a quality that, for me, was able to redeem her in several situations. As the story progressed, there were a couple things that happened that I felt were big enough plot holes that they should have been addressed. When Bridget first meets Rory, she doesn't recognize him. She uses her powers to read his thoughts, and decides she can trust him to keep it a secret that she found Stacey's body. The next time she sees him, she calls him by name, even though there's been no indication that he introduced himself or that she heard his name in his mind. Just a small thing, but it did have me flipping back to see if I had missed something. The idea that the FBI would seriously consider informing a couple of teenagers about the details of an ongoing investigation, even when they're directly involved, had me rolling my eyes, as did the lack of surveillance on the teenagers who were immediately threatened. At one point, Squires comments on how he was going to dispatch a detail to keep watch over both their homes, yet that detail is mysteriously absent when Bridget is attacked. Later, when Bridget meets Terrence and realizes that she can't read his thoughts, she's immediately intrigued. But as time goes on, and she begins to unravel the secrets surrounding Stacey's death, instead of finding his silence concerning, she chooses to stay in her bubble where he couldn't possibly be behind any of the attacks. Even as the evidence against him piles up, including the fact that he's new to town, the strange occurrences only began once he showed up, and that she has caught him in a couple different lies about his family, Bridget remains adamant that he can't be involved - because he would never do that.Bridget's relationship with Terrance is exactly how I remember my high school crushes. The ever-present stomach butterflies whenever he's near, the hours spent daydreaming after the most minor of interactions, and the surety that the feelings were developing into something more substantial. I was concerned Gardner was going to throw around some insta-love, and though the elements were there, Bridget eventually recognized her feelings for what they truly were - a high school crush. She did throw around the L-word a couple times, but it was never said to Terrance, merely that she might see her feelings developing in that direction for him (and wondering if he felt the same way too). Her eagerness for their relationship to be something more substantial than a crush, yet her recognition that they didn't know much about each other, added a level of realism to their relationship that's lacking in a lot of current YA.I found the timeline to be quite confusing. I was never sure whether it had been hours or days or weeks between different events, and it wasn't until towards the end when Bridget comments on how much her life has changed in the mere week she has known Terrance that I realized what a short time frame the story was framed in. At one point Bridget comments on how the days are shortening, the cold is creeping in and the snow is staying on the mountain peaks, which had me believing weeks, or even months must have passed. To find out it was only a week was a bit disconcerting. There were also seemingly insignificant moments (like when Bridget and Terrance are planning their first date after school and he says he'll see her at 7 and she replies how that's in just 2 hours - ummm, since when did high school end at 5?) that were timed so oddly that I was confused enough to backpedal and re-read the section to make sure I had in fact read it properly.Flaws aside, Thoughtless was a fast and enjoyable read. Though I found the plot quite predictable, I still enjoyed watching it all unfold. Though I found Bridget annoying at times, I also found her banter with Rory charming. I love that everything has been resolved and that it's not necessary to read the second book to feel satisfied. That being said though, I probably will pick up the sequel, to see where the new direction Bridget is heading in takes her!Find this review, and more, on my blog Radiant Shadows