BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Bea Reviews Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

Bea's Book Nook, Review, Jar of Hearts, Jennifer Hillier
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: June 12th, 2018
Buying Links: Amazon* | Barnes & Noble | iBooks* |
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

This is the story of three best friends: one who was murdered, one who went to prison, and one who's been searching for the truth all these years . . .

When she was sixteen years old, Angela Wong—one of the most popular girls in school—disappeared without a trace. Nobody ever suspected that her best friend, Georgina Shaw, now an executive and rising star at her Seattle pharmaceutical company, was involved in any way. Certainly not Kaiser Brody, who was close with both girls back in high school.

But fourteen years later, Angela Wong's remains are discovered in the woods near Geo's childhood home. And Kaiser—now a detective with Seattle PD—finally learns the truth: Angela was a victim of Calvin James. The same Calvin James who murdered at least three other women.

To the authorities, Calvin is a serial killer. But to Geo, he's something else entirely. Back in high school, Calvin was Geo's first love. Turbulent and often volatile, their relationship bordered on obsession from the moment they met right up until the night Angela was killed.

For fourteen years, Geo knew what happened to Angela and told no one. For fourteen years, she carried the secret of Angela's death until Geo was arrested and sent to prison.

While everyone thinks they finally know the truth, there are dark secrets buried deep. And what happened that fateful night is more complex and more chilling than anyone really knows. Now the obsessive past catches up with the deadly present when new bodies begin to turn up, killed in the exact same manner as Angela Wong.

How far will someone go to bury her secrets and hide her grief? How long can you get away with a lie? How long can you live with it?

My Thoughts:

"Jar of Hearts" didn't grab me right off but reeled me in slowly until suddenly I was halfway through and anxious to keep reading. As a teenager, Geo and her boyfriend killed Geo's best friend, Angela. For 14 years, they got away with it. Then the truth comes out. Or does it?

The story alternates between the past and the present, slowly unraveling secrets and keeping us in the dark. Whenever we think we know what's going on, Hillier reveals a new fact or throws us a curve. It's a dark story, full of pain and grief, choices and consequences, hope and despair, cringe-worthy moments and empathetic moments. Geo was difficult to like at times. She could be selfish, cold, and, well, heartless. Let's not forget she killed her friend. She could also be smart, funny, compassionate, and generous. Her relationship with Cat, a woman in prison at the same time as Geo, was sweet and made me tear up, and then she would turn around and do something selfish. Her relationships with her ex, Calvin, and her dead best friend, Angela, were complicated and are the heart of the story. All of them are complicated and complex, more than they originally seem. 

"Jar of Hearts" was gripping and the details a little creepy. Hillier takes some cliches and reader expectations  and twists them around, most of the time. The pace was slow at times and I did figure out some of the twists, but "Jar of Hearts" was twisty and twisted, compelling and dark, and full of surprises. It's a fascinating read.

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